Flood defences failed when sensor became wet

First published in News Worcester News: Photograph of the Author by

A FAULTY sensor which failed because it got wet caused the 15 Kempsey homes to flood.

An independent report by Arup, commissioned by the Environment Agency, was released yesterday into the flooding in the early hours of Sunday, November 25.

The report blamed the automatic sensor that works the pumps which malfunctioned after it got submerged by flood water.

The £1.7 million flood defences had only been opened on August 28 which provoked anger from residents, particularly those in Church Street who thought the defences would protect them.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “The pumps are now working and will be manually operated this winter. We will ensure the faults are rectified as soon as possible so the pumping station operates automatically as it is designed to.”

Anthony Perry, West Midlands flood risk manager, said: “We are very sorry that the pumping station did not operate as intended in Kempsey especially as it had operated successfully twice this year. Our thoughts go out to the residents affected.

“We will continue to be in Kempsey to switch on the pumps at times of flood until the faults are fixed, and will work with the local community to regain their trust in this scheme.”

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin, who helped open the defences, said: “This needs to be fixed immediately so people in Kempsey can have confidence the flood defences will work as expected.”

She said she will also ask the Environment Agency to send out a flood alert to homeowners if their own internal monitoring sees an engineer called out.

She said: “Malvern Hills District Council has also made ex-gratia payments to help those affected.”

Malvern Hills councillor David Harrison said he wanted to read the report in detail before responding.

Comments (5)

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12:40pm Sat 15 Dec 12

logicalN says...

This is unbelievable . I can't imagine that the EA would accept it as a reason for a sewage pumping ststion failing

There is absolutely no need for control sensors to be in a position where they can be flooded , non-contact level detection has been available and proven for at least 25 years
This is unbelievable . I can't imagine that the EA would accept it as a reason for a sewage pumping ststion failing There is absolutely no need for control sensors to be in a position where they can be flooded , non-contact level detection has been available and proven for at least 25 years logicalN
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Sat 15 Dec 12

farmeralan1963 says...

Whoever placed the sensors in such a position to allow them to become submerged failed too. They should be sacked as well as foot the bill for the damage caused to the properties flooded.
Whoever placed the sensors in such a position to allow them to become submerged failed too. They should be sacked as well as foot the bill for the damage caused to the properties flooded. farmeralan1963
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Sat 15 Dec 12

Worcesterwench says...

Only in Worcester!!
Only in Worcester!! Worcesterwench
  • Score: 0

10:33pm Sat 15 Dec 12

Jabbadad says...

Yes what a terrible design, the clue for requirements must be in the description its a water pump.
Yes what a terrible design, the clue for requirements must be in the description its a water pump. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Sun 16 Dec 12

More Tea Vicar says...

It does seem odd. In fairness, any system that can fail will fail, and it does seem that the recent flooding has been handled well, at local and national level, in general.

I even wanted to mention how well the roads seem to have been gritted in this and recent winters.

It all shows that this country is not the ongoing car crash it sometimes looks like.

But it also makes this foul-up look all the more glaring. It does seem odd that a piece of equipment should fail so easily.
It does seem odd. In fairness, any system that can fail will fail, and it does seem that the recent flooding has been handled well, at local and national level, in general. I even wanted to mention how well the roads seem to have been gritted in this and recent winters. It all shows that this country is not the ongoing car crash it sometimes looks like. But it also makes this foul-up look all the more glaring. It does seem odd that a piece of equipment should fail so easily. More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

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