Raeburn Drilling is to start ground investigation next week in East Lothian for the Musselburgh Flood Protection Scheme.
The work, which includes 15 boreholes and five trial pits alongside both the River Esk and Pinkie Burn, will take place over nine weeks and are expected to be completed before Christmas.
Two teams will be carrying out the works with one team working on four boreholes within the grounds of Pinkie St. Peters school and the second team working on boreholes and trial pits at the mouth of the River Esk. The teams will then work their way up the Esk.
Musselburgh has a history of damaging floods from the River Esk although the last major flood, and inundation of the High Street, was in 1948. However, in recent years the combination of rising sea levels and changing weather patterns has suggested a possible higher incidence of flooding events in the future. In addition, parts of the Pinkie area of Musselburgh have also experienced problems associated with groundwater levels.
In December 2017 the East Lothian council engaged Jacobs as design consultant and tasked them with developing a scheme for Musselburgh. To date, the first phases of the topographic survey works and ecological surveys have been completed. The project team is currently building a hydraulic model which will confirm the actual flood risk to the town.
East Lothian Council cabinet member for environment Norman Hampshire explained: “The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency carried out country-wide Flood Risk Management Strategies which both described current flood risk and identified specific actions that will reduce risk. East Lothian Council is developing this scheme because the town of Musselburgh is at significant risk of flooding, and protecting it is considered both a national and council priority.
“The actual scheme will be developed over the coming years through a consultative process with key stakeholders and the town of Musselburgh.”
Scheme project manager Conor Price added: “The Project Team is systematically establishing contact with stakeholders, businesses and the people of Musselburgh. Over the next period we will ramp-up this effort and obviously with ground investigation works being visible, people will become aware of us.”