Saintfield resident in appeal after six-inch flood in back garden

Saintfield resident in appeal after six-inch flood in back garden

13 March 2019

SAINTFIELD resident Ross Toland has appealed for the Grange Avenue area where he lives to be included in NI Water’s ongoing drainage study in the town.

He has warned that his children and those of his neighbours — who are under six years old — are being put at risk as a result of a large flooded area in a field to the rear of his home. Mr Toland is also concerned that the floodwater will eventually swamp his property.

Mr Toland says he has been “pushed from pillar to post” and that despite appealing to a number of statutory agencies for help to address the issue — which can result in a five foot deep flood just inches from his home — nothing has been done.

He said that given the scale of the flooding, it was “absolutely frightening” to think what would happen if one of his children or his neighbour’s fell into the water.

Mr Toland said when floodwater broaches his back garden, it can be up to six inches deep at times, explaining that his appeal for help two years ago to NI Water, the Rivers Agency and Department for Infrastructure failed to produce a positive response.

“I have carried out extensive research into local storm and sewage installations and am convinced that the volume of this floodwater is in excess of 200,000 litres and is a large contributing factor to the flooding problems at the Listooder and Old Grand Jury roads,” he continued.

Mr Toland believes the flooding problem at the rear of his home is potentially due to a number of factors, including the natural topography of the land, problems with existing field drainage and inadequate storm drains.

The concerned resident said NI Water was unsure of where the flood water at the Old Grand Jury and Listooder roads came from.

He wants officials working on a major new drainage study to come up with a solution.

NI Water said an investigation of the flooding had shown that the flooding was coming from private land and not within the NI Water infrastructure

A spokeswoman said NI Water “fully appreciates” the frustration of any customer affected by flooding. 

“The incidents of flooding experienced in the Grange Avenue area of Saintfield are not due to any capacity issue with NI Water infrastructure,” she explained.

“Extensive investigations have shown the flooding affecting this area is coming from private lands to the rear of the property.”

The spokeswoman added: “NI Water has provided the results of its investigations to the residents, as well as updates to elected representatives, so they can pursue this as a civil matter and aid them in finding a resolution to this matter.”