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REF: Aberdare Canal Head and adjoining watercourses and outlet culvert

For the attention of:

Dave Brain Senior Engineer at Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC

Andrew Stone, Land Reclamation & Engineering Manager

 

22nd February 2015

By email 

 

REF: Aberdare Canal Head and adjoining watercourses and outlet culvert

 

Dear Sir’s

 

Following a meeting with some residents at the Aberdare Canal Head it was observed that you have started cleaning out the watercourse, I understand you intend employing a larger machine as the one you hired in was incapable of completing the task is this correct?

When will this work be completed?

 

Having written to Natural Resources Wales with regard to the canal and outlet culvert at the canal discharge point during the recent heave rain the outlet is not acceptable to take all floodwater produced, and Natural Resources Wales agreed with this observation.

 

 

What steps do you as an authority intend taking to get this culvert fit for purpose I and residents are aware it is the responsibility of the 'riparian landowners'?

 

 

 



At this moment floodwater is allowed to discharged from the canal by deviating veer a manmade breach in the canal wall over a PROW allowing floodwater to discharge over private land and hypothetically on to the main Railway line serving Cynon Valley is this correct?

 

 

I find no record of the work on a planning application on the Information Map of Rhondda Cynon Taf is there a record?  Was the development to amend the Aberdare Canal and create a

 

 

discharge point for floodwater placed before the Development Control Committee for approval?

 

 

 

 

Please can you provide planning application and approval notice for work on reducing level of Aberdare Canal bank to allow floodwater to flow onto adjoining land over PROW and Cynon Trail?

 

I am informed that you have installed two new water pumps adjacent to the PROW next to Railway Bridge is this correct? If this is correct please can you provide name and model number cost of pumps and installation cost?

 

 

The French drains feeding the pumping chamber are badly silted up and require regeneration do the authority intend replacing the French drains?

 

I understand from the Internet that Network Rail were working with you attempting to alleviate ground water and water flowing off the rail track at the Railway Bridge buttresses on to PROW has this been achieved?

 

 

I await your response

I refer to your Freedom of Information Request in respect of Aberdare Canal, please find the Authority’s response below.

Following a meeting with some residents at the Aberdare Canal Head it was observed that you have started cleaning out the watercourse, I understand you intend employing a larger machine as the one you hired in was incapable of completing the task is this correct?

The clearance works within the Aberdare Canal were instructed by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (RCTCBC) to alleviate localised siltation and restore the cross sectional area of the watercourse. These works were undertaken by a specialist contractor who undertook the works using an amphibious vehicle with silt pump. This was the only machine used in the desiltation works.

When will this work be completed?

These works were successfully completed in March 2015.

Having written to Natural Resources Wales with regard to the canal and outlet culvert at the canal discharge point during the recent heave rain the outlet is not acceptable to take all floodwater produced, and Natural Resources Wales agreed with this observation.
What steps do you as an authority intend taking to get this culvert fit for purpose I and residents are aware it is the responsibility of the 'riparian landowners'?

Please be advised that the Aberdare Canal is designated as a Main River and is under the jurisdiction of Natural Resources Wales and any works undertaken within or adjacent to the Main River may require consent from Natural Resources Wales. The culvert situated at the discharge point of the Aberdare Canal is under private ownership and is not upon land under the ownership or control of RCTCBC. Any blockage associated with the culvert would be part of the riparian owners roles and responsibilities. As detailed above, Main Rivers and flooding from Main Rivers are under the jurisdiction of Natural Resources Wales who have permissive powers under The Water Resources Act 1991 to either carry out routine maintenance or remove any blockages using their permissive powers. RCTCBC have no requirement to undertake remedial works to the culvert under private ownership. For further information regarding the roles and responsibilities of Main Rivers, please contact Natural Resources Wales.

