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Scotland Substations Flood Risk Assessment

Arcus were appointed by a Tony Gee and Partners to undertake a Flood Risk Assessment review to determine the potential risk of flooding at 15 substations operated by a major utility company, across Scotland.

Scotland saw widespread flooding in the winter months of 2015 and 2016 from Storm Desmond and Storm Eva. This prompted the utilities operator to review of flood resilience for each substation and for Arcus to establish the steps required to alleviate existing and future flood risk.

Arcus worked alongside Tony Gee and Partners to establish flood resilience measures required for substations deemed to be at risk of inundation from flood waters.

In order to investigate the potential flood risk, impact of flooding and protection of the 15 substations, Arcus undertook the following:

  • Desk studies:
    • Obtained previous flood records for fluvial, pluvial, coastal and sewers
    • Reviewed SEPA flood map
    • Reviewed Biennial Reports, Strategic Flood Risk Assessments and Flood Models
    • Reviewed available topographical information to ascertain most likely source of flooding
  • Consultation with Scottish Water, SEPA and local Councils
  • Site visits to verify the Desk Study and appraise
  • Hydraulic Modelling using Flood Modeller:
    • Surface water flooding using data from the Flood Estimation Handbook (FEH) 2013 and
    • River flood levels derived from 1D – 2D linked models
  • Hydraulic Modelling using Micro Drainage – IH124 method
  • Validation of modelled flood levels obtained from Strategic Flood Risk Assessments
  • Production of Flood Risk Assessment for each site

In accordance with the Energy Networks Association Technical Report ETR 138 and SEPA’s ‘Technical Flood Risk Guidance For Stakeholders’, freeboard allowances were applied to modelled flood levels to provide a robust estimate of flood depths at each substation and to account for climate change.

As a result, the most appropriate flood protection was identified for each site, which ranged from the installation of temporary flood barriers and bunding, to drainage improvements and the installation of flood water pumps.

The study, managed by the Hydrology team in the Glasgow and York offices, concluded that the majority of the substations required some form of mitigation.

Please contact our Flood Risk Team on floodrisk@arcusconsulting.co.uk or 01904 715470 for more information on our Flood Risk services.