A DORMANT spring which became active was part of the reason Buckskin flooded this winter, according to a report.

The independent consultant’s report on the flooding in Buckskin, published by Hampshire County Council, recommends that surface water drainage needs to be reviewed to understand the underlying cause of the flooding, which resulted in over 80 households evacuating their homes, some of whom are still not back in their properties. It concludes that the area was affected by fluvial, surface water, foul water and groundwater flooding.

It also highlighted that flooding occurred following a wetter than average 2012 and 2013 and then an exceptional amount of rainfall with no break between February 7 and March 6.

The high groundwater levels, coupled with the geology of the area, which was also identified as an exacerbating factor, caused a dormant spring to become active and the surface water drainage, formed of soakaways, not to function.

This caused water from the historic river course to accumulate in low lying areas.

The report recommends that there should be better monitoring of the groundwater, including setting up a threshold, at which point action should be taken.

To read a summary of the report, click here buckskin-executive-summary.pdf

Councillor Sean Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “We commissioned this independent investigation to find out about the cause of the flooding problems in Buckskin and what corrective or improvement actions might be required to help mitigate the risk in the future.

“Now we have the results of the investigation, we will continue to work closely with our partners including Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, the Environment Agency and Thames Water to determine what actions can be prioritised immediately and what additional steps need to be taken to help address future flood risk.

“Bids for Government grants to support further investment in flood defences for Buckskin and across Hampshire were submitted earlier this year by the county council and the Environment Agency, and the results of these funding bids should be known in the autumn. In the meantime, we will be focusing additional resources on cleaning, clearing and maintenance of our highway drainage systems and continue to offer advice on steps residents can take to better protect individual properties.”

Councillor Roy Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council, met with water companies and energy suppliers to discuss ways to improve Hampshire’s resilience against future extreme weather conditions, through joint working.

The partner organisations have agreed to continue to work closely together, sharing technical expertise and knowledge.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is leading an exercise to bring together all the lessons learned from this winter’s flooding across the county, and a further report is expected later this year.