Cutting-edge sensors helping to tackle flooding in South London

30 June 2022

Cutting-edge sensors helping to tackle flooding in South London


As part of the South London Partnership’s InnOvaTe (IoT) Project, sensors were installed in flooding hotspots back in 2021. The sensors provide an opportunity to spot potential areas at risk of flooding via a combination of the gullies filling, or silt taking the available space that the water should consume. Alerts are set to inform council officers including Highways, Flooding and Communications to instances of rising water in order to allow proactive interventions to occur. 

The Council’s team also analyse the data produced by the Aquasition flood monitoring system to generate long-term insights that help understand and predict the impact of flooding on the drainage system.

The sensors were installed in seven locations across Sutton and are in operation at:

  • Guy Road
  • Demesne Road
  • Beddington Gardens
  • Wallington Bridge 
  • Woodmansterne Lane
  • Mulgrave Road
  • Wallington Library (rain gauge)

Data generated by the sensors to date has provided insights into the following:

  • improved council response times to flooding events due to real-time alerts being sent to officers for both drainage levels and also forecast rainfall expected to key locations 
  • changes applied to maintenance routines by cleaning crews to increase focus on those sites that need it
  • investigations into drainage discharge rates have allowed for improvements to drainage infrastructure

Recently we have also seen the implementation of a multi-borough IoT data platform flooding dashboard which pulls in data from multiple sources allowing officers to instantly see historic trends, current drainage / rainfall status and also predictive forecasts.

In addition to the sensors and ability to analyse and monitor trends, six new electronic ‘variable message’ road signs will be deployed later this year to give road users up to date information about possible flooding on key routes within Sutton and Kingston – including high-profile flooding sites at Worcester Park Bridge and Wallington Bridge. Once these signs are installed and operational, the team hopes to see fewer members of the public driving through these high-risk areas and getting their vehicles stuck, as has been the case historically.

Additionally, pilots are being carried out in Kingston and Richmond, with a view to this being a multi-borough approach to tackling inclement weather for many winters to come.


About the InnOvaTe Project:

South London Partnership is working with London Councils to deliver an exciting and innovative “Internet of Things” (IoT) project across the five south London Councils of Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton.

This initiative is funded by the Strategic Investment Pot (SIP) as part of the London Councils Business Rates Retention scheme which is administered by the City of London Corporation, and hopes to improve people’s lives through the delivery of a multi-purpose Internet of Things (IoT) platform, which will connect various sensors across borough boundaries.

The project is led by Sutton Council, which was selected to oversee the project on behalf of the other boroughs.

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