A Boston drainage board could be set to take on the maintenance of the South Forty Foot if a pilot project to ‘de-main’ certain sections of main river across the UK goes ahead.
Black Sluice Internal Drainage Board, in Swineshead, is currently responsible for surface water drainage in the catchment area of the drain, with the Environment Agency carrying out river maintenance and operational activities.
However, following discussion between the two and other partners, the Association of Drainage Authorities (ADA) has announced that the green light has been given for the EA to pass its responsibilities for the water course to the IDB – along with several others nationwide – by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
The Black Sluice’s responsibility will follow the drain’s catchment, which comes under Defra’s Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire region.
ADA chief executive Innes Thomson said: “These pilots have been a long time coming and ADA warmly welcomes Defra’s decision to go ahead.
“Many people have worked hard to prepare the way and we all look forward to working together to make these pilots work for everyone.”
If successful, the pilots will lead to the permanent passing of these activities to the IDBs concerned.
Organisers say there must be a mutual agreement, a locally generated appetite, and benefit to do so in the areas where responsibility is passed down.
The EA’s director for Flood and Coastal Risk Management Strategy Catherine Wright said: “This is a great opportunity to understand community support for the local management of low flood risk watercourses.
“We will be working closely with ADA, IDBs and other interested groups to make the pilots a success.”