Gully Cleansing

Every highway gully in the county is cleared annually, Northamptonshire Highways run a Northamptonshire Gully Schedule clear the 109, 634 gullies in the county. Gullies collect water which is then discharged into drains, ditches, watercourses or sewers.

Most of these are overseen and/or maintained by landowners, water companies, district councils and the Environment Agency.

Four  teams are circling the county carrying out this essential gully cleaning work .

If you would like to report a blocked gully, you can contact our emergency gully clearance service through Street Doctor on 0300 126 1000 or Report a problem.

On behalf of Northamptonshire County Council, KierWSP is charged with emptying approximately 106,335 gullies throughout Northamptonshire. Three teams, of a gully vehicle and two operatives, carry out the service with a programme to empty around 110 gullies each, per day.

The monitoring of this work is achieved as all gullies visited are now plotted against coordinates utilising our hand held Tremble devices with GPS satellite attached. Ones visited prior to the Tremble devices are recorded on paper. The information gathered is transferred to a mapping layer which ensures we know exactly where our gullies are and are able to plan their maintenance in a more effective and efficient way in subsequent years. It is anticipated that by the end of year 2 gulley cycle, a complete inventory will be available with full grid references of every gully position.

The main element of the cleansing service is a planned programme under which all gullies are cleaned out once per year. In addition to this there is a responsive service whereby blocked gullies identified through the regular highway inspection process or reported by our other customers i.e. Councillors, public, etc are cleared outside the planned sequence. Such referrals require ad-hoc attendance across the County

The database of information collected has allowed the defects to be split by area and category and ensured that the defects can be tackled on an area basis. This approach will allow us to produce outline budgets for defect rectification purposes.

Together, with colleagues in the four areas and Cyclical Maintenance, we are collecting information from referrals of damaged gullies and feedback on the status of repairs for re-inclusion in the programme. This approach will, again, ensure that resources are efficiently utilised and costs managed closely.

Obtaining year on year records allows cyclical maintenance programmes to be developed to give best value to the Northamptonshire community. “Hotspots” can be identified for further investigation and action.

Through effective monitoring of the service the gully service is improved with a comprehensive inventory allowing speedier and more methodical rectification of problems

Providing an efficient, effective, and economical service, both in terms of gully maintenance and cleansing is of primary concern to KierWSP. Detailed programming and stronger working relationships and communication avenues provide Northamptonshire residents with an unparalleled level of service.

There are many reasons flooding occurs

• In Northamptonshire we have an extensive drainage system which is continuously maintained and upgraded where necessary. The drainage system has a certain capacity and, at times, the amount of water exceeds this and takes longer to drain away. If we were to upgrade all capacities the County Council would have a bill for millions of pounds.

• Northamptonshire Highways run a Northamptonshire Gully Schedule and clear 123,605 gullys in the county. Gullys collect water which is then discharged into drains, ditches, watercourses or sewers.Most of these outlets are overseen and/or maintained by landowners, water companies, district councils and the Environment Agency. These people/ organisations are responsible for their upkeep.

• Although NCC are experiencing challenges to budgets we have not cut gully services and worked to optimise the service to maintain and clean drains across the county. Every highway gully in the county is cleared either annually or bi annually, we have identified those high risk (hot spot) areas which are more likely to block or flood, these areas are visited more times over the year.

• Additionally there is a responsive service whereby blocked gullys identified through the regular high way inspection process or reported by our other customers i.e. Councillors, public, etc are cleared outside the planned sequence.

• We have implemented a Parked Car Initiative, particularly in urban areas, to target and access gullys that were never historically cleaned because we could not get to them. With the co-operation of the public we ask them to move their vehicles form a road and we can target these gullys.

If you would like to report a blocked gully, you can contact our emergency gully clearance service through Street Doctor. www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/streetdoctor