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May 2012

Hereford’s Unique Flood Prevention System Pays Dividends In Year One

Whilst other Midlands’ towns and cities such as Worcester, Evesham and Upton upon Severn have yet again been under water due to recent floods, Hereford has remained high and dry.

Opened earlier in 2012, the city’s new Flood Alleviation Scheme has proved itself to be an outright success. It’s the first of its kind in the UK and has already paid dividends in year one.

As soon as water flowing through Herefordshire’s Yazor Brook reaches a critical level, the £4 million scheme kicks in, diverting water which previously would have flooded the city, into the River Wye. Prior to the system being built, flooding in 2007 cost £3 million in property damage alone without.

What’s more, thanks to the new system, Hereford Council is now able to sell off land previously considered unusable because of its likely risk of flooding.

Commenting on the success, Jonathan Bretherton, CEO of Hereford Futures, the organisation behind the scheme, said:

“We’re delighted with the first live test. This is an innovative solution which took about four years to plan, design and build. It was completed on time and budget but we’ll continue to monitor and refine the way it operates now the theory has been proved in practice. Hereford was able to continue as normal whilst other places were once again experiencing the horrors of flood waters”.

The system operates automatically whenever the water levels rise. In addition to a new weir and nearly two kilometres of pipe the height of a tall man submerged underground, the system includes the UK’s first enclosed jump chamber.

This is a reinforced concrete tank hidden below ground and more than big enough to hold a double decker bus. The chamber is like a giant washing machine when in action designed churn water and dissipate the enormous energy levels it generates having crashed down the two kilometre pipe before spilling safely out onto the River Wye flood plain.


For further information, please call Sara Stewart at Mad As A March Hare on 01684 575207 or email

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