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Latest News from East Garston Flood & Pollution Forum

To see the latest Environment Agency about flooding in the Lambourn Valley, click here

11th January 2024

Martyn Wright writes:

Anyone out and about in the village will have seen for themselves that the evidence of high groundwater is clear to see along Front Street. It’s seeping out of gardens and houses, across the road and into the river. Where this has frozen over, it can be very tricky, and not easily remedied with salt, as it just washes away. Extra care is advised!

But it’s the impact of the groundwater on properties that is the more concerning. Several houses have pumps operating to remove the water that is finding its way in, and I’m afraid that situation is likely to remain for some time. The good news is that the groundwater levels are showing signs of plateauing or even dropping slightly. They got close to 2014 levels but I don’t think we beat the record (I’m pleased to say!). And before anyone else says it, Yes, I know it’s only the beginning of January, plenty of time yet! The main risk now, I think, is that the river is very high, with little room for any significant additional storm water if any came. As the Eastbury Flood Alleviation “lake” is so full and only just peaking, it will take a long time to run out so we can expect abnormally high river levels for some considerable time (no, I haven’t a clue, nor does anyone else I guess!)

Update on Sandbags: The pile we put on Station Road are still there to be used if needed, and Jonathan Rabbitts has kindly filled another batch ready if needed. If you feel under threat and need some, please contact Jonathan directly, or let me know.

Now to sewage. Again, some of you will be only too aware that the situation has deteriorated. The sewer is backed up again, so a number (far more than have been reported!) of toilets are unusable, and we now have sewage spilling out of at least one manhole in Front Street near the War Memorial bridge.

We had hoped that the Atac filter unit could be adjusted to increase the flow, however, I met the TW team who are trying to find a solution, and was told that it is already at full capacity. The only short term solution is tankers. And there are very few available! They have promised to try and find some to help alleviate the problem. As you can guess, I am attempting to escalate the issue, but we are facing some stiff competition for very limited resources. Their incompetence is our problem.

Clive Hooker, our Ward Councillor, has been diligently in regular contact to ask how we are getting on, and has offered to help as much as he can. This evening he has just asked me if portaloos would be of any help if any could be found. I said I would put that in this up-date, so if anyone does, just let me know. Having said that of course, they too are in desperately short supply, but we can but try.

So, not a pleasant picture. There is nothing anyone can do about the groundwater problem (although the Rev Julie is on our circulation list!), but you can be certain the PC and I will be putting maximum pressure on TW to find some workable solutions.

Remember, please look out for your neighbours, and if anyone needs help of any sort, or advice on dealing with any of these issues, please just let me know and I’ll see what we can do.

Finally, the same old plea! If TW aren’t told about problems, they can deny they are there (although they know they are!) Report, report, and report again, and even if you don’t, please let me know so that I can build up the evidence. By the way, I’ve reported the blocked gulley at the bottom of School Lane to WBC, but that will take some time too I guess.

Kind regards, and stay dry!

Martyn

If you would like to join the EGF&PF, please contact Martyn Wright at martynwright345@btinternet.com