Groundwater is any water found beneath the surface that fills pores or cracks in the underlying soil and rocks. It contributes 30 per cent of public supply water in England. In volume terms, this is over six thousand million litres per day enough to fill 2500 Olympic-sized swimming pools every day, or run a dishwasher 400 million times*
Groundwater levels are higher in winter and reach a peak in the spring. During periods of prolonged high rainfall, the level of groundwater rises to the surface, beyond its normal range, which causes flooding.
*BGS data 2019
Groundwater flooding can be highly disruptive, lasting several months, and can cause more extensive longer term damage to property. This can include:
Find out more about how GeoSmart can assist in relation to Groundwater at your Site.
You may have purchased a site with a view to develop it, or you are an architect with a client who needs to appraise the site for master planning submission or to meet conditions.
In both instances, you need to know the drainage characteristics and whether groundwater could have an impact on the surface water flood management and sustainable drainage approach, as determined by the Local Planning Authority. If the site has an industrial past, there may be contaminants in the soil which could be spread by groundwater.
Groundwater is most commonly found in low-lying areas underlain by aquifers, such as Chalk or sandstone, or localised sands or river gravels in valley bottoms.
It is especially common in southern and eastern England, as well as parts of the Cotswolds, East Yorkshire and Eastern Pennines.
Alerts are now in place for residents who sign up to text alerts with the Environment Agency in affected areas.
Groundwater can have a significant impact on critical wastewater networks. High levels of groundwater can access the sewer network through cracks in pipes or access chambers. This can mix to affect the local water table and be a significant risk to communities and businesses.
GeoSmart works with a numbers of water companies to provide alerts to them so they can manage their assets to protect communities.Groundwater Sewer Infiltration Flood Forecasting