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United Utilities report new storm tunnels under Preston fully tested

Posted on - 23rd June, 2014 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - News, Preston City Centre

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United Utilities released a press statement after the torrential downpours caused chaos in Preston earlier this month.

They have been busy, as many Prestonians will know, building huge new underground flood tunnels beneath the city streets.

On 10 June, after four years of construction, engineers from United Utilities had the chance to see the 3.5km long tunnel fully tested.

Preston was hit with flash flooding, as the roads struggled to deal with the volume of rain hitting in such a short space of time.

But deep below ground the new underground storage tunnel, capable of holding 40 million litres of storm water, which is equivalent to 16 Olympic sized swimming pools, was working at full capacity.

They say that during the height of the storm the tunnel was pumping 1,500 litres of storm water per second to Preston Wastewater Treatment Works.

Louisa Simpson-Brown, from United Utilities said: “We really saw once again the environmental benefits the tunnel is having, by storing storm water which otherwise would have spilled from outfalls at Preston docks into the river.”

It’s difficult to get across the sheer volume of storm water we had to deal with, but the tunnel system performed exactly as designed.”

John Oldham, Network Manager from United Utilities said: “Unfortunately 15mm of rain in just 15 minutes did mean some areas witnessed flooding. It was a very busy evening for us and we had teams out along with other agencies doing all we could to help those people affected.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service reported several flooding incidents at the time.

These included rainwater had got into a lighting circuit at Red Rose Radio on St Pauls Square. Six terraced houses on Garden Street had badly flooded cellars. Severe flooding at Argyll Road threatening to flood electrics and storm water getting into the Town Hall in Preston.

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