Flood fear

RESIDENTS living in the Colony area of Exmouth are relieved workmen have removed a possible flood risk.

RESIDENTS living in the Colony area of Exmouth are relieved workmen have removed a possible flood risk.

Blocked drains in the streets were cleared earlier this month , after a number of homeowners complained to authorities, including South West Water, fearing they would be flooded if they were not sorted before the winter.

But, Ann Prior, of Egremont Road, said when an operative from Devon County Council visited the area, he made an assertion about their maintenance which has sparked fresh concern.

She was told because drains were always in a bad state and left untouched, water was prone to seep into tarmac and cause eruptions, lifting the terrain in weak spots.

The operative said capillary action would mean the lifting could occur anywhere in the road, depending on where the weak points were.

Ann said: "A chap turned up at my front door asking about a drain complaint and he agreed we had every cause to complain.

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"He claimed he had ordered for them to be cleaned two or three months ago. The order had gone out to the contractors, but clearly had not been done."

Ann, who has been campaigning tirelessly over the issue, said there were also concerns about flooding in parts of Exeter Road.

She explained: "I've had folk telling me that the drains are in a parlous state and one part-way down Albion Hill is silted over."

Nigel Laws, who works for area east highway management at Devon County Council, said the majority of gullies in the Colony area were connected to the South West Water combined sewer.

He said, unfortunately, during periods of heavy rainfall, the system struggled to cope with the quantity of surface water run-off.

"During these times, the gullies in the Colony area may not work. It is even possible that water will start flowing out of some. This is known as hydraulic overload and South West Water is aware of the problem.

"This can also occur if the SWW pumps are not switched on in time."

Nigel said if the majority of the gullies were not working then the problem should be reported to South West Water.

"If they are visibly blocked, or one or two did not seem to be working, then it is likely to be a Devon County Council highway problem.