Arun DC responds to floods crisis
Environmental health directors have hailed EHOs as they help communities clean up following the recent serious floods across England and Wales.
EHOs at Ceredigion, also a coastal authority, are playing a major role in the clean-up following the worst flooding seen in a generation. Around 1,000 people were evacuated and around 150 had to be rescued.
Huw Williams, assistant director of environmental services at Ceredigion County Council, said residents could be displaced for anything up to three months.
He added: ‘We’ve had up to five feet of flooding in some properties, so there’s quite a number of people who have been displaced. We’re giving practical advice about how people can disinfect and clean their properties and are also having to make arrangements for people to be re-housed for the time it takes for their properties to be dried out and refurbished.
‘The experience of the EHOs is invaluable to the recovery process. Because of the nature of EHOs, with the range of housing problems, disinfection and public health problems, they are so well placed to support the effort. They’ve done some cracking work.’
Arun DC head of environmental health Roger Wood said his authority is dealing with flooding of around 250 residential properties and the resulting contamination of local rivers and beaches.
‘The key to it in many areas, including our own one, is the efficacy of surface water drainage systems and the combined sewer systems. It is inadequate, frankly,’ said Mr Wood.
‘Over the years issues such as people filling in ditches has definitely compounded the problem. This is compounded in our area because of tidal rivers.
Mr Wood said that in some cases blockages could be easily identified, but there often needed to be a wider perspective.
‘However in other areas complex measures are needed, there are a whole load of issues that need to be identified and the money needs to be found to solve the problems,’ he said.
‘The government should be funding more surface water management plans to look at whole areas.’