Sidmouth Flood Alleviation Scheme

Sidmouth Flood Alleviation Scheme. Image credit: Jacobs.

  • Devonport Lecture Theatre, Portland Square Building, University of Plymouth

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The Sidmouth Flood Alleviation Scheme in East Devon protects 64 residential and business properties from flooding during a 100-year storm event, by diverting flood water from the adjacent road into the town’s Knowle Arena park. 
The project won the Judges’ Special Award and the regional People’s Choice Award at the ICE South West Civil Engineering Awards 2022. 
Join the ICE Plymouth City Club for a free face-to-face talk about the scheme, presented by Gloria Rigual Muñoz, a Water Engineer for Jacobs, who worked on the project. 
Project background
The first phase of the £1 million scheme was completed in 2021 and saw the installation of a new drainage system to divert surface water away from properties. The water is channelled via a swale to a flood storage area, which doubles up as an amphitheatre. The design ensures that the outdoor performance space will remain unflooded in most rainfall events, so it can continue to be used by the community. 
Combined with a huge excavation for the storage crates, as well as cross drains and drain connections in the road there are a significant number of components and work hidden below ground. To achieve the required volume of surface water storage capacity, the amphitheatre is retained on one side by a wall and to ensure the storage area can function at capacity, the wall had to be formed using sheet piles. The sheet piles are clad in a locally sourced limestone and is a mix of grey tones in keeping with the local character. A combination of carefully wrapped geotextiles and sand bags filled with soil were used to create the geometric stepped profile of the amphitheatre.
Visit the ICE event webpage to book a place at this talk or email yasemin.gurbuz@ice.org.uk for any queries.
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