Dorset Council has increased its spending on drainage maintenance by £200,000 and has invested in two new machines to help keep the county’s roads from flooding.
Dorset Highways has taken ownership of a new gully cart along with a new jetter to support its drainage fleet, which forms part of the council’s new preventative maintenance programme. The new jetter, a powerful drain cleaning machine, which replaces a smaller towable unit, will provide greater capacity and efficiency and join the fleet of first responders to reports of flooding – with two towable units and two 7.5 tonne jetter vehicles now covering the council area, reports the Dorset Echo.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “We’ve recently committed to increasing our spend on drainage maintenance by £200k a year, and this is the first step in that journey. This significant investment into our drainage fleet will provide additional resource to carry out routine maintenance, as well as offer greater capacity and resilience to deal with blocked drains and flooding issues.
“Although we cannot totally protect our drains from getting blocked by road debris and falling leaves, through regular emptying of gullies and the ability to respond quickly to reports of flooding we can ensure traffic on our roads can continue to flow.”
Dorset Highways’ gully fleet now has three, purpose-built machines which will operate across the Dorset Council area emptying debris from highway drains which can block road drainage systems.
The council said that this mixed fleet approach will ensure that, no matter the size of the road or its location, there is a drainage vehicle able to reach and clear any blocked gully.
The gully cart is a specialised tank truck which can hold up to 5,400 litres of water which it clears from the road and can carry 2,700 litres of clean water for jetting.
The 7.5 tonne jetter can carry 1,000 litres of water, which is used at high-pressure to push through blockages. It has capacity to hold 2,000 litres of waste water sucked up from blocked drains, which can also be reused as jetting water.