HUNDREDS of water butts will help to protect residents of a vulnerable Elmer estate from flooding.
The 450 plastic water containers, 200 litres big, are to be installed at every property on Elmer Sands.
They will capture up to 90,000 litres of rain during deluges and release it slowly rather than the water running off very wet or dry ground.
The butts were delivered last week thanks to a grant from the West Sussex County Council community flood prevention fund, achieved with help from Middleton Parish Council. One of the residents involved in the application for the money was Linda Smith, of the residents’ association.
She has experience of the flooding which has affected the estate in recent years.
This resulted in a surface water plan being compiled by various agencies. One of its key recommendations was to install water butts at all properties.
“The majority of properties are not connected to a surface water drainage system,” said Mrs Smith. “The rain water either goes to a soak away or simply on to the ground.
“When the ground is very wet or, alternatively very dry, and is a concentrated heavy downfall of rain, this deluge is not absorbed and there is the potential for flooding.
“These new butts will allow a large amount of water to be captured during a period of extreme rain fall, reducing the amount immediately flowing across the estate.”
The butts are designed to release their water slowly after the event to avoid areas becoming awash and to enable them to be re-filled in the next heavy rainfall.
Mrs Smith said the residents were still campaigning for better ditches, surface water and sea defences.