Ardlui Road and Chatsworth Way sit above the old River Effra, one of London’s lost rivers which runs through south London. This can put the streets at higher flood risk – In the past, when there were fewer paved surfaces, this wouldn’t cause a problem because the earth would slow down the water’s progress and there was time for it to drain away. However, the tarmac and concrete in London mean rainwater enters sewers and underground waterways very quickly. At times of heavy rainfall, this can mean that they overrun and flood the street.
To tackle this in Ardlui and Chatsworth, Lambeth, with Sustrans, will be putting in “sustainable urban drainage” – on the surface, these will look like beautiful new green pavements with flower beds and plants. However, below the ground, they will be deep enough to slow down the progress of water, giving it time to drain away without flooding.
You can also help reduce flood risk by “depaving” your garden. The council can help you do with by providing tools, support and waste clearance. A number of local residents depaved their front gardens recently and we would be happy to put you in touch with the council officers running the programme if you’re also interested in this.