53% of road drains found to be blocked in York Council survey

£5 million cost to upgrade whole system

Considerable concern was expressed in 2015 when it was discovered that large areas of highway were flooding during wet weather. Many residents complained that the reduced  gulley cleaning service – introduced by the last Labour led Council – was inadequate. The City has over 42,000 gulleys.

In 2016 and 2017 there were major surface water problems in several parts of York.

The led the new Councillor – Andrew Waller – responsible for surface water drainage systems to institute a review of standards.

The initial findings of the comprehensive survey into the effectiveness of drainage systems will now be presented to a meeting next week

The report says,

“To date more than 35,000 of the 43,690 known gullies have been logged, investigated and cleansed as part of the capital funded investigation process, a flood risk assessment process has been previously carried out to ensure key assets have been prioritised.

53% of all assets were found to be blocked but significant work has ensured the majority of the system investigated to date is operating effectively, however more than 900 assets will require wider engineering works to ensure they can operate effectively”.

With many gullies now cleared, the report goes on to say,

“Subsequent heavy rainfall events have given rise to reduced numbers of complaints and reports of localised flood incidences, this is a clear indication of the success of this process, however, significant rainfall such as experienced on the 23rd August this year can still overwhelm a well maintained and operable drainage system as their design capacity would be compromised”.

The findings of an investigation into surface water ponding on Acomb Green is included in the papers (see below)