Watton & Saham

Flood Action Group

Working with the right organizations to put an end to the serial flooding issues across Watton & Saham.

latest news

WASFAG Featured in the edp
"Flood-torn community 'in fear' every time it rains", read more about WASFAG and our experiences in this EDP article.
august 2020 thunderstorms
Why were the thunderstorms of August 2020 not predicted?
June 2021
May 2021
Surface water in the foul sewers
To deal with foul sewers spilling sewage on to roads and gardens in Saham Toney because they are full of surface water from the roads, requires getting ditches and watercourses cleared and running effectively and we have worked with the County Council Highways and the Water Management Team to get action on this. Several ditches have now been cleared by landowners. Anglian Water have also cleaned the foul sewers to help them to run well.
Reducing the amount of surface water reaching the village
The Water Management Team has obtained funding from the Environment Agency and are working with the Parish Council and local landowners to create holding ponds in the upper reaches of the two streams that flow into the village. The two streams and associated watercourses which source in Ashill and from the high ground around to the edge of Holme Hale join the stream that edges Chequers Lane contributing to the flooding during prolonged periods of heavy rain. Agreement has now ben reached with three of the local landowners with work starting in August this year and hopefully being completed by next Spring. There are also plans to hold water back in the Parish Council owned clay pit adjacent to Ploughboy Lane. Local farmer and landowner Tim Goddard has kindly offered to carryout some of the excavation work.
May 2021
May 2021

The problem (Watton)

Regular Flooding
2009, 2016 and 2020 summer storms led to internal and external, homes and businesses, flooding.
2016 flooding
2016, 60 homes and 14 businesses flooded internally.
Property flooded
112 homes flooded gardens and/or garages.
Backed up sewage
Flood water flowing into the drain covers caused surcharging of foul sewers.
Lack of maintenance
Unmaintained ditches / watercourses / highway drains led to flooding.
Development on flood hotspots
Large new developments in areas known to flood, together with the increase in hard standing caused flooding.
Torrential rain
August 2020, 2 storms deposited 150mm of rain in 3 hours.
Storms under investigation
The storms developed in an unusual way. These are under investigation by meteorologists at the University of East Anglia.

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The problem (Saham)

Regular Flooding
At least 6 homes internally flooded and more gardens.
Roads flooded
Water poured off already saturated fields and down the roads.
Overwhelmed watercourses
Watercourses became overwhelmed.
100cm flooding
On 23/24 December 2020, depth of water in centre of village was 1 metre.
Lack of maintenance
Unmaintained ditches lead to flooding.
Responsibility unclear
Identifying whether they are landowners’ or Highways’ responsibility proving difficult.
Roads impassable
Chequers Lane, Cley Lane, Richmond Road/Bell Lane, Ovington Road and Dereham Road often impassable.

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💡 What we're doing

✅ Recommendations submitted to organisations

November 2017, flood investigation report with recommendations was submitted to the Town Council, LLFA, NCC Highways, Breckland District Council, Anglian Water and local MP.

✅ Meetings held with organisations

Meetings held with each of the authorities in 2018 and ongoing email exchanges and on-site meetings.

✅ Reports generated

Subsequent reports submitted to agencies, as learning took place. Through local knowledge, shared known hot spots. Some homes flooded in steady moderate to heavy rain. Access to the daily rain records helped provide evidence of how moderate rain caused flooding.

✅ Hand-delivered questionnaires 

Hand-delivered questionnaire to all streets flooded in June 2016 and received 168 replies. Responses provided written evidence of the extent of the problems going back many years. This evidence was crucial within meetings with the various agencies in 2018.

Experiencing problems as the result of a flood?

If you or your property has been affected by the floods, or, if you’d like help and advice around insurance – get help and advice at the national flood forum. Click the button below to find out more.

🙌 Successes so far

✅ Building relationships

Building good relationships with agency officers who now take the flood group seriously.
Representation on planning committees and applications where there is flood risk.
Meeting developers before they submit their drainage strategies.

✅ Representation in decisions

Representation on planning committees and applications where there is flood risk.

✅ Working with developers

Meeting developers before they submit their drainage strategies.

✅ Anglian Water survey

November 2020, Anglian Water undertook a catchment survey with support from LLFA and Highways to develop a strategy to mitigate surface water flowing into the foul sewers. They too are going to invest in the infrastructure. 

Get involved

Want to get involved to help the cause? Great! Join the friendly team working to end Watton & Saham’s flooding issues.

Flood action group

Working with the right organizations to put an end to the serial flooding issues across Watton & Saham.

Contact details

Chairman Liz Whitcher

For Watton Residents Cllr Keith Gilbert
07730 375986

For Saham Residents Cllr Nick Creek
07941 604240

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