What (new) building/local regulations would YOU enforce in 'flood plain ' builds?

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The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 23, 2007, 7:18:09 AM7/23/07
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I thought it might be interesting to discuss this..

Issues as I see it revolve around preventing water ingress to parts of
buildings 'below high water mark' potential damage to foundations, and
ability of basic services, particularly sewage, to function in these
conditions.


One solution that has occurred to me in the past, is to surround
residential areas with levees. Roads and so on are built on these - like
in the fens..some areas are set aside as 'allowable flooding areas' and
buildings are within pumpable zones.

Another option is to simply build on piles, in order to allow flood
water to gaily rush by underneath ('Hello Sailor!') and limit damage to
simply the garden.

It is not possible AFAICT to not 'allow' flooding: the water has to be
stored somewhere, or else downstream rises will be massive. Your flood
protection is someone else's overtopped levee.

Utilities like power and water supply should be proof against what? a 5
meter flood?

Likewise any sewage works should also be high enough, and run from
sewage pumps to prevent overtopping. Sewage systems should be sealed as
far as possible to prevent sewage and flood waters mixing.

I am not clears really as to how much issues like blocked storm drains
etc actually impact on generalised flooding. However a motorway blocked
due to bad drainage is a disgrace.

What do you think?

Broadback

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Jul 23, 2007, 7:53:15 AM7/23/07
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Many new properties built on flood planes are not liable to flooding
because of drainage installed. The problem is the water that used to
wait on the flood plain has to go elsewhere, so someone downstream,
perhaps in an old house that has never been flooded is. So the answer
is do not allow any building on flood plains at all.

The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 23, 2007, 7:56:29 AM7/23/07
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It's not often that I agree with the government, but in this case I
think I do, in that it is impractical in this case to prohibit flood
plain (note spelling) development.Most of occupied england is to a
greater or lesser extent on a flood plain of some sort. Arguably about
70% of London is. As is about 90% of the Cambridge and Lincolnshire fens.

The Fens have been subject to a well developed system of water control
for generations. Maybe there are lessons to be learnt.


Simon Morris

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Jul 23, 2007, 8:19:21 AM7/23/07
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The Natural Philosopher wrote on 23/07/2007 12:18

>
> Another option is to simply build on piles, in order to allow flood
> water to gaily rush by underneath ('Hello Sailor!') and limit damage to
> simply the garden.
>

I think I read recently that some houses in the Netherlands are built to
float. They have a bouyancy chamber, normally rest on separate
foundations, and rise between vertical rails if a flood arrives.

S.

The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 23, 2007, 8:25:42 AM7/23/07
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That is...neat!


Of course you could build the whole housing estate on a giant raft...

magwitch

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Jul 23, 2007, 8:39:04 AM7/23/07
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As was Winchester Cathedral nearly 932 years ago, the wooden and stone
'raft' lasted almost 800 years before needing underpinning by William
Walker and 250 others who had to go under the foundations in diving suits.

TMC

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Jul 23, 2007, 8:40:58 AM7/23/07
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"The Natural Philosopher" <a@b.c> wrote in message
news:118518964...@proxy01.news.clara.net...

Build all houses on 1 Metre stilts (including garages with a suitable ramp)

Make all external doors waterproof.

This would make all houses flood proof to at least 2 metres above road level
so long as the doors were not left open

Put the bedrooms downstairs so most of electrical goods would then be
upstairs
this also means that the downstairs windows can be smaller and higher up
further raising the waterproof level

It also has the benefit of reducing heating bills as the rooms which need
the higher temperatures are at the top of the house

Have electric and gas meters etc upstairs as well

Alternatively make all houses 3 floors where the bottom floor is just
concrete walls and floors with a separate electric circuit
Occupiers could use this for whatever they choose but possessions left there
would not be covered by house insurance in the event of flood

Tony


David Hansen

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Jul 23, 2007, 8:58:25 AM7/23/07
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On Mon, 23 Jul 2007 13:40:58 +0100 someone who may be "TMC"
<an...@anon.co.uk> wrote this:-

>Make all external doors waterproof.

Some years ago there was film of big floods in Germany taken from
inside a building, it might well have been the parliament in Bonn
before it was moved to Berlin. What impressed me was that the water
was about 2m deep, outside the glass walls of the building. Inside
it was dry.


--
David Hansen, Edinburgh
I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents me
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/00023--e.htm#54

The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 23, 2007, 8:55:01 AM7/23/07
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You haven't seen my bedroom..;-)

> this also means that the downstairs windows can be smaller and higher up
> further raising the waterproof level
>

Good thinking..however most cavity walls are not actually that
waterproof..In germany they tank cellars with polystrene and surround te
masonry with a plastic membrane.

> It also has the benefit of reducing heating bills as the rooms which need
> the higher temperatures are at the top of the house
>

MM. Nice pount actually.

> Have electric and gas meters etc upstairs as well
>

The 'read your meter from outside' boys will LOVE that one.

> Alternatively make all houses 3 floors where the bottom floor is just
> concrete walls and floors with a separate electric circuit
> Occupiers could use this for whatever they choose but possessions left there
> would not be covered by house insurance in the event of flood
>

Yup. Thats a typical german house with basement. My sisters one got
sewage spewing up through the toilets in there when they had a flood..
otherwise the basement comprised one minimalsist guest room with
ensuite,. storage for outdoor toys - bikes, lawnmowers etc etc, and a
huge laundry room and food storage room with a huge boiler in it.

Personally i think its a good arrangement- all the crap stuff is below,
and living stuff is up higher. Also a 3 storey building is more energy
efficient - more living area per unit outside wall.


Keep em coming.


> Tony
>
>

dennis@home

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Jul 23, 2007, 9:02:45 AM7/23/07
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

> What do you think?

Stop using wood and plaster in the downstairs construction.
Paint all the downstairs with polyurethane so you can clean it.
Have the floor on jacks so you can lift everything up by a meter or so at
the flick of a switch.
Use house boats.


