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Flood Information

Groundwater Infiltration & Inundation

Within the St Mary Bourne (SMB) Catchment Area (Primarily SMB & Stoke) there have been seasonal high groundwater levels which has historically overwhelmed the ageing Southern Water assets (Pipes).  The water finds its way into all sewers both public and privately owned where the joints between pipes are not watertight, this process is known as infiltration.  Where groundwater reaches the surface and flooding occurs this water can enter the sewers through man-hole covers and inspection chambers which are also not water-tight. This process is known as inundation.

To manage this issue Southern Water produce and work to an Infiltration Reduction Plan (IRP).

The Parish Council have a sub-committee (Flood and Emergency Group (FEG)) to liaise with and ensure that Southern Water deliver on this plan.  Numerous meetings have been held over past decades with various representatives from Southern Water and local Parliamentarians.

The latest meeting was held in May 2024 with Kit Malthouse, Southern Water Directors and Operational staff, supported by County Council Representatives and the Environment Agency, and the FEG.  The minutes of that meeting are available below.

The outcome of the meeting was favourable in that Southern Water have committed to a fully costed £800,000 spend and planned list of actions to mitigate the long-standing issues in the St Mary Bourne Catchment.

The FEG are having bi-monthly meetings with Southern Water and other appropriate agency representatives to track progress on the IRP list together with remedial works for damaged verges, and and are currently seeking the same action committments for Stoke.

Flood Barrier

To mitigate the risk of the Bourne Rivulet over-flowing adjacent to the War Memorial in SMB the Environment Agency work to and are responsible for a Flood Defence Plan. This plan includes the deployment of a flood barrier when the Bourne reaches a trigger point.

At the meeting on 17th May 2024 in the presence of Kit Malthouse the EA committed to the continuation of this plan.