A COMPANY supplying flood defence products has won an environmental award.
Kirkburton-based Environmental Defence Systems was presented with a Green Hero Award in recognition of its FloodSax device, a lightweight and effective alternative to the traditional sandbag, which has been used to combat flooding in hundreds of properties.
The awards are made annually to companies, councils and communities carrying out projects that enhance the environment.
Judges said: “Flood defence is a big issue. The recent events in this country have made millions more people aware of the risks that can affect so many of us.
“Yet for many councils the first line of defence is a sandbag.
“These are bulky, wasteful, unreliable, hard to store and transport and have a short lifespan.
FloodSax overcome all these concerns and, most importantly, they are biodegradable.”
FloodSax are activated when they come into contact with water, expanding and absorbing the water to 90% capacity in just three minutes.
Each one is the size of a small pillow but can absorb up to 22 litres of water.
Twenty Flood Sax can be stored in a box for up to five years and can be used in minutes. The product is endorsed by the National Disabled Fire Association.
The Green Hero Award scheme is run by the Green Organisation, an independent, non-political, non-profit organisation that promotes environmental best practice around the world.
It is supported by groups including the Environment Agency and the Charted Institute of Environmental Health.
Meanwhile, FloodSax have been handed out to 180 properties in Catcliffe, south of Rotherham.
The Government’s floods recovery minister, John Healey, who helped distribute the FloodSax, said: “I welcome this joint initiative to provide all previously flooded households in Catcliffe with added protection against flooding.
“Last summer’s floods caused misery for thousands of people.’’
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Climate change means extreme weather conditions are becoming far more frequent.
“So we must do all we can to give individual households extra resilience to protect themselves.
“These FloodSax can do just that.
“By having them in the house they can be deployed at very short notice to block the water coming through the front and back doors or to prevent the unpleasantness of lavatories overflowing. They effectively act like a giant-sized nappy.
“If, as we fully expect, this initiative is successful we will be looking to extend it to other vulnerable areas across the UK.”