Cicero

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Jul 23, 2007, 10:22:53 AM7/23/07
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==================================
I suppose the government could order every householder to install a 'sump'
in the garden with a minimum capacity of (say) 1000 gallons. The technical
details of routing rain water into the sumps could provide some of our
Town Hall staff with a useful challenge.

A small street of 50 houses would take 50,000 gallons off the street
drains.

Cic.

--
===================================
Using Ubuntu Linux
Windows shown the door
===================================

Arthur 51

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Jul 23, 2007, 11:04:12 AM7/23/07
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Simple :)
Every house should have a massive pump installed behind a chimney
breast.
Then during times of flooding, a 4" diameter hose could clipped onto a
port at the side
of the chimney breast and water could pumped up thru the chimney and
spurted toward the nearest ocean. n.b. People living in Birmingham
would need
a very big pump.

Arthur

meow...@care2.com

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Jul 23, 2007, 11:08:02 AM7/23/07
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Loos to be upstairs. Any downstairs ones to be fitted with a big
ballvalve to cut them off if flood is imminent (to prevent the crp
flowing out the bog into the house)

Bank the land so the houses run along the top of the banks, roads
along the lows. Sloping gardens are the price. Offroad garden parking
next to the house would make life easier and greatly reduce vehicle
flood damage.

Doors could be atop dwarf walls where flooding occurs to low level
only. This would interfere with wheelchair access requirement though.

Ground floor used for garage and shed space only. This is similar to
houses on stilts, as in practice people would frequently enclose the
stilt areas and use for low value storage. Sacrificing the car isn't
ideal, but would be a big improvement on today's flood damage costs.

Electric wiring all to be above the flood line.

Fully washable furniture, eg plastic

Deepen rivers for greater water flow.

provisions to get furniture upstairs in flood to minimise damage.
Maybe an electric stair hoist?


>> Make all external doors waterproof.

>> this also means that the downstairs windows can be smaller and higher up


>> further raising the waterproof level

>Good thinking..however most cavity walls are not actually that
>waterproof..In germany they tank cellars with polystrene and surround te
>masonry with a plastic membrane.

Applying (polystyrene) foam cavity insulation in wet form could
greatly improve water resistance and crack sealing. What is needed is
not necessarily waterproofness, but rather to limit water ingress to a
rate that can be pumped out with little or no damage.


>> Have electric and gas meters etc upstairs as well

> The 'read your meter from outside' boys will LOVE that one.

New meters can send the readings along the mains wires, avoiding the
issue and reducing operating costs.


> Have the floor on jacks so you can lift everything up by a meter or so at
> the flick of a switch.

A simpler related idea is to have a hook in the ceiling above all
water damageable items (perhaps require a matrix of heavy duty hooks
in the downstairs ceiling), plus a rope attached to each item thats
usually tucked under the item out of sight. In event of impending
flood, put rope over hook and haul it up. 30-60 minutes work would get
all the major items strung up under the ceiling, thus gaining around
5'-6' extra height.

I dont know whether it could be made possible to use a floating floor
to reduce damage. I'm very doubtful but who knows.

Requiring new flood-prone house owners to keep a dinghy would take a
lot of pressure off emergency services. Perhaps it need be nothing
more fancy than a sheet material covered foldable.

another option is to require all building materials below the expected
floodline to be floodproof. Eg tiled walls rather than plasterboard,
ditto floors. Perhaps there would then emerge a market for kitchen
units with bottoms & sides made of fully waterproof board.

A British Standard for floodproof goods would be a real motivator. Any
goods sold with this on, the buyer would know would survive a flood.
This could very much stimulate the flood-proof goods market. The BS
could cover more than one possible way to achieve floodproofness.

Grant PP for multistorey structures, maybe 3 and 4 floors, with large
garden areas. If a building has say 4 floors, the land around it can
be divided into 4 areas, so each householder has their own garden.
This way the flats are a bit more house-like, and more people might be
tempted to buy into medium rise flats.


NT

Broadback

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Jul 23, 2007, 11:12:05 AM7/23/07
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That is all very well as the water is being sent into the sea, this is
not practical inland, so others get flooded instead.

John

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Jul 23, 2007, 11:26:41 AM7/23/07
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Ensure rivers are kept free from debris and fallen trees - they ultimately
block bridge arches.

Dredge key parts of rivers to improve their capacity - so speeding the water
on its way to the sea.

Ensure all bridge arches are free of silt so that all arches can accommodate
a rush of water.


--
>
>
>--
> John
>


Roland Perry

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Jul 23, 2007, 11:29:34 AM7/23/07
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In message <1185203282.0...@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>, at
08:08:02 on Mon, 23 Jul 2007, meow...@care2.com remarked:

>I dont know whether it could be made possible to use a floating floor
>to reduce damage.

Lots of people on TV seem to have floating floors; and pretty damaged
ones as far as I could tell...
--
Roland Perry

Brian L Johnson

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Jul 23, 2007, 11:42:37 AM7/23/07
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John wrote:

> Dredge key parts of rivers to improve their capacity - so speeding the
> water on its way to the sea.

The EA doesn't really like dredging. They feel that it's costly and the
rivers just start silting up again.

--
-blj-

d...@gglz.com

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Jul 23, 2007, 1:27:05 PM7/23/07
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Flood plain houses should have hulls not foundations!

Equip them with sea toilets.

Fit bilge pumps.

More seriously, piles/piers/stilts/jacks etc. seem to have little
tradition in the UK - but with lightweight construction - why not.

Where there is a risk of deep, fast moving water, piled or floating/
buoyant construction may be unsafe - though the choice to evacuate
with improved chances of your home surviving unscathed/less-scathed
may be welcome.

