October 22, 2009 10:22 AM

Every few months we seem to have spells of torrential rain that test the drains, gullies, sewers and watercourses. Northumbrian Water has spent £2.5 million on improvements to the drainage in the Red House Farm area.

However, it didn't prevent some houses there being flooded yet again last autumn.

The last very wet spell in July saw agencies working better together in the area and there was praise from residents.

Northumbrian Water quickly brought in pumps to take surface and mains water into the Ouseburn but covered up the outlets to stop the excess water in the Ouseburn going back up the system and overwhelming it, as has happened in the past.

The council has been able to make sandbags available much more quickly than in the past, and under new legislative opportunities will soon be able to take coordinating responsibility among the different agencies.

A major drop-in session at Northern Rugby club was held in July to enable residents to view the latest information and to quiz the Environment Agency, Northumbrian Water and the Council.

The outlet pipes from the latest housing development in the Great Park, to the north of the Ouseburn, will only be connected when new and bigger suds are dug and after an independent assessment of their capacity.

"The last thing we want is yet more water going into the Ouseburn and creating an overflow risk," said Councillor Ron Clark.