Firm making splash with new flood barrier

TURN THE TIDE: A Floodstop barrier developed by former Bournemouth University student Simon Phelps which can keep out water better than sandbags

IN ACTION: The flood defence system working

OLD WAY: Traditional sandbags

First published in News by

SANDBAGS are “completely ineffective” in floods and are only deployed to reassure people that councils are doing something, a businessman has said.

The claim comes from Simon Phelps, 30-year-old founder of Fluvial Innovations, who invented the Floodstop barrier as part of a project for Bournemouth University.

He said: “Sandbags were used during the summer floods of 2007 as they are now. They didn’t work then and they have never been effective at flood prevention. Sandbags are deployed to put people’s minds at rest that councils are doing something, when in truth their expensive, slow to assemble and completely ineffective at dealing with floodwaters.”

He said his Floodstop barrier was “low cost and far more effective than sandbags”.

He added: “The barrier can be rapidly deployed by one person. It doesn’t need to be bolted to the ground and the units are simply connected using slide-in keys. The barrier is reusable and it works, unlike sandbags.

“Householders and local authorities are wasting a large amount of money on sandbags that are prone to leakage, slow to assemble and can only be used once.”

The Floodstop barriers fill with the rising floodwater, weighing them down.

“The beauty of this system is that when flood waters eventually recede, the barrier becomes light enough to be taken away by one person,” Mr Phelps added.

Mr Phelps developed the idea after watching a TV programme about the Lewes and Uckfield floods of 2000. It showed that more than 500 properties flooded because sandbagging methods failed.

Mr Phelps has been working alongside Bournemouth University since he graduated in 2005 and his product has been bought by homeowners in the UK and USA.

The Environment Agency, several local authorities and businesses are among his customers.

The Emergency Planning Society voted Floodstop as the most innovative product of 2009 and it won the Best Climate Ready Initiative title in Climate Week 2013.

Comments (9)

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10:41am Thu 20 Feb 14

we-shall-see says...

PROOF READER PLEASE NOTE - " when in truth their expensive,".........
..................SH
OULD READ " when in truth THEY ARE expensive" or when in truth they're expensive"


Aside from that grammatical error, those barriers look great. I could do with some in my garden right now!
PROOF READER PLEASE NOTE - " when in truth their expensive,"......... ..................SH OULD READ " when in truth THEY ARE expensive" or when in truth they're expensive" Aside from that grammatical error, those barriers look great. I could do with some in my garden right now! we-shall-see
  • Score: 26

10:49am Thu 20 Feb 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

Do they work on uneven ground though ?
Sandbags can be pressed into shapes and into curves etc. These things look like they have to be mounted onto a flat (ideally concrete) surface. Gardens, gravel driveways, kerbs and fields are not perfectly flat.
Do they work on uneven ground though ? Sandbags can be pressed into shapes and into curves etc. These things look like they have to be mounted onto a flat (ideally concrete) surface. Gardens, gravel driveways, kerbs and fields are not perfectly flat. Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: 18

11:09am Thu 20 Feb 14

alyce says...

You need a proof-reader and I'm up for the job!
You need a proof-reader and I'm up for the job! alyce
  • Score: 11

11:34am Thu 20 Feb 14

hooplaa says...

If they were that good they would already be used! Stop trying to get business via the 'news' section
If they were that good they would already be used! Stop trying to get business via the 'news' section hooplaa
  • Score: -12

12:18pm Thu 20 Feb 14

SympatheticSam says...

hooplaa wrote:
If they were that good they would already be used! Stop trying to get business via the 'news' section
Read the article. He doesn't need customers if he has the Environment Agency on board.
[quote][p][bold]hooplaa[/bold] wrote: If they were that good they would already be used! Stop trying to get business via the 'news' section[/p][/quote]Read the article. He doesn't need customers if he has the Environment Agency on board. SympatheticSam
  • Score: 16

4:19pm Thu 20 Feb 14

JHC2 says...

The Echo's command of grammar is pretty crumby - water is rising ,
their standards are not . JC
The Echo's command of grammar is pretty crumby - water is rising , their standards are not . JC JHC2
  • Score: 3

5:17pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Bournemouth Ohec says...

Let's get over the grammar and applaud those in producing what hopefully will be a successfull-no- sucussful-no- succesful- no- great product.
Let's get over the grammar and applaud those in producing what hopefully will be a successfull-no- sucussful-no- succesful- no- great product. Bournemouth Ohec
  • Score: 4

6:21pm Thu 20 Feb 14

golfer33 says...

Im sure LEGO would like to know where he got the idea from.
These walls have been around for years in Sweden. you just build as the water rises. Surprised the Environment Agency services dont contact other countries with the same problem.
Im sure LEGO would like to know where he got the idea from. These walls have been around for years in Sweden. you just build as the water rises. Surprised the Environment Agency services dont contact other countries with the same problem. golfer33
  • Score: -3

7:50pm Thu 20 Feb 14

davecook says...

Sandbags do have a use. Best used in conjunction with a decent sheet of plastic and some mastic round doors they work well in flash floods. Rising groundwater in long term floods will defeat almost anything. Just ask my cousin in Somerset..........
Sandbags do have a use. Best used in conjunction with a decent sheet of plastic and some mastic round doors they work well in flash floods. Rising groundwater in long term floods will defeat almost anything. Just ask my cousin in Somerset.......... davecook
  • Score: 3

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