Sandbags are not the best form of defence

Local authorities are being encouraged to use alternatives to sandbags to prevent flooding.
Local authorities are being encouraged to use alternatives to sandbags to prevent flooding.

A flood protection developer claims sandbags are failing to protect homes and businesses devastated by recent floods.

Simon Phelps, founder of Fluvial Innovations, which created the award-winning Floodstop barrier, has called for local authorities to look for more effective solutions to deal with flooding across towns and cities.

He said: “Following the recent floods and storms, sandbags have been widely used in flood-hit areas, despite the availability of more practical and cost effective solutions.

“These measures seem to have more of a placebo effect than any real form of flood protection.

“With yet more flood devastation predicted, it’s crucial we use defences that actually work, to protect residents and businesses from losing everything.”

Mr Phelps claimed sandbags were ineffective and comparatively expensive to alternatives, considering they can only be used once. Empty sandbag sacks have to be bought and filled, using both manpower and time – two resources in short supply in a flooded area.

“Even when they are in position, sandbags are prone to excessive leakage, and when used, bags rot and decay, so they are unusable for future floods,” he said.