Code Orange: Wallonia begins emergency dredging to limit risk of new floods
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Code Orange: Wallonia begins emergency dredging to limit risk of new floods

Credit: Belga

The Walloon government has ordered emergency sewer cleaning work in a number of communes to limit the risk of further flooding, Environment Minister Céline Tellier said on Friday, while the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) has put four Walloon provinces under code orange for Saturday afternoon and evening in anticipation of rainfall and storms.

Wallonia has already warned that vigilance is required coming into this weekend, as the region struggles with the aftermath of severe weather and flooding.

The Public Water Management Company (SPGE) was contacted on Thursday during the crisis meeting organised by the governor of the province of Liege in the presence of the mayors.

One of the subjects discussed was the risk incurred by the municipalities in terms of the functioning of their sewers, since most of the sewers in flooded areas are filled with debris, stones and waste of all kinds, the Ecolo minister explained in a press release.

The cleaning of the sewers and wastewater treatment plants, and even of the demerger plants, should allow the sewers to function with the rainfall expected this weekend.

The municipalities and approved sanitation organisations concerned have requested the intervention of the Public Water Management Company (SPGE) to carry out urgent cleaning of the sewers which are currently blocked.

Through an emergency procedure, the SPGE has contracted specialised companies who started their work on Friday morning at 7:30 AM, notably in Olne, Trooz, Dison and Pepinster.

“This work will continue over the weekend and even in the weeks to come,” said the minister.

The SPGE has also requested, via the Union des Villes et Communes de Wallonie (UVCW), the help of municipalities not affected by the floods, so that they can make their hydro-scrapers and cleaning machines available.

Discussions are also underway for the sewers in Rochefort and the surrounding area.

For Durbuy, this work is already scheduled by the City for next week.

The Brussels Times