Implementation process

By looking at the the activities, actors and methods or approaches used, this section will provide a better understanding of the implementation process of the MLS approach. We will describe the point of departure, who was involved (when, why and how) and what key decisions were made when and why.

Point of departure of FRM strategies

This FRAMES pilot project is partially funded by Norfolk County Council, National Flood Forum and Anglian Water Services and it is connected to their 10-year plan: what areas are priority for new pumps or new drainage system. These areas were selected because they are very vulnerable to surface water flooding and include communities at particular disadvantage and vulnerability (e.g. income and age).  In addition, the type of housing may create greater surface water flood risk, if, for example the properties are small, with small gardens that are often covered in concrete

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Figure 1: Initial and desired scores to reach per layer in this pilot (Transnational Monitor and Evaluation report, 2020)

To measure the impact of FRAMES on improving the flood resilience of pilot areas, communities and authorities both a baseline and final monitoring survey have been conducted. The surveys were completed by pilot managers in consultation with key pilot stakeholders. The baseline survey included questions about the actual situation in 2017 (before the project started) and expectations for 2020 (see figure 1). The final survey contained similar questions, but about the actual situation in 2020 and expected situation for 2025, five years after the pilot projects are finished. All the scores for both surveys along with an interpretation, can be found in chapter 8 of the Transnational Monitor and Evaluation report.

Stakeholders involved

The main actors of this pilot project are:

Other actors are local communities, local businesses, schools, assisted living facilities in the area and manufacturers.

Roles of key actors

  • Anglian Water Services is the water supply and drainage company. When someone floods, they are one of the organisations called by householders first, especially if the flooding involves overflowing drains. There is interest in this water company and others on how the approach with leaky water butts and raised beds might be taken forward.
  • Local authorities such as Norfolk County Council or Great Yarmouth Council, have the responsibility to coordinate flood risk management activities in their areas, as well as having responsibilities for fluvial flooding on ordinary watercourses and surface water flooding.
  • The National Flood Forum (NFF) is a charity that supports and represents flood risk communities by:
    • Working with people and communities to help them take control of their flood risk
    • Supporting people to recover from flooding
    • Working with organisations to champion the issues that concern flood risk communities the most and seek change.

Much of this work is delivered through projects such as FRAMES, where new ideas can be tested and developed.  People at flood risk are often fearful, suffer anxiety and have problems with selling and moving house. Overall, NFF aims to support people at flood risk and to change systems, cultures and attitudes towards flooding and flood risk through projects like Frames.

  • Local communities such as households, local businesses, schools and assisted living facilities in the pilot area cooperate with the NFF and engage in the project to learn and increase awareness about flood risk.
  • Manufacturers. The organization that provides/supplies and installs the water butts in people’s houses. They see the possibilities of this business to continue mitigating flood risk in other local authorities. After FRAMES, the manufacturers will be responsible of the installation and the maintenance of the water butts, it is arranged in the legal contracts.

Main activities

Step zero: flood risk assessment

Prior to the start of FRAMES, the Norfolk County Council together with Anglian waters did a flood risk assessment  looking into the flood risk awareness of the communities. The report shows high risk areas, but a large area in Great Yarmouth (Southtown) was not included reported because the communities did not report flood damages to the local authorities when they got flooded.

Step 1a: community engagement

  • As part of FRAMES, a communication plan  from Anglian Water Services, Norfolk County Council, and the National Flood Forum was written on how to targeting and engaging with engage local communities.
  • Targeted communication with communities is a major component of the project.  The local communities were engaged by means of community approach ; attending coffee mornings,  activity groups (sports, children related), community events (feast, carnival), going door to door,  and leaflet dropping in the area, posters in the community coffee shops, bars, restaurant. The local press (radio, newspapers, and magazines (Norwich), were used, coverage about the project could be found on twitter and other social media. Businesses contacted were: shops, restaurants, garages, sheltered housing, and large complexes where people need support to living.
  • All schools were contacted in the scoped areas. Three schools participated in the project; they replaced artificial grass and installed water butts as well as raised flower beds during the science week. They wanted the children to learn about flooding, planting,  and help build and decorate the raised flower beds.

