Published On: Thursday 20 December 2018 16:50

Construction work has commenced at the Old Noble’s Hospital car park to install an underground storm water storage tank to help manage flood flows from the Ballakermeen Road catchment. The scheme, which is expected to be completed in May 2019 will serve to reduce the flooding experienced on Peel Road and the Hills Meadow Industrial Estate.

Dr Alex Allinson MHK, Chairman of Manx Utilities said, “I am pleased to see this important project progressing which will provide businesses in the natural flood plain of Hills Meadow, with a significant reduction in storm flows in the future and help to reduce the build-up of flood water on Peel Road.”

Further flood risk work is also taking place in the form of extensive feasibility studies for the Douglas catchment which will inform further on future works required for the town specifically the River Glass, River Dhoo and Middle River.   As part of this study DEFA and Manx Utilities are looking into what can be put in place in the streams that feed our main rivers in terms of ‘slowing the flow’ and natural flood risk management measures.  In addition, Manx Utilities have also been working closely with the Department of Infrastructure in the design phase of the new Pulrose Bridge.  This work will help inform the design to ensure flood risk considerations are taken into account.

Work is also planned in the area around the NSC which will involve reducing the height of the man-made grass and earth features in the river channel to improve water flow along the stretch of the River Glass.  This work will be undertaken once detailed designs have been agreed and also when Japanese Knot Weed has been cleared from the gravel bank which has to be managed carefully; this can take up to 3 years to eradicate due to the plants invasive and destructive characteristics.

Dr Allinson advised, “The flood risk feasibility study is a huge undertaking which will involve several phases including financing, planning, consultation, design and construction.  We are hopeful we can commence with the less complex projects quite quickly, however some of the more challenging and complex projects could be up to 5 years before coming to fruition.  One of the most common requests is that of river dredging for flood alleviation.  I would stress that dredging is not always the solution and the team are constantly monitoring gravel movement and utilising computer modelling to establish whether gravel removal will benefit our Island’s rivers”.