Emergency group claims ‘Pump could put Rye at risk’


A poorly maintained water pump could put Rye’s Tilling Green estate at risk from flooding warns emergency Group REACT.

The group’s chairman Colonel Anthony Kimber says the pump, at Marley Road, and another at Henley Close, play a vital role in protecting the area should waters rise in the River Tillingham.

He said both pumps, which are owned an operated by Southern Water, are in a poor condition.

Colonel Kimber said: “Typical of recurring concerns is the questionable way that the Marley Road drainage pump is maintained by Southern Water.

“This is a key piece of flood defence infrastructure and automatically pumps any water ponding in the road back into the River Tillingham during extreme wet and flood risk conditions.

“For some years REACT has pressed its concerns to Southern Water about the state of the pump, which two years ago had to be bypassed with a “temporary pump” because of problems with the main installation.

“REACT considers that this remains in a poor state. The Company, which is regularly fined for sewerage spillages, has consistently failed to respond to REACT’s requests for action.

“Work continues to achieve some improvements here and in other areas, particularly where there have been sewage spillages.”

He went on to say: “With well over 1000 homes and businesses protected by flood defences around Rye, occasionally there are concerns which have been addressed by REACT through public meetings, held to consider the risks and seek action from the professionals.

“In recent years, such meetings have focused on the west of Rye and resulted in action plans, which REACT has progressed with others, such as the Local Authorities, Environment Agency, Southern Water, the Romney Marsh Drainage Board and the developers of Valley Park.

“This process has delivered some positive results, including: a series of contact points in the community; improved cooperation with agencies; better maintenance of drainage installations.

A Southern Water spokesman said: “We can assure customers in Rye that, contrary to the concerns raised by the REACT group, our pumping stations are in good condition and subject to continual investment and maintenance.

“Both Marley Road and the site at Pottingfield use large Archimedes screws to transfer surface water into the River Tillingham to reduce the risk of flooding in the area.

“Both sites were refurbished this summer at a cost of around £30,000.”

For more information on REACT and updates visit their Facebook page.