Many houses could be built with exterior metal staircases leading to
the front door on an upper level (main living area), and an internal
staircase to the lower level (bedrooms). Combined with whole-house
ventilation (and/or porthole type windows), and there may be no need
for there to be any route for water penetration on the ground floor
(there may be a need to provide a secondary ground floor escape
route).

Levees/dykes are a practical solution for existing housing.
Particularly when housing in an area is uninsurable.Ultimately that
may need to be mandated and paid for through local taxation (or
possibly national).

That is how the Victorian draining of the fens happened. The
government made a special legal provision for the drainage companies
to be formed and to raise local taxes to pay for it. Odd arrangement
to allow unelected private bodies to raise taxes - I think they must
have been regarded with great suspicion at the time.

Even now, the drainage companies still charge local farmers for
drainage (but no longer domestic properties) and have the power to
make local bye-laws (particularly regarding any sort of construction -
they also have the power of planning permission veto on extending
houses near drainage dykes). Nevertheless without them (and slave
labour from Napoleonic prisoners of war), the drainage wouldn't have
happened.

(As an aside, I used to live in a fenland ex-pumping station
engineer's cottage - built in 1950. I had to negotiate with the local
drainage company "The Middle Level Commissioners" to split costs on
repairing the driveway shared by the pumping station and my house.
Negotiations were direct with the MD of board - and he recalled voting
to spend the money on building the cottage back in 1950, when he first
joined the board of directors! Nice to have a bit of continuity).

dennis@home

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Jul 23, 2007, 1:40:44 PM7/23/07
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"Cicero" <shel...@hellfire.co.uk> wrote in message
news:pan.2007.07.23....@hellfire.co.uk...

> I suppose the government could order every householder to install a 'sump'
> in the garden with a minimum capacity of (say) 1000 gallons. The technical
> details of routing rain water into the sumps could provide some of our
> Town Hall staff with a useful challenge.
>
> A small street of 50 houses would take 50,000 gallons off the street
> drains.

Insignificant.


dennis@home

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Jul 23, 2007, 1:43:47 PM7/23/07
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"Arthur 51" <tall...@googlemail.com> wrote in message
news:1185203052.9...@n60g2000hse.googlegroups.com...

> Simple :)
> Every house should have a massive pump installed behind a chimney
> breast.
> Then during times of flooding, a 4" diameter hose could clipped onto a
> port at the side
> of the chimney breast and water could pumped up thru the chimney and
> spurted toward the nearest ocean. n.b. People living in Birmingham
> would need
> a very big pump.

Given how high above sea level Brum is I don't think we need to worry about
getting it to the sea.
The rest of the country has already gone so we can just pump it anywhere we
like.


Roger

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Jul 23, 2007, 1:45:25 PM7/23/07
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The message <op.tvxcoh1y0v1caa@thedell>
from "Brian L Johnson" <no.e...@address.invalid> contains these words:

They are silting up anyway in the relatively slow moving sections in the
valley bottoms that have flood plains. The natural course of events is
for the rivers to constantly change their course gradually building up
the level of the valley floor with deposited silt. Once there are houses
on the flood plain dredging would be the only way to maintain historic
water levels at equal flows.

There are some things that can be done to shift the flood risk up or
down stream. Upstream of towns by introducing choke points to increase
flooding on the relatively inexpensive farm land and downstream by
relieving the natural choke points as suggested by John above.

--
Roger Chapman

The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 23, 2007, 1:57:45 PM7/23/07
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That is interesting also. A way to store an utilize rwainwater..coopled
with a wind pump to use for e.g. toilet flushing...split plumbing eh?

magwitch

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Jul 23, 2007, 2:00:29 PM7/23/07
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d...@gglz.com wrote:


> Levees/dykes are a practical solution for existing housing.
> Particularly when housing in an area is uninsurable.Ultimately that
> may need to be mandated and paid for through local taxation (or
> possibly national).
>

> Even now, the drainage companies still charge local farmers for
> drainage (but no longer domestic properties) and have the power to
> make local bye-laws (particularly regarding any sort of construction -
> they also have the power of planning permission veto on extending
> houses near drainage dykes). Nevertheless without them (and slave
> labour from Napoleonic prisoners of war), the drainage wouldn't have
> happened.
>

Perhaps they could PAY farmers to allow their fields to flood (or at
least compensate them for any crop damage) in an emergency, thus saving
towns or settlements further on.

I'm thinking of a sort of terraced or engineered water meadow system
taking the pressure off rivers so the water can go sideways and be
contained then gradually drained off when the emergency's over.

That and making all housing estate hard surfaces out of semi-permeable
materials.

The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 23, 2007, 1:59:41 PM7/23/07
to
Good creative thinking here. Like it.

The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 23, 2007, 2:09:28 PM7/23/07
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No, it isn't. The fens are a system of interlinked 'fens' surrounded by
'dykes' (essentially ditches on top of earth banks)into which water is
either pumped (when the rivers are low, or from which water is allowed
into the fens to flood them, when water is high..thus only maintaining
the downstream parts of he land to a suite of flow rates that the actual
rivers can accommodate. Nearly all the land is actually BELOW river
levels, and MUCH of it is below seal levels too.

It is a system whereby houses are protected at the expense of flooding
the fens, if necessary. These act as short term reservoirs to absorb
peak flow, from whence the water is then pumped out in drier spells.

It's a sacrificial system: low grade grazing land - water meadows - are
the first to be allowed to flood, then arable land, and housing areas NEVER.

It works too.

The whole area is actually being pumped pretty much all the time. ASnd
is maintained by an authority whose job it is to physically open sluices
and flood areas if more important araes are threatened.

As I said, my old house there was around 8 feet below river level. And
IIRC about 18" below means sea level. In bad rain times many of teh
areas between the dykes were (deliberately) flooded, but never 'our fen'
as that had housding on it.

magwitch

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Jul 23, 2007, 2:14:19 PM7/23/07
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So's clearing a storm drain, but someone's got to do it. They proposed
chopping 60 million off the budget over the next 5 years and this lot
will end up costing at least 3 and a half billion. Typical.

