Technology holds back floods upstream

Installing a giant Hydro-Brake for the Wigan Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Installing a giant Hydro-Brake for the Wigan Flood Alleviation Scheme.

A ‘supersized’ engineering solution to river flooding is said to deliver carefully-engineered flood protection while supporting biodiverse landscaping and wetlands.
Hydro International’s Hydro-Brake® Flood Alleviation system
uses proven principles of vortex flow control technology, according to the company.
Holding back excess flood water with this kind of technology is presented as an innovative and sustainable solution to protecting vulnerable areas, using a passive system that requires no power and minimum maintenance.
The Hydro-Brake® vortex flow control technology was invented and developed by the company more than 30 years ago and has become an industry-standard method of flow attenuation. Increasingly it is being used as a lower-impact technology for upstream attenuation flood defences, with the largest schemes controlling flows in excess of 33 m3/s and holding back millions of cubic metres of water.
Hydro’s Alex Stephenson, says: “Hydro-Brake® vortex flow control technology is used extensively to prevent surface water and watercourse flooding. It is well proven and completely scalable from small schemes protecting a few properties to giant fluvial dams that protect major urban conurbations.
“Tackling flooding requires a range of measures on an integrated catchment level, from holding back fluvial flooding in upland catchments to a range of at-source SuDS and surface water control for highways in our towns and cities. Many of Hydro International’s technologies are quietly not making the news today because they are just doing their job protecting many thousands of homes and properties.”
The opportunities offered by upstream temporary flood storage have attracted attention as a viable, lower-impact solution to flood risk management of river catchments. The Hydro-Brake® Flood Alleviation flow control holds back water without the need for power or mechanical intervention. The geometry of every Hydro-Brake® can be optimised and upstream storage areas fine-tuned ensuring vulnerable properties are protected. Hydro-Brake® Flood Alleviation installations form part of Scotland’s award-winning and largest flood alleviation scheme, the White Cart Water Flood Prevention Scheme where 1,750 urban and suburban properties are protected.