Step 1b: tendering

  • Setting up the contract for use with suppliers and installers and with householders proved to be much more complex and time consuming than originally thought.  A commissioning brief was developed that considered which area of law the agreements should fall under and the criteria that needed to be met.  Issues such as managing risk and ensuring that the householder document was not ofputting were paramount.  Different aspects of insurance cover, maintenance, liability and service delivery all had to be covered.  This was put out to tender; the successful legal team then worked with the National Flood Forum to develop the necessary documentation and procedures.  Whilst contracts have been developed many times for projects such as property protection and natural flood risk management, as far as we are aware, this is the first time that a comprehensive approach has been taken to the installation of leaky water butts and raised beds.
  • Companies were asked to quote for open contracts; i.e. contracts whereby the project could select any number of products to be installed. This enables the project to select different products for a variety of situations and to learn from the experience before moving on to the next stage. It also means that householders have a choice of product and this in itself is useful feedback.
  • The householder agreement says states that households will keep devices in good conditions, clean it once a year, not remove it and if they move house to notify the National Flood Forum if the new householders will continue with the contract. The liability and the warranty of the water butts is with the supplier and installer.  The National Flood Forum also amended their CIC agreement to help protect the charity from any future legal liability.
  • The community engagement and the tendering process with the manufacturers started at the same time. Community engagement is a core element of the project and is ongoing as the project tests different elements.   Developing the legal documents and securing contracts took around a year.

Step 2: Installation of water butts

  • A demonstration raised bed was installed in once school as part of their Science week.  It not only worked, but is a useful way of showing people what a leaky raised bed looks like and generating interest.  When somebody shows interest in the project, the National Flood Forum sends an information pack including the following information: purpose of water butts or raised flower beds, information about the FRAMES project, and  the different options  of water butts or raised flower beds. Afterwards, a meeting is arranged with them to look at their garden, take some photos of the suitable places for the water butts, talk about viable options and then sign an agreement when installing the water butts. The water butts are installed and paid by FRAMES for by the National Flood Forum, there is a total budget for 1000 water butts. Considering To reflect the new GDPR legislation in UK, the individuals are also asked if their contact details can be shared with the suppliers.
  • The National flood Forum made created a database of the interested people in the water butts. They were contacted in December 2018 to inform them that water butts are ready to be installed. After people say that are interested, the National Flood Forum does a survey at the household level before install

ation  to establish the suitability of the property for the type of waterbutts selected and to ensure that anything installed will work .  For example, inappropriate drainage connections may make installation impossible.  The first order of water butts was sent and the first installation was planned for the month of March 2019.   At this stage, there are 200 people interested, between 16-20 people completed the first order.

  • The water butts and raised beds are adapted to the project because they have a slow release mechanism that slowly releases 2/3 of the water into the drainage system over a period of a few days.   The selected water butts are of high quality, designed to be robust and have a life span of 10 years. The water butts had to be adapted for the project and the National Flood Forum had to find manufacturers that were willing to do that.  Due to the risk of legionella disease, the water butts have a sticker with the warning ‘do not drink the water’, ‘do not attached a house pipe

.’ Step 3: Monitoring phase

The monitoring of the water butts will be done through a survey and no technical equipment. In the contract it states that the household can be contacted later for survey to look at the state of the water butts. However, no incidents are expected t


coming 5 to 10 years. Monitoring equipment, for instance to measure water flow, is too expensive falls outside the project timeline.  We can measure the litrerage that would be captured during a heavy downfall of rain, slowing the flow of the surface water and reducing the risk of flooding.   We keep 1/3rd of the water in the water butt so the residents always have some water to water their plants as this is the main reason many residents want a water butt installed.