Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We were lucky

Following heavy rain on Sunday, we were not looking forward to another dose of the wet stuff yesterday. Fortunately, when the rain did arrive in the afternoon, it didn't last long as was nowhere near as heavy as the day before. Even still, some parts of the province, where clearing up had started yesterday morning, could have done without even a shower.

The problem is that the drainage systems in this part of Spain are largely inadequate. In England, most problems with flooding occur on the flood plains of rivers. Rivers rise and flood the surrounding area. In this area of Spain, I don’t suppose the rivers ever flood their banks so that isn’t the issue. However, when the rain is heavy it runs down calles and over parched land which can’t soak it up and has nowhere to go.

Very few houses have guttering and those that do have downpipes that simply empty onto the paving or road. There seems to be no system of pipework underground for surface water. When you look around, very few roads have drains to take the water away either. At best, a storm drain at the side of the road just takes the water elsewhere where it is meant to soak away. On high ground there is no problem, on low lying land and in the centre of towns, this is a major headache.

In Bigastro there are collectors across the road down to the town which take the water to the huerta. Unfortunately, the first collector on the way down from Villas Andrea is at the junction at the bottom of the estate. When it rains, water from la Pedrera runs down the storm drain alongside Calle Le Vigan until it reaches the park where the office used to be. There it just spills out onto the road joining the water coming down Calle Cañada de Andrea to create a river of muddy water which doesn’t stop until the junction with the road to the reservoir.

We are fortunate in that river of water which runs down Le VIgan bypasses our road. Because we are above the retaining wall, our terracing drains down two pipes onto the road below. So, our plot drains quickly and efficiently even with the heaviest of rain. Our only problem is that, when it rains heavily, water seeps into the box that holds the pool pump and filter.


The sky this morning is blue with the odd small cloud. Looking at the satellite image above, it looks as though the worst of the rain is now over. AEMET still predict a 75% chance of rain today reducing to 55% for the next couple of days. The chances are it will be less than a few millimetres though on either day.

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