STAFF at Severn Trent Water are shoring up their defences this weekend as Staffordshire looks set to be besieged by flash flooding and wet weather.
With strong possibilities of flooding across the region today and over the coming days, teams at the water company are ready and working round the clock to deal with the fallout from the coming deluge.
James Jesic, waste water manager for Severn Trent said there would be extra staff on the phones in the call centres and additional teams available out and about in the region to deal with any flooding issues that developed as well keeping an eye on high-risk areas.
“Unfortunately, in stormy weather, the drains and sewers often have significantly more water flowing through them,” said Mr Jesic. “When we get a lot of rain in one go, it has a hard time sinking into the ground; so it just runs off the surface and goes directly into drains and sewers.”
He advised customers who experienced flooding in their homes to check if it was rainwater or sewage from an overflowing sewer – possibly through a manhole cover in the garden or outside the property.
“If it’s just rainwater, the flooding should subside when it stops raining, although it can take up to four hours for water to drain away, so be patient,” he said. “Where sewage is escaping this is obviously a priority for us, so please call us on 0800 783 4444 and we’ll get a team out to help as quickly as possible.
“If you’re concerned about flooding from drains and gullies in the road, you should call the local council as they are responsible for road drainage, but again, we generally find that the flooding will go away when it stops raining.”
Mr Jesic said the volume of calls to Severn Trent could get extremely high during periods of heavy rainfall with customers waiting longer for a response, and advised, where possible, customers pursue other options.
“If the flooding is due to rainwater, there is no need to call unless it is still there some time after the rain has stopped.
Mr Jesic added: “We’d like to reassure our customers that we are working hard to prepare for the bad weather and we’ll do everything that we can do deal with flooding issues as quickly as possible.”