LETTERS: Flood pumping planned

We are planning to put a pump on the A29 opposite the junction of Sack Lane on Wednesday morning.

Then we will pump water down into the drainage system by the Robin Hood Pub (around 200m away).

At present, we have a jetter attending the site to ensure the system is clear before pumping commences.

It is expected that we will need to leave the road closed for at least another 48 hours as it takes quite a while for the water to clear off the A29 at this point.

This is because the water flows from the fields first.

Pumping will have to be controlled as it is possible properties will flood with the excess water.

We have to be very cautious not to flood out properties at Shripney Lane. It should be noted that drainage works we have undertaken in the past have helped to prevent the properties flooding.

Unfortunately, the ground is flat and the outfall is the Rife which has also burst its banks, so until such time as that goes down significantly, it is still a waiting game.

We cannot just collect and dispose of the water because the ground is water-logged.

It would just continue to recharge the flooded area.

As far as the current drainage works in this area are concerned, they are not complete – we have spent £130,000 of an allocated £250,000.

Unfortunately, this will not eliminate all flooding because of the characteristics of the surrounding area.

However, there are two pieces of work being done jointly which will hopefully contribute to a long-term solution, the Environment Agency’s Aldingbourne Rife Strategy and the Lidsey Catchment Surface Water Management Plan – both of which are jointly funded by Southern Water and ourselves.

These will look at the wider land drainage of the area which the highway drainage falls into.

The report on this is due in March.

Stuart Smith,

Highways commissioning manager

West Sussex County Council