Safety demands over flooding dam are taken on board

WET Flooding at Warren Park
WET Flooding at Warren Park
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SCHOOLCHILDREN are to get lessons in water safety after parents complained about flooding at an estate’s dam.

A meeting was called between the Environment Agency and Havant Borough Council over fears that the new £2m Warren Park dam was dangerous.

Parents said they were not told the flooding of the dam – which protects nearby homes – would be so deep and they demanded urgent safety measures.

The Environment Agency has now agreed to put together an information pack and go into local schools to make the children aware of the dangers and how the dam works. They are also considering an early warning system for nearby houses when heavy rainfall is expected.

Signs with more information and warnings will be put up at the edge of the dam – which can flood with up to 15ft of water.

Havant Borough Council will also be installing a life belt at the edge and will take responsibility for cleaning the footbridge which is left filthy after the water recedes.

Cllr Mark Johnson, who represents Warren Park, said: ‘The Environment Agency listened to our concerns and accepted them. They have re-investigated the signage and are going to put up something much more suitable.

‘The schools outreach programme will make the dangers of the water clear and tell the children how deep it’s going to get.

‘At first we were worried that they weren’t taking our concerns seriously but the meeting was very, very productive.’

Mike O’Neill, the Environment Agency’s area incident manager, said that following the complaints an investigation was carried out into the flooding which showed the dam is working properly.

But they are looking into whether they can release the water more quickly so that it doesn’t stay flooded as long.

He added: ‘Back in the heavy rains in January we had people on site trying to lower the levels as quickly as possible.

‘We will continue to send teams out to check the dam.’