Apparently the displaced, more southerly jet stream is going to stay
exactly where it is 'for the next few months' according to the Met
Office. Lovely autumn and possibly winter too coming up (not).

The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 23, 2007, 2:15:39 PM7/23/07
to
d...@gglz.com wrote:
> Flood plain houses should have hulls not foundations!
>
> Equip them with sea toilets.
>
> Fit bilge pumps.
>
> More seriously, piles/piers/stilts/jacks etc. seem to have little
> tradition in the UK - but with lightweight construction - why not.
>

One issue is more floor insulation is needed as the floor is now not in
contact with a nice insulating blanket of mud. Andf a bvlock=and beam
floor is needed. However I have one of those anyway, and the BCO
insisted on underfloor vents for it - no idea why - so it is flipping
lossy even WITH insulation.


> Where there is a risk of deep, fast moving water, piled or floating/
> buoyant construction may be unsafe - though the choice to evacuate
> with improved chances of your home surviving unscathed/less-scathed
> may be welcome.
>
> Many houses could be built with exterior metal staircases leading to
> the front door on an upper level (main living area), and an internal
> staircase to the lower level (bedrooms).

Nope. Agianst wheelchair regs.

> Combined with whole-house
> ventilation (and/or porthole type windows), and there may be no need
> for there to be any route for water penetration on the ground floor
> (there may be a need to provide a secondary ground floor escape
> route).
>

"We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine ..." ;-)

> Levees/dykes are a practical solution for existing housing.
> Particularly when housing in an area is uninsurable.Ultimately that
> may need to be mandated and paid for through local taxation (or
> possibly national).
>
> That is how the Victorian draining of the fens happened. The
> government made a special legal provision for the drainage companies
> to be formed and to raise local taxes to pay for it. Odd arrangement
> to allow unelected private bodies to raise taxes - I think they must
> have been regarded with great suspicion at the time.
>
> Even now, the drainage companies still charge local farmers for
> drainage (but no longer domestic properties) and have the power to
> make local bye-laws (particularly regarding any sort of construction -
> they also have the power of planning permission veto on extending
> houses near drainage dykes). Nevertheless without them (and slave
> labour from Napoleonic prisoners of war), the drainage wouldn't have
> happened.
>
> (As an aside, I used to live in a fenland ex-pumping station
> engineer's cottage - built in 1950. I had to negotiate with the local
> drainage company "The Middle Level Commissioners" to split costs on
> repairing the driveway shared by the pumping station and my house.
> Negotiations were direct with the MD of board - and he recalled voting
> to spend the money on building the cottage back in 1950, when he first
> joined the board of directors! Nice to have a bit of continuity).
>

Yup. The fens is probably the best and most managed water/land system in
the UK, and probably apart from Holland, in the world.

Weed cutting boats, dredgers, pumps, sluice gates all in working order
and under someones control, RF type water level meters, pumping stations
- the lot really.


The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 23, 2007, 2:10:02 PM7/23/07
to
Well sell the excellent gravel and sand to fund it.

The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 23, 2007, 2:20:50 PM7/23/07
to
magwitch wrote:
> d...@gglz.com wrote:
>
>
>> Levees/dykes are a practical solution for existing housing.
>> Particularly when housing in an area is uninsurable.Ultimately that
>> may need to be mandated and paid for through local taxation (or
>> possibly national).
>>
>> Even now, the drainage companies still charge local farmers for
>> drainage (but no longer domestic properties) and have the power to
>> make local bye-laws (particularly regarding any sort of construction -
>> they also have the power of planning permission veto on extending
>> houses near drainage dykes). Nevertheless without them (and slave
>> labour from Napoleonic prisoners of war), the drainage wouldn't have
>> happened.
>>
> Perhaps they could PAY farmers to allow their fields to flood (or at
> least compensate them for any crop damage) in an emergency, thus saving
> towns or settlements further on.

Well a 5 hectare field is probably worth about £10k in terms of crop
value, and flooded to a depth of a meter, can take water from an area
that is 100 times its size for a massive rainfall of 4" (10cm)

Compare THAT level of compensation with a 5 hectare suburban housing
estate flooded to the same depth..£20M?


>
> I'm thinking of a sort of terraced or engineered water meadow system
> taking the pressure off rivers so the water can go sideways and be
> contained then gradually drained off when the emergency's over.
>
> That and making all housing estate hard surfaces out of semi-permeable
> materials.


The problem would seem to ultimately resolve itself into one of 'where
can we put the water and do the least damage, until the rivers can cope
with it'

The worst of all possible places is a town center..

cynic

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Jul 23, 2007, 2:40:58 PM7/23/07
to

The EA seem to be obsessed with "nature" topics and are bloody useless
at doing what they should be doing such as keeping flod banks
maintained, rivers dredged, costal groynes maintained and at least
keeping us at the defence standards the Victorians enjoyed.
There are too many suits and too few indians nowadays.
In my locality we used to have the Yorkshire Ouse River authority and
a few drainage boards mostly composed of farmers who "knew" the land
and its needs. Achieved much using manpower very simply and cheaply
instead of the current highly educated but largely innefective, highly
paid battery of staff with a plethora of expensive machinery.

The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 23, 2007, 3:18:16 PM7/23/07
to

Hear bloody hear.

"Initiatives" "Consultations" "Workshops" "Official Inquiries" "Bollocks!".

Just pay some people to go round and DO something.

We came upon a couple of chaps who were fiddling about with a ditch...
'what you up to?'

'Oh? we are making sure the road gullies to this ditch are clear'

'Oh, well when I walk up here in winter in me wellies, I usually kick
them myself to clear the crap out and drain this bit of road'

But of course we have a tory council, so money is spent on public
services, not on public servants.

