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News Centre > Monday 15 May 2017

Deadline for clearing streams looms

Overgrown Stream

Guernsey Water is reminding islanders who have streams, douits, and other watercourses on their land to ensure that they are cleared of vegetation and silt by 15 June.

This vital maintenance of waterways is undertaken annually to ensure the unrestricted flow of water into the island's catchments and minimise the risk of flooding.

All streams are required by law to be cleared of vegetation and other obstructions by 15 June ahead of Parish inspections by the streams committees.

Stephen Langlois, General Manager of Guernsey Water, said: "At this time of year debris and other vegetation can be prolific in our hundreds of waterways, resulting in low flows or even blockages if not removed.  If we suddenly experience a heavy downpour and the rainwater is unable to drain away, there could be serious flooding.

"We are asking that landowners work with our Parish douzaines to maintain their watercourses to reduce the risk of flooding and ensure we keep our valuable water flowing."

Guernsey Water works in partnership with the Parish douzaines who are responsible for ensuring that the waterways in each of their areas of the island are maintained. 

To clean a stream and ensure an unrestricted flow involves not only the cutting and removal of weed from the bed but also the removal of any other obstruction to the flow of water as well as silt, which may have accumulated in the stream bed.

Streams absorb and store a significant amount of rainwater and runoff, but if they are not regularly maintained this can lead to localised flooding which in the past has caused road closures while the excess water is cleared.

For more advice on the law (Section 6 (4) of the Loi Relative aux Douits 1936) contact a member of your local Parish Stream Committee or the Streams Inspector at Guernsey Water.

For guidance on cleaning streams and douits, see here.

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