The second phase of a flood reduction scheme in Northumberland is now complete.

Picture shows safety poster competition winners, Amelie and Alfie from Prudhoe Castle First School.

Northumbrian Water began work in Prudhoe in May, as part of its £785,000 Rainwise project to reduce the risk of future flooding in the area, including Wylam and Ovingham.

Through Rainwise, Northumbrian Water is exploring opportunities across the North East to increase capacity in the sewer network by working with communities to manage rainfall more sustainably.

Work in Prudhoe included the creation of two swales - long grassy channels that collect rainwater naturally - on land behind Maple Grove, and between Rowan Grove and Prudhoe Castle First School.

Nearly 40 metres of new surface water pipes were installed in Castle Road, while 15 metres of additional pipes in Maple Grove will help the network cope with additional flows of surface water during heavy rainfall.

On Tyne View Terrace, engineers also installed non-return valves to help prevent water from the sewers entering the private drainage system. Work was carried out by partners Esh-MWH.

During the work, Northumbrian Water and Esh-MWH worked with Prudhoe Castle First School to teach the children about the water cycle and sustainable flood solutions, as well as safety around construction sites.

The children took part in a safety poster competition and winners, Amelie and Alfie, from year 4, saw their posters reproduced and displayed on-site as a reminder that construction sites should not be used as playgrounds.

Volunteers from the on-site team also spent a day restoring a pathway across the school field, so pupils could easily access their outdoor classroom, as well as putting in an additional pipe to capture surface water and divert it into the swale, to stop the field from getting waterlogged.

The first phase of the Rainwise project in the area began in Wylam in March. The final phase of work is expected to commence in Ovingham in October, where Northumbrian Water will be joining forces with Northumberland County Council on their own surface water management project.

Northumbrian Water’s Project Manager, Ian Davison, said: “Reducing the risk of flooding to homes and businesses is our top priority and our Rainwise project is helping us to do just that. By managing rainfall better we can free up space in the sewer network and in turn help reduce flood risk.

“We’re looking for creative solutions that help us to manage rainwater in its natural environment, such as the swales we’ve created in Prudhoe, and would encourage residents to get involved too. Making small changes at home such as installing a water butt or creating a rain garden can all help reduce flood risk locally.

“We would like to thank residents in the area, and staff and pupils at Prudhoe Castle First School, for their patience while we have carried out the first two phases of work and we will continue to keep residents informed as proposals for our partnership work in Ovingham develop.”

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

For more information about Rainwise and tips on managing rainwater at home, visit