Local flood defence gates information

Following the concern of many Colonies residents about the exceptionally high level of the Water of Leith during the constant rain of Monday 24th June, Councillor Osler received this reply from the ‘Flood Team’ at the City of Edinburgh  Council:

“The decision on when to close flood gates on the Water of Leith lies with my team and we have procedures in place for when the gates need to be closed. On Monday night we did start closing gates at lower levels, however it quickly became apparent the flow had peaked and the conscious decision was made not to close further gates. Veitch’s Square and Ettrickdale gates were closed to restrict access to the flooded footpath and riverbank.

The triggers we have in place are:

  • 10m3/s – SEPA will inform CEC of rising water and weather forecast.
  • 18m3/s – automatically closes reservoir valves and sends alarm to CEC flood standby staff.
  • 18m3/s – SEPA 2nd trigger to CEC, at this point SEPA can give an estimated peak flow and time.
  • 30m3/s – Single gates at Veitch’s Square and Ettrickdale closed, barriers at Glenogle Place and Avondale erected.
  • 40m3/s – Baird Drive single gate closed.
  • 40m3/s – Warriston Road bi-fold gates closed.
  • 45m3/s – Ice Rink gates closed (3 double gates, sliding gate and pedestrian double gate).
    • 45m3/s equates to a level of 2.5m at the ice rink bridge.
  • 60m3/s and rising – Baird Drive sliding gates closed, stop-log barrier erected.
  • 60m3/s and rising – Saughtonhall Ave gates closed (2 sliding gates, one double gate, one single gate).
  • 55m3/s and rising – Bell Place Bridge lifted.
  • 70m3/s and rising – Falshaw Bridge barriers erected.

Note: These trigger flows are deliberately set low to allow time to get to each location and time to close the gates.

The decision on when to close flood gates is based around the specific event, predicted flows and rainfall forecasts. We work closely with SEPA and continually monitor these factors throughout an event to influence the decision. This has been factored into out flood standby and emergency flood response to ensure we have sufficient time and resources to close gates when required.

The flow when it starts flooding Roseburn Park is around 50m3/s, in the past we have had advice from SEPA of the Water of Leith of flows peaking below this level and in these cases we have decided not to close flood gates.

I trust this gives some detail of when flood gates would be closed and that it is covered by our emergency plans. Also, why we decided not to close the gates at the peak of the water flows on Monday evening.’

Cllr Hal Osler / Liberal Democrat / Inverleith Ward

Tel: 0131 529 4433      T:@Halosler

Liberal Democrat Group / 6th Floor / City Chambers

High Street    Edinburgh   EH1 1YJ