An initiative has been launched to help build resilience against flooding in an area to the west of Newcastle, with members of the public being asked to get involved.

Northumbrian Water’s ‘Rainwise’ aims to spread the word about how managing rainfall better can take the pressure off the sewer network and help reduce flood risk.

Residents in the west Newcastle area are being encouraged to make small changes to gardens and homes, such as the addition of water butts, planters and rain gardens to help soak up rainwater naturally, while the water company is looking for opportunities to increase capacity in the network, by removing surface water from the network.

This will not only help to reduce the risk of flooding to people who have flooded, but reduce the risk of communities flooding in future, before it has even occurred.

Over the next three months, Northumbrian Water will be investigating the sewer network that serves the Newburn, Lemington, Denton, Westerhope, Fenham, Benwell and Scotswood, and Blakelaw wards. It also includes some of Kenton and Wolsington.

Residents in the areas are being invited to share their flooding stories, or any issues with surface water drainage, so that Northumbrian Water can fully understand how the sewer network operates during heavy rainfall. This will help to identify and develop the most effective flood risk reduction projects where possible.

Information can be shared on the company’s community website, and by following the link to the Newcastle west page or by getting in touch on 0345 717 1100.

Project Manager for the initiative in the area, Chris Austin, said: “With more people paving over their gardens and less green space to soak up rainwater naturally, our sewer network is being put under increasing pressure.

“We’re committed to reducing the risk of flooding and we want residents to help us, by becoming ‘rainwise’ themselves. Creating green areas by adding planters and shrubs to gardens, yards, patios and driveways can help capture intense rain and slow the flow of it. If everyone made at least one change, the results would really add up.

“We also want to work with the community to make sure that our information and models are right. Heavier rainfall is becoming more frequent and the investigations we’re carrying out and the information we receive from the public will help us to better understand future flood risk in the area and how we can reduce it in the most effective, sustainable way.”

For more information about Rainwise, visit