Two Hydro-Brake® Flood Units Relieve Industrial Estate Flooding in Yorkshire, UK.

Two Hydro-Brake® Flood Units Relieve Industrial Estate Flooding in Yorkshire, UK.

Hydro-Brake® Flood flow controls on Blackburn Brook prevent flooding on the Thorncliffe Industrial Estate just outside Sheffield, in the North of England.


The Blackburn Brook runs through a 500 m (540 yd) long culvert beneath the Thorncliffe Industrial Estate.  The small existing weir, situated on the brook, creates a holding capacity of just 4,000 m3 (141,000 cu ft); this isn’t large enough to provide protection from flooding.  As a result, the industrial estate and nearby housing have suffered flood damage and disruption. 


The Thorncliffe Industrial Estate and nearby housing suffered from extensive flooding in 2007 due to a 150 year storm event which exceeded the capacity of a culvert on the local Blackburn Brook.  The flood caused a great deal of damage and a dam was needed to prevent a repeat.


Two 1,098 mm (43 in) diameter Hydro-Brake® Flood units were installed into a new dam near Devil’s Bridge, on the Blackburn Brook approximately 300 m (330 yds) upstream of the culvert.  The dam creates a potential storage capacity of 32,000 m3 (1,130,000 cu ft).


The Hydro-Brake® Flood installation will control the flow, up to a design maximum of 5.7 m3/sec (200 cu ft/sec), so will protect the culvert and prevent overtopping.

Above this flow, the stored water will back up behind the dam but the flow characteristic of the devices limits the speed of back-up compared to other forms of flow control, saving in the region of 10-15 per cent of land take.

“By installing two 1,098 mm diameter Hydro-Brake® Flow Control devices we can control the water flow to match the maximum capacity of the culvert, without the stored water taking excessive land in a restricted area and country park.”

- João Santa-Clara, consulting engineer, JBA Consulting