At this moment floodwater is allowed to discharged from the canal by deviating veer a manmade breach in the canal wall over a PROW allowing floodwater to discharge over private land and hypothetically on to the main Railway line serving Cynon Valley is this correct?

http://www.aberdareonline.co.uk/photographs/aberdare/flooding

http://www.aberdareonline.co.uk/photographs/rhondda-cynon-taff/flooding-1

Any flooding arising from the Aberdare Canal naturally discharges onto the flood plain, via the public right of way at the location of the block stone walkway. The flood waters then flow south, discharging into the Main River to the south of the culvert in question. RCTCBC hold no records of flooding with regard to the railway.

http://www.aberdareonline.co.uk/photographs/cwmbach/flooding-cwmbach-rai...

http://www.aberdareonline.co.uk/photographs/cwmbach/flooding-cwmbach-rai...

http://www.aberdareonline.co.uk/photographs/cwmbach/flooding-cwmbach-rai...
I find no record of the work on a planning application on the Information Map of Rhondda Cynon Taf is there a record? Was the development to amend the Aberdare Canal and create a discharge point for floodwater placed before the Development Control Committee for approval?

Please can you provide planning application and approval notice for work on reducing level of Aberdare Canal bank to allow floodwater to flow onto adjoining land over PROW and Cynon Trail?

The works referred to upon the public right of way were undertaken to alleviate flooding to a substantial length of the highway and provide access along it, even during times of flood. The fields to the south of the public right of way form a natural flood plain to the Aberdare Canal, which have historically been submerged in times of flood. The works referenced above included the formalisation of an existing breach in the canal banks and were carried out under permitted development. As such no planning permission was required to undertake the works.

I am informed that you have installed two new water pumps adjacent to the PROW next to Railway Bridge is this correct? If this is correct please can you provide name and model number cost of pumps and installation cost?

With regard to the underpass, 2no. Klargester DS0750K submersible pumps, powered by Electrical Switchgear (Grundfos Dual Pump Control Panel GBETS009) sited in a lockable weatherproof enclosure, were installed in 2009 to attempt to alleviate the surface water flooding to the underpass. The pumps were installed as part of a drainage strategy that included the installation of french drains to direct surface water flow to the pumping chamber and a discharge pipe, outfalling into the Aberdare Canal.

Following the failure of these pumps, RCTCBC replaced the pumps with 2no. Lowara DOC 7 manual submersible pumps in June 2014. The pumps are currently subject to a maintenance program with the contractor, which includes full service and cleaning of the pumps. RCTCBC also undertake ad hoc inspections of the pumps.

With regard to the cost of the pumps, we feel that this information is commercially sensitive and therefore are applying the exemption set out under Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which deals with prejudice to commercial interests. This is a qualified exemption and we have therefore applied the public interest test. In making this decision we have weighed such factors as the Council’s desire to be open and transparent in all its dealings against the need to ensure that it is able to contract openly in the market place.

Accordingly, in accordance with Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”) this email acts as a Refusal Notice to this part of your request.

The French drains feeding the pumping chamber are badly silted up and require regeneration do the authority intend replacing the French drains?
I understand from the Internet that Network Rail were working with you attempting to alleviate ground water and water flowing off the rail track at the Railway Bridge buttresses on to PROW has this been achieved?

The flooding observed at the underpass is predominantly the addition of groundwater to the surface water runoff, a flow is also is also noted to discharge from the Network Rail embankment. In times of high rainfall, surface water runoff and groundwater combine to exacerbate the situation and the pumps are overwhelmed. RCTCBC have engineers looking at options to deal with the additional groundwater and minor works have been carried out to minimise the flow of groundwater to the pumps. The recent dry spell has allowed “base” flows of groundwater to be measured and this will be valuable data in looking at these options. RCTCBC have been in contact with Network Rail to discuss the underpass issues and these discussions are currently ongoing.

I refer to your Freedom of Information Request in respect of the installation of new water pumps at Ynys Field, Aberdare. The Authority’s response is as follows:

Cost of installation of the new water pumps was £4060.28 plus VAT.

Works were undertaken by Samatrix Pumping Solutions.

The Council contacted Samatrix Pumping Solutions to carry out the work, as they originally installed the system.

An Annual maintenance agreement has now been entered into with Samatrix from November 2014.

The cost of the Annual Service Agreement is £250.00 pa plus cost of any parts require over and above that.

Claire Gummer
Corporate Governance Team

We assume this cost was for the first set of water pumps the cost of the second lot would be more expensive that’s why RCTC wont disclose the cost plus installation charges.

Add the cost of the new pumps and all direct labour RCTC has used to keep this right of way open plus the hire of portable pumps used on the site.

Why don’t they just have a 2ft culvert to the river? Its only fields they have to excavate and jet it out once a year got to be cheaper long term that running 2 pumps and paying annual maintenance costs.

Or is someone in authority making more money by having pumps?