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Drainage boards keep us flood free by pumping away 8,000 Olympic pools of water

Peter Bateson - chief executive of Witham Fourth Dainage Board, pictured at Hobhole Drain, Fishtoft, pumping station.

Peter Bateson - chief executive of Witham Fourth Dainage Board, pictured at Hobhole Drain, Fishtoft, pumping station.

Whilst many parts of the UK have been struggling with flooding following days of heavy rain, Boston seems to have remained fairly dry.

But if you think this has been down to pure good luck, then think again – it is down to an unseen 24-hour pumping operation by our drainage boards.

Over eight days at the end of November the Witham Fourth Drainage Board pumped 20 million cubic metres of water out of Boston’s soaked land and back out to sea – enough water to fill 8,000 full-sized Olympic swimming pools

Engineering manager Andy Carrott said: “We had over a month’s rainfall in a matter of days. On the back of October’s rainfall which was above average. It has been the wettest November on record.“

Chief executive Peter Bateson added: “It has been particularly bad – we seldom have to do morning, evening and nights.”

The drainage boards have faced an unprecedented season this year, as the period of wet weather followed the driest period in over 100 years.

Mr Carrott said this area was different to parts of the country which had flooded because it is so low-lying – meaning water has nowhere to go.

He added: “Nearly every drop of water that falls has to be pumped out to sea. The Fens are like a huge shallow bowl which would return to wetland habitat were it not for the dykes and drains we maintain all year.”

 

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