7 - The Fifield Inn and Fifield Road northwards
This was the site of flooding in 2001, 2003-2004, and again on Saturday 4 January 2014. OGAFCA then made this the priority location as the most residents and their properties were threatened - Photos.
Excess water collecting in this low point in the route northward through the village had forced residents to barricade their properties and deploy pumps. The roadside ditch had not been maintained for a long time and was barely visible, not at all helped by the occasional dumping of garden waste into it.
A site meeting on March 27 was attended by Streetcare, the owner of the land opposite the houses, a local resident whose pumps had been deployed in the past, Borough Councillor David Coppinger, OGAFCA's chairman, and OGAFCA Environment's drainage volunteer. Drainage in this area was extremely confusing and Streetcare undertook to investigate further to clarify what was in place before a discussion of what improvements were possible. Indeed, barely an hour after the meeting ended a Streetcare team were clearing and jetting the drains and gullies along this stretch.
They discovered that contrary to expectations the gullies on the west side of the road did not extend away from the road at all but merely lead into the ditch, which was virtually non-existent anyway. There had also been sewage blockage problems involving Thames Water.
Streetcare's investigations were delayed by a seized manhole cover opposite Garden Cottage. This was replaced, allowing a more complete assessment of the situation. It was confirmed that this section of Fifield Road should drain via a chamber under the pavement into a ditch running eastwards along the fence of Garden Cottage towards the Polo pitch. When jetted from the road the connection from the chamber to the ditch was fine but the ditch bed was high and would prevent efficient run off. RBWM are not responsible for maintaining this ditch as it is on private land.
The ditch along the western side of Fifield Road had become virtually non-existent and to dig it out would probably have compromised the road structure as could be seen along one section where the kerbs were displaced. Streetcare instead decided to pipe the whole length and renew roadside gullies.
Streetcare said "However, this would only slightly improve the current situation if the previously mentioned ditch (eastwards along the boundary of Garden Cottage to the polo pitch) remains as it is now. So OGAFCA's assistance would be greatly appreciated."
We wrote to the Landowner and a site meeting took place in the afternoon of Thursday July 17 2014. The landowner, Mr Bennett, met with us and Streetcare on site. We are grateful to him for pointing out how that local system flows. Contrary to intuition drainage from this low spot actually should flow SOUTH under the road to the chamber under the footway near the corner of Garden Cottage and then EAST alongside the Polo pitch.
At the end of October 2014 Streetcare carried out work to pipe the ditch on the west side of the road and install new curb stones and gullies. The gullies in the road now feed into this new pipe and from there under the road to the chamber.
The contractors reported that the ditch towards the polo pitch still needed to be cleaned out or water would back up in the new pipe. Streetcare contacted the landowner again who promised to carry out the necessary maintenance. Unfortunately as far as we are aware this work has not yet been done but this site has a temporary GREEN status until wet weather shows it to still be deficient.