A flooding prevention scheme to protect South Tyneside has won an award for its innovation and sustainability.
Council bosses took home the Legacy Award for Sustainability at the Constructing Excellence in the North East Awards.
South Tyneside Council was awarded the prize for the flood alleviation scheme in Jarrow, in partnership with Northumbrian Water.
With £800,000 from the Environment Agency, the scheme is one of the first in the country to see a local authority, water and sewerage company working together to tackle flood-affected properties.
The partnership approach resulted in an integrated scheme which involved installing new, sustainable drainage systems around the estate to tackle both surface water flooding and sewer flooding. The scheme also incorporates education and community facilities with the creation of new ponds at two local schools.
Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety, said: “Some of the residents living in Fellgate have been affected by flooding four times in the last seven years.
“We recognise the heartache that flooding brings to local people so I am delighted that we have been able to bring to fruition a scheme which not only reduces flood risk, but also offers wider benefits such as habitat creation, educational opportunities and enhanced health and wellbeing for residents.”
By working sustainably and in partnership, the scheme has also delivered cost savings of around 36% as well as overwhelming customer satisfaction.
Linzie Pentleton, sewage operations controller at Northumbrian Water, added: “Reducing flooding is one of Northumbrian Water’s top priorities and the use of sustainable drainage systems allows us to tackle problems that can be caused by surface water. It is fantastic that the judges at the Constructing Excellence in the North East Awards have recognised the partnership approach that has been taken, not only to reduce the risk of future flooding in a sustainable way, but to make a positive impact on the environment.”
The scheme has also been recognised by the UK Water Institute Research project for its industry-leading approach and has received an Innovation Award from the Institute of Water.