After long periods of heavy rainfall, groundwater levels rise and may flood onto the ground surface. Groundwater flooding is rare, but when it happens the floodwaters can linger for months. Because of this, the cost of groundwater flooding to householders or their insurers can be three times that caused by river flooding. To read more about groundwater flooding click here.
Solicitors take into account all types of flooding when advising clients on any property sale. They use property searches which highlight areas of concern for the buyers, such as land contamination or flood risk. These property searches use national mapping to highlight groundwater flood risk at a site. But groundwater flooding tends to be very local, and confined to specific areas, so a lot of properties identified by these searches as at risk to groundwater flooding are not. (Taken at face value, the maps used in property searches suggest that around a million properties, or 4% of the total housing stock, in England and Wales are at some level of risk. If this risk is significant, it is surprising that groundwater flooding is not more widely known.)
How can we help?
We provide a cost-effective reality-checking service for properties that have been highlighted as at risk of groundwater flooding. Whether you are buying or selling a property, our reports can provide peace or mind to you, and your solicitor, mortgage company and insurer. Rapid turnaround ensures the least amount of stress, complication and delay for all involved.
Our concise, site specific, screening reports will put your property search results into perspective. We consider local topography, groundwater levels, risk from other forms of flooding, geology and historical flooding records to make an informed opinion on the likelihood of groundwater flooding at your property. A firm conclusion is given, and if uncertainties remain, we will make recommendations on how these can be confidently resolved. We expect that in almost 100% of cases we can demonstrate that there is no risk, and no need for further work.
If uncertainty remains after a screening risk assessment, we can apply a range of hydrogeology tools to resolve these remaining issues. A walkover survey may be all that is needed to resolve any outstanding questions, additional data sources can be consulted, or a modelling study may be used to give confidence in flood depths. If necessary, we can scope out mitigation methods and work with you to develop a solution.
If you wish to get in touch to talk about your site, let us know.
About Stephen Buss Environmental Consulting
Dr Steve Buss is a Chartered Geologist with fifteen years’ post-graduate experience as a consultant hydrogeologist. He has worked on a considerable number of projects related to groundwater flooding. These have included site specific reviews of groundwater flooding risk across England and Wales, and peer reviews of flood risk assessments for several local authorities. Steve also co-designed the Environment Agency’s groundwater flood forecasting system. In other projects he has also studied, in-depth, the hydrogeology of many of the largest cities in England: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Warrington.