The second phase of a community-led initiative to reduce the risk of flooding in Northumberland is set to commence.

Northumbrian Water is working to upgrade the sewer network that serves Wylam, Prudhoe and Ovingham as part of its surface water management programme, Rainwise.

Rainwise explores opportunities to remove, store, divert or delay the surface water that enters the sewer network. This will help to increase capacity in the pipes and reduce the risk of flooding during heavy rainfall.

Work on the £785,000 project, which started in Wylam in March, is nearing completion. The next phase of work will begin in Prudhoe on Tuesday May 2, 2017 and is expected to take up to 12 weeks to complete.

Contractors Esh-MWH will carry out the work on behalf of Northumbrian Water. Work will include the installation of 40 metres of new pipe in Castle Road to divert surface water into Otter Burn and 15 metres of additional pipes in Maple Grove.

A swale, a long grassy channel that collects rainwater naturally, will be created in land behind Maple Grove. Another swale will be created in land between Rowan Grove and Prudhoe Castle First School.

On Tyne View Terrace, engineers will also install non-return valves which will help to prevent water from the sewers entering the private drainage system.

Northumbrian Water’s Project Manager, Ian Davison, said: “We know how devastating sewer flooding can be and by freeing up capacity in the sewer network, we are taking positive steps towards reducing flood risk and providing some peace of mind for our customers.

“We want to be prepared for the future and are carrying out Rainwise projects in areas that have not necessarily suffered flooding before, while providing additional benefit to those that have. We will do everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum and would like to thank the community for their cooperation.

“We’d also like to encourage residents to get involved in Rainwise. Making changes at home, no matter how small, such as installing a water butt, can help manage rainwater in a natural environment.”

Customers can visit for regular updates and progress about the work being carried out in the area, or by calling Northumbrian Water on 0345 717 1100 or tweeting @nwater_care.

For more information about Rainwise, visit