No, we don't have gay lesbian shelters, or rape crisis centers, or park
and ride schemes, or bendy busses that are simply mobile traffic
blockaders, or traffic congestion caused by traffic calming chicanes, we
just have, for the most part, postmen that deliver the post, refuse
people who empty the bins, and occasionally even when we haven't put
them out, walk up the drive and collect em..roads that are not great,
but are passable, not too many road signs, almost no speed cameras..
farmers who go out and cut their hedges and clear dangerous trees
without involving the council at all, and dredge their ditches because
its their bloody land and they know exactly how to keep it at just the
right moisture level for their crops, and so on and so forth.


Owain

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Jul 23, 2007, 1:35:35 PM7/23/07
to
Arthur 51 wrote:
> Simple :)
> Every house should have a massive pump installed behind a chimney
> breast.
> Then during times of flooding, a 4" diameter hose could clipped onto a
> port at the side
> of the chimney breast and water could pumped up thru the chimney and
> spurted toward the nearest ocean. n.b. People living in Birmingham
> would need a very big pump.

People in Birmingham could back-feed their excess water through the
water mains to Wales.

Owain

Owain

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Jul 23, 2007, 1:38:42 PM7/23/07
to
meow...@care2.com wrote:
> Sacrificing the car isn't
> ideal, but would be a big improvement on today's flood damage costs.

Why can't cars be waterproof? The engine compartment should be hoseable
anyway.

> another option is to require all building materials below the expected
> floodline to be floodproof. Eg tiled walls rather than plasterboard,
> ditto floors. Perhaps there would then emerge a market for kitchen
> units with bottoms & sides made of fully waterproof board.

Such as recycled plastic ;-?

Owain

Derek Geldard

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Jul 23, 2007, 5:06:39 PM7/23/07
to

OK : Give us a figure that would be significant.

DG

Arthur2

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Jul 23, 2007, 5:13:47 PM7/23/07
to

"The Natural Philosopher" <a@b.c> wrote in message
news:118518964...@proxy01.news.clara.net...

>I thought it might be interesting to discuss this..
>
> Issues as I see it revolve around preventing water ingress to parts of
> buildings 'below high water mark' potential damage to foundations, and
> ability of basic services, particularly sewage, to function in these
> conditions.
>
>
> One solution that has occurred to me in the past, is to surround
> residential areas with levees. Roads and so on are built on these - like
> in the fens..some areas are set aside as 'allowable flooding areas' and
> buildings are within pumpable zones.
>
> Another option is to simply build on piles, in order to allow flood water
> to gaily rush by underneath ('Hello Sailor!') and limit damage to simply
> the garden.
>
> It is not possible AFAICT to not 'allow' flooding: the water has to be
> stored somewhere, or else downstream rises will be massive. Your flood
> protection is someone else's overtopped levee.
>
> Utilities like power and water supply should be proof against what? a 5
> meter flood?
>
> Likewise any sewage works should also be high enough, and run from sewage
> pumps to prevent overtopping. Sewage systems should be sealed as far as
> possible to prevent sewage and flood waters mixing.
>
> I am not clears really as to how much issues like blocked storm drains etc
> actually impact on generalised flooding. However a motorway blocked due to
> bad drainage is a disgrace.
>
> What do you think?
>

99% of people are within a short distance of a telephone pole or even street
lighting.
Preparation for this type of disaster should include strengthening these
poles to carry a communal
electric supply line. And in times of flooding people could connect to an
outlet to provide electricity
to where they live. Then people could stay in their homes on their upper
floors where at least 90% have bathrooms.
This would simplify the logistical nightmare of the flooded neighbourhood
recovery processes.

Arthur

Arthur2

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Jul 23, 2007, 5:16:37 PM7/23/07
to

"Arthur2" <pan...@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:fdGdneNNnPKMhzjb...@bt.com...
I forgot feeding arrangements.
So the emergency services couldn't provide meals on wheels. It would have
to be Chips on Ships :)))


Arthur

Owain

unread,
Jul 23, 2007, 5:45:49 PM7/23/07
to
Arthur2 wrote:
> I forgot feeding arrangements.
> So the emergency services couldn't provide meals on wheels. It would have
> to be Chips on Ships :)))

Many local councils no longer provide Meals on Wheels anymore anyway -
it's weekly deliveries of frozen microwaveable meals, and many schools
have lost their kitchens too, so there is no infrastructure for
preparing and cooking fresh food.

Owain

Brian L Johnson

unread,
Jul 23, 2007, 6:05:54 PM7/23/07
to
The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I don't know about the value of the gravel, but the silt is extremely
valuable. If the EA is encouraging the sale of land to the Nat Trust
because the land is no longer suitable for arable purposes, that's because
the rains have washed the (extremely fertile) surface topsoil into the
rivers where it eventually finds its way into the Wash.

As you said in 'Another Thread', with the fens now all being below
sea-level, there's an ideal opportunity to build the surface up again with
landfill. Top it all off with dreged silt and sand to bring back the
fertility, and Robert's your father's brother.

--
-blj-

djc

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Jul 23, 2007, 6:30:48 PM7/23/07
to
d...@gglz.com wrote:
>
> That is how the Victorian draining of the fens happened. The
> government made a special legal provision for the drainage companies
> to be formed and to raise local taxes to pay for it. Odd arrangement
> to allow unelected private bodies to raise taxes - I think they must
> have been regarded with great suspicion at the time.

The normal way to do things before the mid-Victorian period: form a
corporation with a Royal charter. That kept the whole business out of
the hands of the Crown and thus its capacity for government by patronage
and sinecure. Might be a good thing to get back that aversion to public
expenditure.

--
djc

David Hansen

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Jul 24, 2007, 3:14:07 AM7/24/07
to
On Mon, 23 Jul 2007 08:08:02 -0700 someone who may be
meow...@care2.com wrote this:-

>Electric wiring all to be above the flood line.

Although I agree with much this is debatable. Electric cables work
fine under water and provided the fittings are above the water
level, or submersible ones are used, the electricity system can
continue as normal.

