Secondment Spotlight – Adam Grigson

Flooding in the UK

Meet Adam Grigson, who is seconded to the Flood Risk Management and Drainage Team at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. Find out more about Adam’s varied and exciting role.

“Since joining Waterman Aspen in July 2023, I have played a key role in reviewing planning applications for the Council as a Drainage and Flood Risk Management Specialist. My role consists of filtering through a high volume of planning applications, from minor to major developments (anything over 10 dwellings or 1 hectare), and identifying those that require a more in-depth drainage review. My expertise in surface water drainage helps ensure new developments consider proper water management solutions. The council’s local plan requires that applications follow a SuDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems) based approach wherever possible. I spend a lot of time checking through flood risk assessments, drainage layouts and many supporting documents to ensure that designs are suitable for the location. I also deal with HS2 applications, which are often accompanied by an Ordinary Watercourse Consent, as much of their work involves the realignment of watercourses.

One aspect of my role that I particularly enjoy is carrying out flood investigations following reports from residents. We do this in collaboration with tanker operators, who use high pressure water jets and suction hoses to cut through silt, roots and road debris in blocked gullies and manholes. We then use a CCTV surveying kit to visually inspect the pipe condition. Back in the summer, we carried out a four day job on a roundabout where a large mass of tree roots had blocked the drainage pipes – it took over 20 minutes to cut through it! I also visited several locations of highway flooding during the extreme rainfall events at the start of winter, assisting colleagues in ensuring the tankers were sent to the highest priority locations.

At university, I did a placement year at Coventry City Council who are set up very similarly to Solihull, as they are both unitary authorities within the West Midlands district – this knowledge has helped massively in my current role. I have thrived at Waterman Aspen and my secondment has been a success. The supportive environment and flexibility offered by Solihull Council is also great. I value the significant responsibility entrusted to me and the opportunity to develop my technical skills.”


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