Flood defence technology tested in Lincolnshire

Image caption,
The tidal nature of the River Haven, in Boston, makes it a good site to test the technology

New technology which can detect possible failures in flood defence embankments is being tested in Lincolnshire.

Sensors have been installed in the bank of the River Haven, in Boston, to detect changes below ground such as temperature, moisture and movement.

The data is sent to a control room via the internet, so that any changes in the flood defences can be investigated.

The project is being funded by the European Commission.

Andy Tagg, from specialist consultancy HR Wallingford, which is involved in the project, said: "If you take the UK we have thousands of kilometres of flood defences but very few, if any, have got any remote sensors in them.

"At the moment people have to carry out visual inspections or they have to carry out specific surveys."

The project, called UrbanFlood, is being led by a Dutch consultancy called TNO.

As part of the same project, the technology has also been installed along the Rhine in Germany and the Vechtdijk in the Netherlands.

Boston is the only site in the UK where the remote sensing technology is being tested as part of the project.

Ideal location

Mr Tagg said Boston was the ideal location to test the technology because it has the highest flood risk in the whole of England and Wales.

He added that the large range in the River Haven's water levels, because of the changing tide, also provided a good test of the instruments.

"This is a way we can actually be comfortable that the flood defences have a high stability and will keep out the sea," he said.

He added the technology was important given climate change and indications that sea levels are going to rise.

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