I doubt if many in towns would welcome overhead supply poles being
put into the streets.


--
David Hansen, Edinburgh
I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents me
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/00023--e.htm#54

nightjar

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Jul 24, 2007, 3:24:53 AM7/24/07
to

"Owain" <owain...@stirlingcity.coo.uk> wrote in message
news:11852217...@iris.uk.clara.net...

> meow...@care2.com wrote:
>> Sacrificing the car isn't
>> ideal, but would be a big improvement on today's flood damage costs.
>
> Why can't cars be waterproof?

A well-sealed car will float away. I've seen it happen with a car that was
trying to cross a flooded ford. Fortunately, the ford had a raised footpath
on the downstream side that stopped it going too far.

Colin Bignell


The Natural Philosopher

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 4:12:12 AM7/24/07
to
David Hansen wrote:
> On Mon, 23 Jul 2007 08:08:02 -0700 someone who may be
> meow...@care2.com wrote this:-
>
>> Electric wiring all to be above the flood line.
>
> Although I agree with much this is debatable. Electric cables work
> fine under water and provided the fittings are above the water
> level, or submersible ones are used, the electricity system can
> continue as normal.
>
> I doubt if many in towns would welcome overhead supply poles being
> put into the streets.
>
>

Indeed. Many supply cable are run below a permanent water table. Of
course replacing telephone cables with fibre would make them more resilient.

Jules

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 5:26:15 AM7/24/07
to
On Tue, 24 Jul 2007 08:14:07 +0100, David Hansen wrote:

> On Mon, 23 Jul 2007 08:08:02 -0700 someone who may be
> meow...@care2.com wrote this:-
>
>>Electric wiring all to be above the flood line.
>
> Although I agree with much this is debatable. Electric cables work
> fine under water and provided the fittings are above the water
> level, or submersible ones are used, the electricity system can
> continue as normal.

Hmm, maybe there's a danger that moisture will get into the
fittings by some sort of wick effect up the outside of the cables?

> I doubt if many in towns would welcome overhead supply poles being put
> into the streets.

You know, I'm picky about street furniture and stuff, but I hardly ever
notice the power poles when I'm in the US. They typically seem to be
wooden and a lot higher than UK equivalents, so aren't as noticable (plus
the roadsides are generally tree-lined, but there's not always the space
for that in the UK!)

The lines running from poles to individual houses aren't as nice on the
eye, though.

Thinking about it, some of the power in the village here in the UK is
above-ground too and not really noticable - no different from overhead
phone lines, after all.

I suppose the sensible thing to do would be to combine streetlamps,
telegraph poles, and power poles into one wherever possible, so that
there's less clutter at ground level.

cheers

Jules

The Natural Philosopher

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 5:33:15 AM7/24/07
to
Wait till you fly model planes Jules.

You will notice those poles.

BTW the reason why the overhead supplies and phone lines are
diminishing, is because they are LESS reliable than undergrounded
ones..Yeah, even in ducts full of water.

Its easier to waterproof a joint that ISN'T flapping in the breeze as
well, and there aren't many tipper lorries and tree branches falling a
meter below soil level.

Biggest danger is diggers and heavy traffic..


Arthur 51

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 5:48:41 AM7/24/07
to

Great!

Arthur

David Hansen

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 5:59:05 AM7/24/07
to
On Tue, 24 Jul 2007 10:26:15 +0100 someone who may be Jules
<julesric...@remove.this.yahoo.co.uk> wrote this:-

>> Although I agree with much this is debatable. Electric cables work
>> fine under water and provided the fittings are above the water
>> level, or submersible ones are used, the electricity system can
>> continue as normal.
>
>Hmm, maybe there's a danger that moisture will get into the
>fittings by some sort of wick effect up the outside of the cables?

In general water climbs less than a millimetre were it encounters
cables and then stops, just like it climbs when it meets other
things such as the walls of test tubes (where the effect can be seen
easily). If it climbs more then this is because there are two
closely spaced things to allow wicking, such as an inner and outer
sheath of a cable. If that happens then the cable is damaged.

Of course if that does happen then the little bit of moisture would
just run out of the bottom of many standard fittings.

David Hansen

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 6:17:24 AM7/24/07
to
On Mon, 23 Jul 2007 22:45:49 +0100 someone who may be Owain
<owain...@stirlingcity.coo.uk> wrote this:-

>many schools
>have lost their kitchens too, so there is no infrastructure for
>preparing and cooking fresh food.

Did the Westminster government not announce that they were going to
reverse this a year or two ago?

Tim Ward

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 6:29:10 AM7/24/07
to
"David Hansen" <SENDdavi...@spidacom.co.uk> wrote in message
news:nbkba39n25tot1td7...@4ax.com...

>
> Did the Westminster government not announce that they were going to
> reverse this a year or two ago?

They can announce anything they like, but, unless they actually put money
where their mouth, is nothing will happen on the ground.

--
Tim Ward - posting as an individual unless otherwise clear
Brett Ward Limited - www.brettward.co.uk
Cambridge Accommodation Notice Board - www.brettward.co.uk/canb
Cambridge City Councillor


The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 24, 2007, 6:37:54 AM7/24/07
to
Tim Ward wrote:
> "David Hansen" <SENDdavi...@spidacom.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:nbkba39n25tot1td7...@4ax.com...
>> Did the Westminster government not announce that they were going to
>> reverse this a year or two ago?
>
> They can announce anything they like, but, unless they actually put money
> where their mouth, is nothing will happen on the ground.
>
And even if they do, it will all get spent on consultation documents,
deciding how to spend it.

