Future plans for the Black Sluice area
In 1999 the Board experienced the first serious flooding event since the early 1960's, and flooding of properties was only prevented by the rapid reaction of both the Environment Agency and Black Sluice IDB workforce to repair the breach in the bank of the South Forty Foot Drain near Pinchbeck.
Soon after this the Agency promoted a study of all of the South Forty Foot and the Highland Carriers to ascertain the present level of protection, and if required look into the improvements that could be made.
The consultant's report indicates that the system as it stands only gives a 1 in 5 year standard in many locations. That means that if a 1 in 10 year event occurs then there could be overflowing of water from the Agency watercourses into some fen areas.
The report made recommendations for improvements to banks but there is no funding available at the present time as the priority of this scheme is below the priority threshold that would attract grant aid from DEFRA. The Agency currently is unable to promote works on a stand alone basis.
As an interim measure the Board has agreed that should water levels in Agency watercourses become dangerously high, the Board would manage water levels within its system to reduce the possibility of breaches in Agency watercourses.
The Board and the Agency are continuing to look at a range of other possibilities to reduce the risk of flooding in the Black Sluice area.
The Agency commenced a review of the operation of Black Sluice Catchment in October 2012 and the results of this will be available in 2013. The Agency and this Board will continue to discuss all opportunities for reducing the flood risk in the Black Sluice Catchment