Somerset

Dredging on Somerset Levels river section delayed to 2019

Dredging in Somerset Image copyright PA
Image caption The section will not be dredged until 2019

A key stretch of the River Parrett in Somerset will not be dredged this year, it has been confirmed.

The Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) had intended to carry out dredging on the river between Oath and Burrowbridge in the autumn of 2018.

But this has now been delayed because of its "complex and sensitive nature".

The SRA was created in 2015 to coordinate flood prevention efforts following the disastrous flooding of 2012 and 2013/2014.

The floods in the county saw many homes ruined and villages cut off. In 2014, the military was called in to help and hundreds of thousands of gallons of water was pumped off the levels.

Dredging work is now likely to take place in early 2019, the Local Democracy Service reported.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The flooding in 2012 and the winter of 2013/14 cut off many Somerset communities

The SRA said further "water injection dredging" would be carried out elsewhere on the River Parrett to ensure that Somerset residents were protected this winter.

The technique involves pushing silt up from the river bed allowing it to be carried out to sea on the outgoing tide.

This cannot be used between Oath and Burrowbridge because the channel is too narrow.

Dredging is usually carried out by diggers on the river bank.

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