Five weirs on River Nene in Northamptonshire repaired to reduce flood risk

Library picture ABCDE NNL-140917-102603001
Library picture ABCDE NNL-140917-102603001

Five weirs over a kilometre stretch of the River Nene are being repaired by the Environment Agency so they continue to manage water levels and reduce flood risk.

The weirs, located near Lilford, help maintain water levels in the main channel of the Nene. They allow excess water to flow into other channels when levels are high, therefore reducing flood risk, and also keep water levels in the main channel suitable for boats to navigate.

Concrete patching will be carried out to repair erosion and ensure the weirs continue to operate the way they should for the next 10 to 20 years.

At the same time, the Environment Agency will also install a ‘pass’ in one of the weirs to make sure migrating fish and eels can move upstream to spawn. Completing this work simultaneously means it can be done less expensively.

Additionally, maintenance work will be carried out on Lilford sluice. The concrete bed of the sluice and the seal on the sluice gates will be repaired to ensure the gates close smoothly and don’t leak when closed.

The repairs are expected to be completed in the next four to five weeks.

It’s an example of the work that the Agency carries out along the 1,200 kilometres of river it’s responsible for in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.

The work is part of the Environment Agency’s £1.8m asset repair programme which, over the next year, will repair approximately a hundred flood defence assets across both counties.

Guy Szomi, Environment Agency catchment engineer, said: “Flood defence assets can naturally deteriorate over time, sometimes due to erosion or damage.

“But we have a regular programme of inspection that allows us to regularly check our assets and schedule in the necessary maintenance. We prioritise all our maintenance work to make sure we’re providing benefit where it’s needed most.

“Repairing these weirs means they’ll continue to function the way they should, retaining water levels and reducing the risk of flooding, but nothing can ever completely reduce the risk of flooding so we encourage everyone to check their risk and sign up for free flood warnings by calling 0345 988 1188.”