Eventually, the new aquagreen forming the centrepiece of the project will have the capacity to store 15,000m3 of water
Work has started on a huge new rainwater storage scheme aimed at reducing the risk of flooding at nearly 900 homes and businesses in east Hull.
Eventually, the new aquagreen forming the centrepiece of the project will have the capacity to store 15,000m3 of water. A new wildlife habitat is also being created around it.
The project is the second phase of the £28.5m ($35.95m) Holderness Drain Flood Alleviation Scheme and follows the construction of a new East Hull Pumping Station which will replace the existing one built in Hedon Road in 1949 – just above the point where it flows into the Humber. The new station has been designed to be more energy efficient than the old one and will also be less harmful to fish than the existing pumps.
The aquagreen at Castlehill will be built on land south of the old Bransholme dairy farm in open countryside between the drain and the city boundary with the East Riding. The construction will include installing new sheet piling walls along a stretch of East Carr Drain in order to raise the height of flood defences across the site.
In addition, part of Sutton Cross Drain will be realigned between Castlehill Road and the Transpennine Trail further eastwards. An old section of the drain will also be filled in.
Finally, the banks of both Holderness Drain and Sutton Cross Drain will be raised at certain points to stop flood water over spilling from the two drains. When complete, the whole site will still function as a flood storage area but will be able to hold water across a much wider area.
Andrew Barron, the Environment Agency’s flood risk advisor for Hull, said: It is exciting to see work begin on this project which will reduce flood risk to hundreds of homes and businesses in the North Carr and Sutton areas. We can’t prevent all flooding and there are steps people can take to reduce their personal flood risk, like signing up for flood warnings and creating a flood plan.
He said: While the scheme will help to make local properties more resilient to the effects of climate change, the Environment Agency is keen to make sure that the carbon impact of building the flood storage area is as low as possible. As a result we have been working with our contractors JBA Bentley to use innovative design and to reduce the carbon cost of the works to help the Environment Agency reach its net zero 2030 target.
Initial plans for the aquagreen were first announced in 2017. Since then, the necessary approvals and funding has been secured along with regular public consultation events to keep nearby residents informed.
Like aquagreens elsewhere in Hull, the site will remain dry in normal weather conditions and will only store water during exceptionally heavy and prolonged rainfall. Once the peak of a storm has passed, water will slowly be released back into Holderness Drain.
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