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South Gosforth, Newcastle


The summer of 2012 proved to be the wettest summer in 100 years across most parts of the UK, but in particular Newcastle. It was on 28th June, 2012, when 50mm of rain fell in just 2 hours, this was the equivalent to the expected rainfall for the whole month of June for Newcastle. This intense downfall caused most of the ground’s surface to become saturated in flood water leaving over 1200 homes and businesses affected.

Amongst the properties affected was ISOS Head Office in Gosforth. Close to a stream that runs into the River Ouseburn, the housing head office was overcome when flood waters started to rise up through the floor. Unable to cope with the consistent heavy rainfall, the stream burst its bank resulting in the car park up to a foot deep in dirty flood waters. 

With bouts of heavy rainfall continuing over the following months, it was decided flood protection measures were necessary to prevent a repeat performance.


It was during the office refurbishment following the floods that Surgo enquired about our passive flood defence system. A bund wall was built around the office as part of the refurbishment with the idea to install a barrier in between to operate as a flood defence should the stream rise again. The barrier provided the ideal solution as it is stored underground, using the power of the flood water to rise in a flood situation. This passive product would provide the necessary 24/7 flood protection, but also allow access to the main entrance when not in use.

Working together with Surgo Construction a barrier measuring 3000mm x 0.5m was installed in the bund wall to protect the main entrance. Further barriers at 2000mm x 0.5m were also installed into the bund walls to provide protection for two fire exits onsite.

To provide passive protection against water surge back through the drainage system in a flood situation a number of 160mm/110mm Non-Return Valves were also installed at the premises. Overall the project took two weeks to complete.