A response from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to the constant flooding of the Ynys underpass
The constant flooding of the National Cycle Network and PRoW at the Ynys Underpass may residents use this public footpath every day and many children use the path to the Aberdare Community School so when the footpath is out of use due to flooding residents get frustrated as it seems to be flooded more often with the least amount of rain especially from autumn time through to spring.
The PRoW was flooded in June this year as a post on 6 June on social media to RCTC “Could you sort the canal to Ynys drainage while your at it ..Can’t use the right of way there”
Just to keep residents up to date in June AberdareOnline contacted the contractors that maintain the two water pumps that theoretically clear the water and prevent flooding, this is the response we received from the contractor.
Thank you for the email and apologies for the delay in getting back to you, but I do have an update for you.
We sent a team of engineers that day to investigate the issue and found the underpass flooded. It seems that the pumping station is becoming overloaded and the output of the pumps is being beaten by the water ingress. There is some evidence of water contamination by ochre but we would need to further investigate this to establish is this is a mitigating factor.
Thank you for contacting us.
Having received a response we contacted the Director, Highways & Streetcare Services at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.
Director, Highways & Streetcare Services
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council
1st June 2021
Ref: Constant flooding on the National Cycle Network and PRoW at the Ynys Underpass.
Having written many times about the continual problem of flooding at the above location the flooding is highlighted almost daily on social media, your contractors Smatrix Ltd have highlighted the problem that being water contamination by ochre fouling up the pumping system.
Smatrix also explain, “It seems that the pumping station is becoming overloaded and the output of the pumps is being beaten by the water ingress.”
It would appear due to ground contamination and the volume of water the Ynys produces pumping is not going to solve the long term problem that has persisted for many years.
The question is as this PRoW is well used when accessibly allows what are the permanent solutions to prevent flooding in the future as we are all informed winters will be wetter with more rain predicted?
I understand the Aberdare Canal is categorised as a main watercourse and ultimately the responsibility of Natural Resources Wales and they have carried out 2 surveys in the culvert do they not have a responsibility to clean out the Aberdare Canal? Not that would help your flooding problem in the Ynys underpass.
The response we received from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council below
I am contacting you this afternoon, following queries raised by yourself within the Cwmbach area, specifically related to the Public Right of Way (PROW).
Firstly However, I would like to apologise in respect of the time delay in receiving your queries and providing the following reply.
To answer your queries in relation to the ongoing flooding issue affecting the PROW and specifically the Ynys Underpass I can provide the following.
The footpath that links the Cwmbach Canal Path and the Ynys sport centre is subject to flooding around a railway underpass that forms part of the footpath, unfortunately due to the lowering of the footpath to convey below the railway line, the footpath has been subject to both surface water and groundwater flooding within the low spot; as a result of its position in relation to the surrounding land, above railway and nearby canal that retains a reasonably high water level that influences the local groundwater table.
To mitigate the flooding of this footpath, the authority has operated a pumping station around the underpass to drain the surface and ground water to the nearby canal however, due to the volume of water that enters into the low spot, the pumps have been subject to regular breakdowns as a result of the high frequency usage. There has unfortunately, also been a number of instances where the filter drainage installed to feed the pumping station has been subject to some vandalism that has reduced the efficiency of the pump to draw down the flooding following heavy rainfall.
To mitigate this ongoing issue the authority has recently repaired and serviced the pumping station and maintains a regular inspection to ensure the system is operational. However, to deal with the ongoing flooding issue, the authority has begun work to develop proposals to mitigate the flooding.
Once the authority has developed the viably options we will be able to update residents in respect of the proposed works and likely timeframe associated to the implementation of the project, until then please rest assured that the authority continues to monitor the flooding to the footpath and regularly maintains the pumping equipment to mitigate the flooding issue.
Hopefully the above is of use as an update, should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
That’s the update from RCTC as of the 9 august 2021 time will tell if refurbishing the 2 water pumps is a long term solution, it hasn’t been in the past.