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Groundwater flood warning service launched for Dorset and Wiltshire

Up to now, the Environment Agency has only provided a general flood warning service for those in these areas, of which 100 communities and 10,000 people are vulnerable.

The EA has urged locals to sign up for these text message and phone call alerts to see if they are at risk of groundwater flooding.

The service is free but residents that have already signed up to the flood warning service will need to opt in for groundwater flood warnings.

The EA hopes the service will enable people to prepare for groundwater flooding, which is common in chalk-based areas. It has now embarked upon a two-week social media campaign to spread the word about the service.

"Rising groundwater can be very difficult to protect against," says Nicol Sellick, from the EA’s local flood resilience team.

"It is less visible than flooding from rivers, and often seems to appear out of nowhere. A warning can be the first indication people get that flooding is imminent. This type of flooding can be a huge problem for householders. It can lead to overflowing septic tanks and flooded basements. Groundwater can be around for weeks or even months as a result."

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