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Flooding of property, roads and important infrastructure can occur from a variety of causes. Main rivers such as the Derwent, Dove, Rother and Trent may cause flooding to properties within their flood plain even where there are flood defences in place.

Flash flooding is usually caused by extreme rainfall leading to floods from streams, brooks, blocked drains and culverts or just run-off from land and roads is more difficult to predict and can happen in many locations away from the flood plains.

An effective response to flooding requires the co-operation of a whole range of organisations along with the willingness of the public to report flooding problems and potential causes, such as blocked drains and culverts.

We have prepared a detailed Multi-Agency Flood Plan for the whole of the county.

The plan contains detailed information which will allow key agencies to work together in a co-ordinated way in response to serious flooding emergencies. Sections in the plan include:

  • background information
  • roles and responsibilities of responding agencies
  • plan activation and response
  • command and control arrangements
  • action sheets
  • contacts
  • flood and weather warning services
  • specialist resources
  • health and safety information
  • environmental considerations
  • district annexes related to flood risk

Flooding from reservoirs

In the floods of summer 2007, the Ulley Reservoir in South Yorkshire became unsafe. The reservoir was full to capacity and part of the spillway discharging excess water collapsed, leading to erosion of the dam wall itself.

A serious incident was averted by drawing down the reservoir to reduce pressure on the dam wall.

After this incident, Defra, the Government department responsible for reservoir safety, carried out an assessment of all reservoirs in the UK. Over 100 reservoirs, some within Derbyshire, were designated as needing a contingency plan.

There are several considerations that Defra has taken into account when requiring such plans to be prepared:

  • location of the reservoir
  • the likely inundation path
  • age of reservoir
  • type of construction

Reservoirs are regularly inspected in the UK by independent engineers and the likelihood of a structural failure is considered low.

Further information about reservoir flood maps used in our contingency plans are available from the Environment Agency.

Last updated: 30 Oct 2023, 2:11 p.m.