TWO water ‘outfalls’ in a Cheshire town may not have been working properly when it flooded last month.

That’s according to the Environment Agency, who say they have repaired any of their ‘assets’ damaged by flooding.

The statement has been prompted after the Local Democracy Reporting Service was contacted by a Northwich resident, who said the outfalls should act as non-return valves — so wastewater can leave the drainage system but not come back up through it.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Following last winter’s storms, the Environment Agency has been working to repair defences across the country. After the flooding in Northwich in October 2019, the Environment Agency reviewed all the drainage outfalls in Northwich town centre that are connected to the River Dane and Weaver.

“There were several assets identified as below the required standard and these were flagged with the respective owners, which include other risk management authorities. Our teams have reviewed and repaired any Environment Agency owned assets installed as part of the flood scheme.

“Going into January 2021, of the nineteen outfalls in the town centre all but two were confirmed as fully operational prior to the flooding event. The two unconfirmed ones are not EA assets and their significance and role in the flooding is not yet known.”

At the time, both the agency and Environment Minister George Eustice insisted that the £7 million of defence installed in 2016 worked effectively and ‘held the river back’.

Experts pointed to issues with the drainage system in the immediate aftermath as an area to be examined in future flood-prevention planning.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has been contacted for comment.