Thames Water Holds Public Meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall

Hear about plans for flooding alleviation in Counters Creek catchment

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Thames Water is inviting local people to a Public Meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall on Monday, June 21 to hear about its plans to alleviate sewer flooding in the Counters Creek catchment.

The meeting will be in the Small Hall, starting at 7.30pm and expected to end around 9.30pm.

Counters Creek is an old tributary of the Thames, which the Victorians incorporated into the sewer system and now flows underground.

The creek arises in Kensal Green Cemetery and flows south through Wormwood Scrubs, Olympia and Earls Court and then beneath the West London Railway Line to reach the Thames at Chelsea Creek. Today it is almost completely subterranean.

The Counters Creek sewer network handles the majority of the borough's sewage during heavy rainfall, as well as a large amount of storm sewage from as far away as Camden and Brent. The lack of capacity in the current system means that sometimes foul water ends up flooding into basements of low-lying properties.

Last month, Thames Water urged people in the Counters Creek area who had suffered from flooded basements to get in touch, as it prepared to spend £25 million installing over 600 pumping systems as a short term solution for the worst affected homes.

The pumps, known as FLIPs - flooding local improvement projects - will prevent sewage from surging into basements during heavy rain.

Piers Clark, Interim Director of Asset Management with Thames Water, said in his letter of invitation: " Since our last Public Meeting with you on the 30th November 2009, we have been working on developing the short-term temporary solutions for some properties, as agreed with our economic regulator, Ofwat.

" We have agreed our approach to this programme, which is now available to download from our website.  At the beginning of May, we began a process of inviting customers who are at the highest risk of flooding to have a device to protect their properties installed free of charge and we plan to commence installing devices in August this year. We will have the responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of these devices.

" It remains our intention to start construction on the upgrade of the Counters Creek sewer in 2014 and we are continuing to develop the solution and associated costs. This construction start date is dependent on us having a clear commitment from Ofwat that these costs will be allowed for in the prices we charge our customers, so it is not yet a guaranteed start date.

" We plan to submit an updated case to our regulator early in 2012 and then seek agreement to complete the remaining design work for construction to start in 2014.

 " I look forward to seeing you at this meeting if you are able to attend.  There will be the opportunity on that evening to ask questions and discuss our plans. "

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has welcomed the move and is encouraging residents to take up Thames Water's offer. but says it is also pushing the company to extend the programme to all properties affected by basement flooding.

If you have been flooded at any time over the past few years call Thames Water on 0845 920 0800.

June 16, 2010