Residents spared misery thanks to state of the art flood prevention scheme

February 5th, 2016 in Home Group News

An affordable landlord which invested more than £110,000 in state of the art flood defence measures has declared the scheme a success.

Home Group spent £110,000 installing bespoke water tight doors and other flood defences to protect residents living in a housing complex in Northumberland which was prone to flash flooding.

Residents living in 21 homes at The Mart in Haltwhistle were hit by flash flooding in the winters of 2011 and 2012. The residents were mainly elderly people and traditional flood defence measures such as sandbags were considered unsuitable for them.

Home Group instead started to investigate the possibility of installing watertight doors, which in 2013 were still in their infancy. The doors and flood proof airbricks were installed in the winter of 2013 to provide extra resilience to existing underground storage tanks.

And now almost three full winters later the pilot scheme has been declared a success. Graham Darby Home Group, assistant director of customer services, said: “In 2011 and 2012 we noticed that our customers were experiencing unprecedented levels of rain resulting in flash flooding.

“People living at The Mart had the heart breaking experience of floodwater entering their homes. Although we did all we could to support them and find alternative accommodation we knew we had to find an alternative solution.

“We didn’t want to declare the scheme a success too early but now after three winters, including the deluges of December 2015 and January 2016 the doors are clearly doing their job.

“There have been a number of flash floods at The Mart but the doors have remained watertight and our customers have been spared the misery of flooding.”

With traditional flood defence measures householders need to be in place to erect flood barriers. Front and back doors to all at risk properties in The Mart now have an inbuilt flood proof locking mechanism meaning that even if the householder isn’t at home the property will remain safe.

Each door is custom fit to the property to ensure no water can seep through the door surround. As long as the locking mechanism is activated correctly the door will remain water tight.  

Home Group also installed flood prevention airbricks to all ground floor properties and non return valves to toilets and waste outlets.

Graham added: “There are slightly higher maintenance costs involved as the doors require an annual service but the investment has been worth it to protect our customers from flooding.”