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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New £20,000 Pump to Reduce Ponteland Flood Risk

Residents from Ponteland are to receive a new £32,000 pump for the town which will be used to reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses during an emergency.

The pump has been bought by funding from the Local Levy, which is raised from local authorities across the region to tackle small-scale flood projects, and is managed by the Environment Agency,

The equipment will be kept at Ponteland Fire Station and is part of a £80,000 package of measures which the levy fund and the Environment Agency has put together for the town.

Levy project coordinator Bob Carrick said: "This is good news for Ponteland.

"We can never stop flooding altogether but we can help to reduce the likelihood of it happening.

"We have trained Ponteland's firefighters to use the pump and it is being stored at their station so that both they and the Environment Agency can use it during an emergency.

"These community schemes are important to the Local Levy team. Everyone has a role in helping to reduce the risk of flooding and we need to work together to get the maximum benefit for residents.

"Our projects are about helping people in the community to take steps to protect themselves against the increasing risk of flooding."

The pump has a six inch nozzle and can pump 25 metres3 of water per hour.

Other measures for Ponteland include raising the flood banks on Callerton Burn and the Fairney Burn after the banks were overtopped during the flooding in September 2008. Environment Agency staff will also carry out some channel maintenance on Callerton Burn.

Flood defence measures are also being improved at Athol House nursing home, Callerton Lane, which has 30 elderly residents, two of whom had to be helped to safety during last September's floods.

The work includes helping to protect the home against shallow floodwaters which can cause problems for residents who have difficulty walking.

The work had to take into account the appearance of the home's award-winning gardens, and the materials used were selected after discussion with the residents and the home owners.

As a result, timber railway sleepers have been laid along the 100-metre length of the hedge alongside the home, which is close to Callerton Burn.

The Local Levy is raised by the Environment Agency's Northumbria Regional Flood Defence Committee from local authorities in the North East and is used to fund projects.
Source: News Post Leader