According to the Environment Agency’s latest update, high number of workers are currently engaged in the Parrett and Tone dredging scheme in order to complete the project on time.
The dredging scheme of an 8km section of the rivers Parrett and Tone, part of the agency’s 20 Year Flood Action Plan for the Somerset Levels and Moors, began back in late March and is scheduled for completion by the end of October.
Eight gangs are working on the River Parrett dredging project including an amphibious excavator working at the downstream extent of the dredge, and two floating teams. Also a land based excavator is placed on the Moorland access track at Coates Farm.
On the River Tone an amphibious excavator is working under Athelney Road Bridge with two land based excavators dredging the site.
So far approximately 113,000m³ of silt has been removed.
Over the next couple of weeks, as the project nears end, the Environment Agency will begin to reduce the number of large land based excavators that are working on the site. Also left to be done is the rock armor installation on the River Tone at Stanmoor where too much silt has been removed from the bank.
The Somerset Levels and Moors lie between the Quantock and Mendip hills in central Somerset. Much of the area has been historically drained for agricultural and residential purposes. In early 2014 the Somerset Levels and Moors experienced widespread flooding, particularly within the Parrett and Tone river catchments. It is the largest flood event ever known.
A 20 year flood action plan for a long-term sustainable future for the Somerset Levels and Moors was developed in March 2014. The plan is owned by Somerset’s councils, internal drainage boards and local leaders and was prepared in partnership with local and national organizations including the Environment Agency.
Press Release, October 7, 2014