The dredging operations are currently underway along the River Parrett, with the main goal to provide extra protection against flooding in Somerset.
This flood protection work along 3 km of the River Parrett started at the end of November, with two contracts for dredging being funded by Somerset Rivers Authority.
One contract – awarded by the Parrett Internal Drainage Board, acting on behalf of the Somerset Rivers Authority, to WM Longreach– is for 2.2 km of maintenance dredging upstream of Northmoor pumping station, and the other – due to be awarded imminently by the Environment Agency – is for 750 m of new dredging downstream of Northmoor pumping station.
The work follows the 8 km dredge of the Parrett and Tone in 2014 that was identified as producing the biggest reduction in flood risk on the Somerset Levels & Moors.
The two new contracts are designed to produce even greater benefits, particularly when combined with a wide range of other improvements, such as the Environment Agency’s £2.5 million investment in temporary pumps and pumping facilities.