PUMPING at Dunball was temporarily stopped due to erosion of the banks of the Rivert Parrett.

The Environment Agency told the Mercury that it had to temporarily stop pumping at Dunball last week because of ‘scour damage’.

EA spokesman Paul Gainey said: “This is due to the volume of water being discharged from the Kings Sedgemoor Drain through the Dutch pumps.

“As of this morning (February 19) we have four pumps working again and we’re looking to bring the others into operation as soon as we can.”

The EA is using steel shipping containers filled with ballast to stabilise the damaged ground. They have also moved the pump pipe work upstream away from the damaged area and smaller containers filled with stone have been used to take energy out of the water flow.

Mr Gainey added: “Most of the time the system does not get locked by the incoming tide and a large volume – up to 69 tonnes per second – can continue to move out of the system and into the River Parrett.

“With the Dutch pumps running, this increases the discharge rate by about an additional 15 tonnes per second.”

Once water levels in the Kings Sedgemoor Drain have reduced enough, the EA will be able to gradually divert more water from the River Parrett near Langport, into the Drain by operating a large sluice called Monks Leaze Clyse. This will help alleviate pressure in the River Tone and Parrett system downstream; this is the section which affects flooded communities in Moorland and Northmoor.

The EA had originally anticipated being able to operate Monks Leaze Clyse early this week, but it is now likely to be a little later in the week.