Sensors could provide 'radically different' approach to gully cleansing


Engineering firm Amey is installing new sensor technology into gullies in Hampshire in a trial aimed at preventing drains that are blocked with silt and waste causing road flooding.

Live sensors will provide data as to whether a gully needs cleansing. The sensors measure the level of silt and the water level inside the gully, feeding this information instantly back to a control centre managed by Amey via web-based, mapped, visualisation software.

Amey is installing sensors in 25 high-risk gullies

This software combines this information with weather forecasting to indicate whether if a gully is likely to flood in the next few days.

Basing gully cleansing on this approach could not only avoid emergency attendances but allow gullies to be cleansed only when they are at risk of flooding, which could be more efficient and cost-effective.

Amey account director Paul Anderson said: ‘This is exciting, new technology which should enable us to be much more proactive in terms of preventing gullies becoming flooded, as opposed to dealing with the issue in just a reactive way.

‘We have installed 25 sensors in known “high risk” gullies and are currently collecting information at these sites. If these sensors works as well as we hope they will, then it could lead to a radically different approach in Hampshire and elsewhere.’

Councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, said: ‘Heavy, intense rainfall can, as we all know, result in localised flooding, and keeping the water off the road surfaces is at the forefront of our highways work throughout the winter.

‘These sensors should help us establish an inventory of each gully which will show us when and where we need to direct resources.’


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