A fresh round of dredging on the River Parrett will begin next year, after the Board of the Somerset Rivers Authority agreed to target a stretch between Northmoor and the M5.
Following on from the dredging of 8km of the Parrett and Tone in 2014, the SRA has picked out 0.75km between Northmoor pumping station and the motorway bridge for a £2.14m scheme to protect people and property and reduce the severity, extent and duration of future flooding.
Hydraulic modelling suggests this new dredging will cut peak water levels in Northmoor by up to 80mm and shorten flooding by up to five days.
The Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium, on behalf of the SRA, is also about to award a contract for maintenance dredging of 2.5km of the River Parrett, upstream of Northmoor pumping station, where a new regime of regular monitoring shows that most silt has built up.
“I have been to inspect the site of the new dredging near Northmoor and I have seen that it is going to be quite a difficult job,” said John Osman, chairman of the Somerset Rivers Authority.
“Contractors will have to work almost entirely from a platform floating on the water, and that does cost more than working from the banks. But the main purpose of the Somerset Rivers Authority is to deliver higher than normal standards of flood protection, and that’s what we are doing here and across the county – extra work that makes a real difference to people’s lives.”
The SRA’s Board also agreed at their meeting on Wednesday, 21 October, to seek more cost-effective dredging methods.