A six-week public consultation on how to best manage future flood risk in areas of Boston will begin on August 17.
The Black Sluice catchment is the area around the South Forty Foot Drain where water flows into the River Haven and includes the Black Sluice Pumping Station. It is predominantly prime agricultural land.
The Environment Agency’s priority is to protect people and their homes, but flood risk to farming and national food security is also an important consideration.
The consultation seeks views on a number of options to reduce flood risk for the catchment as a whole, as well as options for the future of the pumping station.
The pumping station was built in 1946 and all five of its pumps are at the end of their working life.
Options specifically for the future of the pumping station include replacing the pumps, removing them, or transferring them to the local internal drainage board.
Deborah Campbell, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: “The pumping station was never built to reduce flood risk to people’s homes, but rather to drain water from surrounding land. We want to reassure people that from our initial surveys, no homes would be at an increased risk if the pumps were decommissioned.
“While the Black Sluice pumping station does reduce flood risk to areas of agricultural land, this isn’t enough for Government to fund all the work, based on the Government funding formula we have to use. Our investigations have shown us that all the other drainage and flood risk structures in the catchment provide far more protection to this nationally important area for food production.
“This is why we are considering a range of options throughout the catchment, and we will continue our ongoing work and maintenance in the area to reduce the risk of flooding.”
A series of information events have been scheduled where people can learn more about the options:
l Monday, August 17, 10am-3pm, Black Sluice Internal Drainage Board office on Station Road, Swineshead.
l Tuesday, September 1, 10am-3pm, Black Sluice Internal Drainage Board office
l Monday, September 14, 10am-3pm, Black Sluice Internal Drainage Board office
○ Tuesday, September 22, 1pm-8pm, Bicker Village Hall
The consultation can be accessed online https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/portal from August 17. You can also send your comments to BlackSluiceCatchment@environment-agency.gov.uk.