Roland Perry

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 6:42:05 AM7/24/07
to
In message <118522769...@proxy02.news.clara.net>, at 22:45:49 on
Mon, 23 Jul 2007, Owain <owain...@stirlingcity.coo.uk> remarked:

>Many local councils no longer provide Meals on Wheels anymore anyway -
>it's weekly deliveries of frozen microwaveable meals, and many schools
>have lost their kitchens too, so there is no infrastructure for
>preparing and cooking fresh food.

iirc my local hospital in Nottingham (one of the biggest in the country)
buys all its meals in, ready-prepared from Essex - a three hour drive
away! Maybe the carbon footprint of one or two lorries up the M1 isn't
too bad compared to replacing all the individual lorries delivering
ingredients to the hospital, but it does make me wonder how resilient it
is in very bad weather.
--
Roland Perry

David Hansen

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Jul 24, 2007, 7:26:59 AM7/24/07
to
On Tue, 24 Jul 2007 11:42:05 +0100 someone who may be Roland Perry
<rol...@perry.co.uk> wrote this:-

>iirc my local hospital in Nottingham (one of the biggest in the country)
>buys all its meals in, ready-prepared from Essex - a three hour drive
>away! Maybe the carbon footprint of one or two lorries up the M1 isn't
>too bad compared to replacing all the individual lorries delivering
>ingredients to the hospital, but it does make me wonder how resilient it
>is in very bad weather.

The brave new PFI hospital in Edinburgh got its meals from ISTR
Cardiff to begin with, though I think they have changed this now. Of
course the ingredients didn't get to Cardiff by magic, so there was
a carbon footprint in doing that before the meals could be made up.
Local is nearly always best.

Roland Perry

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 7:34:22 AM7/24/07
to
In message <05oba39tgu5oiab76...@4ax.com>, at 12:26:59 on
Tue, 24 Jul 2007, David Hansen <SENDdavi...@spidacom.co.uk>
remarked:

>>iirc my local hospital in Nottingham (one of the biggest in the country)
>>buys all its meals in, ready-prepared from Essex - a three hour drive
>>away! Maybe the carbon footprint of one or two lorries up the M1 isn't
>>too bad compared to replacing all the individual lorries delivering
>>ingredients to the hospital, but it does make me wonder how resilient it
>>is in very bad weather.
>
>The brave new PFI hospital in Edinburgh got its meals from ISTR
>Cardiff to begin with, though I think they have changed this now. Of
>course the ingredients didn't get to Cardiff by magic, so there was
>a carbon footprint in doing that before the meals could be made up.

But if one kitchen is making meals for more than one "customer", there's
an economy of scale in the delivery of ingredients.

>Local is nearly always best.

Probably just as much local stuff in Cardiff/Essex as
Edinburgh/Nottingham. And I reckon arranging deliveries of specifically
local stuff doesn't always reduce the amount of transport, if you need
one van from each farm, rather than consolidating it more centrally.
--
Roland Perry

Mark Ayliffe

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Jul 24, 2007, 7:42:08 AM7/24/07
to
On or about 2007-07-23,
The Natural Philosopher <a@b.c> illuminated us with:

> magwitch wrote:
>> d...@gglz.com wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Levees/dykes are a practical solution for existing housing.
>>> Particularly when housing in an area is uninsurable.Ultimately that
>>> may need to be mandated and paid for through local taxation (or
>>> possibly national).
>>>
>>> Even now, the drainage companies still charge local farmers for
>>> drainage (but no longer domestic properties) and have the power to
>>> make local bye-laws (particularly regarding any sort of construction -
>>> they also have the power of planning permission veto on extending
>>> houses near drainage dykes). Nevertheless without them (and slave
>>> labour from Napoleonic prisoners of war), the drainage wouldn't have
>>> happened.
>>>
>> Perhaps they could PAY farmers to allow their fields to flood (or at
>> least compensate them for any crop damage) in an emergency, thus saving
>> towns or settlements further on.
>
> Well a 5 hectare field is probably worth about £10k in terms of crop
> value, and flooded to a depth of a meter, can take water from an area
> that is 100 times its size for a massive rainfall of 4" (10cm)

Your figures still work more or less, but would you care to take
another run at the sums there (hint how many times does 100mm go into
1 metre?)

--
Mark
Real email address | A human being is the best computer available to place in a
is mark at | spacecraft. It is also the only one that can be mass produced
ayliffe dot org | with unskilled labor. - Werner Von Braun

Jules

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Jul 24, 2007, 8:00:07 AM7/24/07
to
On Tue, 24 Jul 2007 10:33:15 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
> Wait till you fly model planes Jules.
> You will notice those poles.

I don't see many model planes flying down high streets though :)

Getting a model plane would be fun. Building my own would be more fun.
Crashing it would be less fun ;)

> BTW the reason why the overhead supplies and phone lines are
> diminishing, is because they are LESS reliable than undergrounded
> ones..Yeah, even in ducts full of water.

Hmm, true.

I suppose we'll all just have power beamed straight into our homes soon
anyway ;)


Simon Morris

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Jul 24, 2007, 8:15:34 AM7/24/07
to
Roland Perry wrote on 24/07/2007 12:34

> In message <05oba39tgu5oiab76...@4ax.com>, at 12:26:59 on
> Tue, 24 Jul 2007, David Hansen <SENDdavi...@spidacom.co.uk> remarked:
>
>> Local is nearly always best.
>
> Probably just as much local stuff in Cardiff/Essex as
> Edinburgh/Nottingham. And I reckon arranging deliveries of specifically
> local stuff doesn't always reduce the amount of transport, if you need
> one van from each farm, rather than consolidating it more centrally.

And it's not just consolidation among different goods, because (I'm
guessing a little here) it's much more carbon efficient to transport a
punnet of strawberries in a lorry with tens of thousands of other
punnets than in a van with hundreds of other punnets. (Does anyone have
data?). If so, nasty faceless corporations transporting strawberries
from a field 5 miles away from my house, 50 miles to central
distribution, then 50 miles back to my nearest supermarket, could be
much more carbon efficient than having my friendly local farmer drive
them from his field to a farmer's market.

S.

