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Flood alleviation scheme

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Client: Oxford City Council

Project: Flood alleviation scheme

Department: Highways & Engineering

Date of completion: March 2018

Budget: £1.9m


Oxford City Council is the local district council serving the City of Oxford.


This project arose out of public concerns about the frequent flooding of streets in Northway and New Marston. Both areas had previously been hit by flash flooding due to their close proximity to local watercourses.

There were numerous challenges presented to the Highways & Engineering team including large scale earthworks across both sites, asbestos contamination and a complex specification of varying levels to confirm tight tolerance in achieving flood storage volumes.


Working in partnership with the Environment Agency and supported by funding from the Oxfordshire LEP ODS' Highways and Engineering team completed a complex schedule of works to create holding ponds and flood storage areas, swales, land drainage, flood retaining bund, headwalls and control chamber. Within this parcel of work an FA standard football pitch as well as landscaping and highways works were also undertaken. During the works some 20,000m3 of earth was moved, 160m of foul sewer diverted, 400m3 of asbestos contaminated soil removed and Section 278 works to the value of £80,000 completed.


The completed works provide natural moats and small walls, a wetland reserve to use the open green spaces in the area as temporary flood storage and the re-direction of flood water into these open spaces to prevent flooding of 110 local residents’ properties.