White Horse roundabout flood prevention scheme in development by Anglian Water
- Credit: Chris Stanton
A long running flooding saga could be coming to an end after nearly a decade, but not for at least another 18 months.
There has been a severe problem with surface water flooding in Gorleston since 2009, with drains overflowing and raw sewage flowing into people's homes and back gardens.
The area around the White Horse roundabout has been particularly badly hit, where even short bursts of rain cause floods.
A pensioner, who lives nearby in Beccles Road, said after just 25 minutes of rain last Friday, his home was hit.
He added: 'I'm sandbagging every time it rains. I shouldn't have to. It's not just dirty water, it's sewage as well.
'I can't sell my house because I have to notify them it's in a flood area.'
A woman who also lives in the same street said her family home flooded twice with sewage in July and they had to pay for a deep clean both times.
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She added: 'We both work so we can't put sandbags down in time if there's torrential rain.'
Now, Anglian Water is exploring options to alleviate problems in the area, but nothing will be done for another 18 months at least.
Area manager at Anglian Water Hugh Crerand spoke to the Gorleston Area Committee meeting on Tuesday evening.
He briefed around 30 residents, who then shared their problems with him and expressed their disappointment that after years of pleading for action, they would have to wait months for a solution.
One said it was 'absolutely disgusting.'
Mr Crerand responded: 'I accept we haven't solved your problems overnight,
but there are people working on this. There's a lot of pressure on to resolve this.'
Chairman of the area committee Trevor Wainwright said the flooding had got worse in the past ten years.
A number of issues were causing the worsening of the flooding, including climate change, the poor state of the dykes system of drainage, and an increase of driveways and hard surfaces which do not allow water to soak away.
Bradwell borough councillor Graham Plant also agreed the dyke system was an issue.
He said: 'The dyke system has been abused by builders and farmers. They used to be linked up but not they're in a field and don't go anywhere. The system is broken.'
Surface water flooding
Surface water flooding is a widespread issue in the borough and comes with little warning.
It is caused when the volume of rainwater falling does not drain away through the existing drainage systems or soak into the ground, but lies on or flows over the ground instead.
This type of flooding is usually short lived and associated with heavy downpours of rain or thunder storms.
Often there is limited advance notice of surface water flooding owing to its localised nature.
The sporadic and intense nature of rainfall that causes surface water flooding makes it very difficult to accurately predict where surface water flooding will occur.
New housing developments in the borough often have conditions attached to deal with surface water on site, such as using a road surface that allows water to soak through or having special ponds on site to collect rain water.
A heavy downpour caused surface water flooding across the borough last Friday.
In Croft Road, Caister, the water took three days to soak away, leaving some residents stranded in their homes, or forced to wade through ankle high water on the pavement.
Home Watch co-ordinator for the street, John Laity, said it was an ongoing issue.
He added: 'It happens every time it rains hard for an extended period and takes days for the water to eventually disappear. The attached two photos shows the
'The problem must be either the rain water drains are blocked and need clearing more frequently or, most likely, the drains are inadequate for the job and need to be improved.'
He appealed to his local county councillor Penny Carpenter for help.
She raised the issue with the highway's department at County Hall and arranged for county council contractors to clean the gullies in the street.
A problem with recently completed water works in Belton mean more road closures for villagers.
An Anglian Water investigation by the mini roundabout in Belton found a problem with a pipe seal in the new works at Stepshort near the pumping station.
Next Tuesday to Thursday the road will be closed except for access and the three way temporary traffic lights removed.
The works which began in May were originally meant to only last four weeks, but a set back led to delays.
The new road closure will once again cut the two villages off from one another and turn a trip of about 400 yards into a journey of about four miles each way.
It is believed that the works were delayed by the breaking of a water main, along with the high water table and the sandiness of the soil under the road surface.
A pumping station on the current site on Stepshort is being built to cope with heavy downpours.