The Natural Philosopher

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 8:26:17 AM7/24/07
to


Lods of lovely Welsh Lamb, and leeks, onions...and potatoes..MM leek and
potato soup, welsh lamp and carrots..not to mention the fish..

The Natural Philosopher

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 8:27:12 AM7/24/07
to
Blame it on the weather..;-)

David Hansen

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Jul 24, 2007, 9:08:38 AM7/24/07
to
On Tue, 24 Jul 2007 12:34:22 +0100 someone who may be Roland Perry
<rol...@perry.co.uk> wrote this:-

>>The brave new PFI hospital in Edinburgh got its meals from ISTR


>>Cardiff to begin with, though I think they have changed this now. Of
>>course the ingredients didn't get to Cardiff by magic, so there was
>>a carbon footprint in doing that before the meals could be made up.
>
>But if one kitchen is making meals for more than one "customer", there's
>an economy of scale in the delivery of ingredients.

Only if it is the difference between say a half full lorry and a
full one. Even the economy isn't much.

>And I reckon arranging deliveries of specifically
>local stuff doesn't always reduce the amount of transport, if you need
>one van from each farm, rather than consolidating it more centrally.

You are assuming that all deliveries are equal, with a big lorry
being the same as a van.

RobertL

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 9:16:16 AM7/24/07
to
On Jul 23, 7:09 pm, The Natural Philosopher <a...@b.c> wrote:
> Broadback wrote:
> > The Natural Philosopher wrote:
> >> Broadback wrote:
> >>> Many new properties built on flood planes are not liable to flooding
> >>> because of drainage installed. The problem is the water that used to
> >>> wait on the flood plain has to go elsewhere, so someone downstream,
> >>> perhaps in an old house that has never been flooded is. So the
> >>> answer is do not allow any building on flood plains at all.
>
> >> It's not often that I agree with the government, but in this case I
> >> think I do, in that it is impractical in this case to prohibit flood
> >> plain (note spelling) development.Most of occupied england is to a
> >> greater or lesser extent on a flood plain of some sort. Arguably about
> >> 70% of London is. As is about 90% of the Cambridge and Lincolnshire fens.
>
> >> The Fens have been subject to a well developed system of water control
> >> for generations. Maybe there are lessons to be learnt.
>
> > That is all very well as the water is being sent into the sea, this is
> > not practical inland, so others get flooded instead.
>
> No, it isn't. The fens are a system of interlinked 'fens' surrounded by
> 'dykes' (essentially ditches on top of earth banks)into which water is
> either pumped (when the rivers are low, or from which water is allowed
> into the fens to flood them, when water is high..thus only maintaining
> the downstream parts of he land to a suite of flow rates that the actual
> rivers can accommodate. Nearly all the land is actually BELOW river
> levels, and MUCH of it is below seal levels too.


is it not the case that when they first drained the fens those dykes
were below local ground level. the water drained into them and was
let out into the sea when the gates opened at low tide. then the
land slowly shrank (once drained) and became the system we have today
with the dykes and rivers typically above the surrounding land and
pumps being used everywhere.

Robert

magwitch

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Jul 24, 2007, 9:14:08 AM7/24/07
to
The Natural Philosopher wrote:

>>
>> Your figures still work more or less, but would you care to take
>> another run at the sums there (hint how many times does 100mm go into
>> 1 metre?)
>>
> Blame it on the weather..;-)
>

The thought occurs that with so many farmers packing it in (see: The Lie
of the Land, Channel 4) and their farmhouses and land being sold to
non-farming people — especially in the Gloucestershire — there's hardly
anyone left to manage the land, dredge ditches etc effectively.

I shouldn't imagine the likes of Liz Hurley or Kate Moss are much use to
the locality when push comes to shove.

The amount of work spent on land maintenance which our farmer
singlehandedly achieves throughout the year is awesome.

Roland Perry

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 9:57:21 AM7/24/07
to
In message <6auba3d0oiafb7oot...@4ax.com>, at 14:08:38 on
Tue, 24 Jul 2007, David Hansen <SENDdavi...@spidacom.co.uk>
remarked:

>>>The brave new PFI hospital in Edinburgh got its meals from ISTR


>>>Cardiff to begin with, though I think they have changed this now. Of
>>>course the ingredients didn't get to Cardiff by magic, so there was
>>>a carbon footprint in doing that before the meals could be made up.
>>
>>But if one kitchen is making meals for more than one "customer", there's
>>an economy of scale in the delivery of ingredients.
>
>Only if it is the difference between say a half full lorry and a
>full one. Even the economy isn't much.

Whether the vehicle is full or not, it's delivering from the farm to
just one kitchen, not several. That's the economy.

>>And I reckon arranging deliveries of specifically
>>local stuff doesn't always reduce the amount of transport, if you need
>>one van from each farm, rather than consolidating it more centrally.
>
>You are assuming that all deliveries are equal, with a big lorry
>being the same as a van.

No, I'm assuming that sending more than a van load to one kitchen in a
lorry is better than sending several separate van loads to many
kitchens.
--
Roland Perry

The Natural Philosopher

unread,
Jul 24, 2007, 10:13:38 AM7/24/07
to

The trouble is its a very dangerous assumption.

Traffic congestion, type of vehicle..how far it comes from its
depot..all these are issues.

If you want to limit use of fuel, raise the price of fuel. No
exceptions. The *market itself* will then work all these micro issues
out and deliver the 'least fuel option' to your doorstep as the cheapest
option.

Worried about flooding? put 3p a liter on ALL fuel - no exceptions - and
use the tax take to fund *proper* water management and infrastructure
development.

That's a bit too joined up though. And we know it would simply go to a
load of parasitic 'consultants' and 'politicians' who would rush around
in fast cars attending 'vital meetings'..

You CANNOT top down manage the micro economy: And legislation rather
than taxation is a hugely costly and inefficient way to do it.

Simply slope the playing field, and the balls will run down the end y