Residents will be aware that the children's playground in Drovers' Way has been in a sorry state for a number of years.
The problems stem from mud and water flooding onto the playground. This leads to the play equipment footings rusting away, making the playground unsafe. As a result, much of the equipment has been removed.
An initial survey led to a proposal that a French drain should be built, to draw mud and water away from the playground.
Further problems were revealed, however, during recent heavy rain, with water bursting through the manhole in the middle of the playground (see video).
This led to a more detailed survey of the area, using CCTV cameras to inspect drainage pipes, including pipes that run under the playground. The results revealed a sorry state of affairs, as set out in the following report from Cardiff Council:
"Further to the flooding observed to be sourced from the manhole within the Drover’s Way play area during February and March, we have now had the opportunity to review the report following the investigation of the culverted watercourse and we have identified the following key elements:
I note the suggestion from the local community to simply upgrade the pipe diameter and connect into a manhole further upstream.
There are three options to take forward:
1.Do nothing – this would permit the flood risk to remain;
2.Repair/replace the pipe like for like – the flood risk would remain from the throttle and the council would need to serve notice under the Land Drainage Act 1991 on private land owners requiring them to repair the culverted watercourse where is crosses their land. The requirement to undertake further works in the future would be a very real risk and would therefore not be an effective use of funds;
3.Undertake a hydraulic assessment to confirm the flood risk status of the current situation and assess the downstream flood risk should the throttle be removed by increasing the pipe diameter. I cannot recommend the upgrade of the pipe diameter without an assessment of downstream flood risk.
It is my recommendation and intention to apply for funding from Welsh Government to implement option 3 above. This WG application would also apply for funding for construction.
I understand that this may have an impact on the decisions to install new play equipment into the play area. I also understand that the equipment has been funded by the local community. Based on the potential for future flooding in the current situation, I would recommend that the play area equipment is not installed until the works related to the culvert have been completed, at the very least until an understanding of the proposed works.
I have emailed Welsh Government to request information on the best avenue for funding and also anticipated timescales for any agreement of grant award. Once I have an understanding of funding mechanism, I will have a clearer picture on timescales for the works".
We will continue to work with Cardiff Council and others to make progress with this matter. In the meantime, we must thank Cllr Rod McKerlich for his work in discussing this issue with Cardiff Council officials. We are also grateful to local residents who have worked hard to make progress with this matter.
In the meantime, residents may be interested to see the following plan, prepared following the survey (a clearer, larger scale version can be seen by following this link):