Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Earlier this week, in a post entitled Draingate a Crouchender wrote on social media about how the high number of blocked drains in the borough is exacerbating the flooding we've been experiencing.

Brian Bowles wrote,

Following the original flood on 12 July I made an assessment of the blocked drain covers / gullies in the roads leading up to Muswell Hill Rd. from Park Rd. This is by no means definitive but it is representative. As most people are aware all these roads are at a level higher than Park Rd. with a steep gradient down. And so, if the drains covers are blocked, then the water will flow over them to reach the lowest point.

Brian then went on to detail the following:

Etheldene Ave. This feeds directly into Park Road.
Blocked Drains - 10
Clear Drains - 2
Number of Drains Marked for Clearance - 2
Number of Drains Cleared - 0
Cranley Gardens (to the point here it meets Connaught Gdns - ie top half)
Blocked Drains -3
Clear Drains - 12
Number of Drains Marked for Clearance - 2
Number of Drains Cleared - 0
Woodland Gardens
Blocked Drains - 2
Clear Drains - 1
Number of Drains Marked for Clearance - 0
Number of Drains Cleared - 0
Connaught Gardens
Blocked Drains - 5
Clear Drains - 8
Number of Drains Marked for Clearance - 1
Number of Drains Cleared - 0
Woodland Rise
Blocked Drains - 9
Clear Drains - 6
Number of Drains Marked for Clearance - 0
Number of Drains Cleared - 0

I wonder what the situation is like in Harringay?

On Monday, the Leader of the Council issued a statement about the flooding:

For the second time in as many weeks, Haringey has been impacted by flooding and we sympathise with all those affected.

This is further evidence – if it were needed – that the Climate Emergency is a reality. This means that these two flooding events are unlikely to be the only ones that we will experience here in our borough.

It also serves as a reminder that London’s Victorian sewer system was not designed, or built, to deal with the volume of water that it has been asked to cope with during these weather events.

Cllr Ahmet then goes on to detail the emergency response over the weekend.

Of course, ideally, we'd be in a situation when the emergency response isn't required because the drains are adequately maintained and it looks like this hasn't been an area that's been prioritised.

So, what about the situation in Harringay? Now might be a good time to be a squeaky wheel. So if you're aware of any blocked drains in our neighbourhood, do report them through the various reporting channels the council provide.

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Yes, a geyser of sewage spurting up a few feet in the middle of the road is never good!

Multiple factors, yes, but a connected network/system.

Which challenges, doesn't it, the search for a single cause?

Also challenges looking for a single blameworthy body. The Council? How about Thames Water, the Environment Agency, Over-Developers;  and everyone else making profits while the sun shines. In fact there are so many "suspects" in this drama it makes Murder on the Orient Express look as simple as Cluedo.

But yes, Council spokespeople have a responsibility to explain and inform. And avoid talking anodyne sweet nothings.

While the Council Leaders also need urgently to set up an independent investigation of how and why the last administration appears to have wasted or risked approaching £20 million from the Council capital budget on dubious property deals. Though even £20 million would not go far in a huge flood prevention programme.

True. Thames water also have a role to play in this.

A concerted and coordinated effort between council and Thames Water would be welcome to address the issue.

As I say, unblocking all the drains and sewers won't fix the issue, but it might make it much less likely to happen and is well within both their power and responsibility.

Who's searching for a single cause, Alan?

The title of the original post includes the phrase "...adding to the flooding...". The post itself speaks about blocked drains as an 'exacerbating factor'. The reply to your response, posted nearly an hour ago,  spoke of drains as a 'contributing factor'. I've even pointed out that Thames Water included fat blockages in their assessment that 75% of flooding is caused by blockages in our sewer and drainage system. I also pointed to previous posts I've made under my own profile about concreting front gardens. So, no, no quest  for a single cause here.

With regard to your raising the prospect of an investigation into the "dubious property deals" done under the previous leader, are you sure this wouldn't be more about political witch-hunting than ensuring future efficiency?

That concreting front gardens post was excellent. In 2003 the Council offered the residents of Horney Park grants to build walls and lay brick paving on front gardens, using their contractor, under a Group Repair Scheme. The Council paid 75% of the cost with the remaining 25% subject to means testing. Unsurprisingly most people took advantage and consequently the overwhelming majority of front gardens on Hornsey Park Road/Park Ridings have had hedges replaced by walls and railings, and gardens replaced by brick paving. But, to be fair, in most of the gardens in my road, which wasn't in the scheme, some 45 out of 51 have also been paved or concreted over.

Glad you liked it, Eugene. Is all the brick paving unpermeable, or was any level of permeability built in? Strange if it wasn't. 

It's not surprising that a high proportion of the gardens in your road are concreted because they're big enough so that after the green space is turned into hard standing, you can comfortably park a car in the space.

The council missed a trick there. When they introduced resident parking charges, the charge should have been one to park a car anywhere, driveway or street. Not only would that have been more equitable, it might have discouraged some garden concreting. 

I didn't have it done but those that were under that scheme certainly don't look permeable. I had a neighbour, who has paved and parks in her garden, lamenting, just yesterday, that our on street parking restrictions continue to 10pm, as she resents buying visitor permits. I suggested if they were changed to end at 6.30 then some of the 4,000-odd new residents who will be living in the car free Haringey Heartlands at the back of Hornsey Park Road might take advantage... Do you know how long Haringey Council have been required to enforce the use of permeable surfaces on front gardens? I feel a FoI Request coming on...

I assumed Hugh, that you and not some Council spokesperson wrote:~
Of course, ideally, we'd be in a situation when the emergency response isn't required because the drains are adequately maintained and it looks like this hasn't been an area that's been prioritised.

As I read that it's an assumption - which I don't share - that Haringey would not be in this situation if the drains were adequately maintained.

Witchhunt? Witches were a tragedy for the real victims but the charge of magic was false. Sadly, the millions of public cash wasted or risked by Haringey Council were and are real. The secret unaccountable Council "boards" which made bad and risky decisions were also real. As real as climate change which now delivers torrential rain. The Ham & High reported on Alexandra House (Some £12m overpaid)  There are at least two other known transactions - in total nearing £20m. I wish these were made-up; false allegations like those against witches.

My assumption is based on the wisdom of Cllr Ahmet and Thames Water.

As I've already pointed out, Cllr Ahmet seems to think there's a link between the blocked drains and the flooding. What other reason would there be for her including the following in her statement about flooding, "This is something we take extremely seriously. We will continue to work hard to ensure gullies and drains are clear". (Full statement linked to in original post).

Thames Water also believe that 75% of flooding is due to sewerage drainage issues. But they don't say what proportion of that they think is due to fat blockages and what to blocked drains and gullies.

This looks like an old video. The trees are bigger now I think. Sorry if I'm wrong!

Come and talk to the people on the street Peter, It was most definitely this Sunday!

And in fact, it has happened twice in two weeks!

Sorry. You are right.

I live at the bottom of Fairfax and the level was much lower. 

I just checked the exact spot you filmed from and the tree there is very small and precisely the same, and there's a manhole cover exactly where the water spout is.

Amazing.

We clearly need a massive investment in improving the drainage/sewage systems!

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