Central Bedfordshire Council

Leaf Fall Data to Shape Drainage Management


  • Drainage | Gully


  • Software
The Problem

Lack of tree knowledge hinders drainage

There was little knowledge of the location of deciduous trees which blocks gully grates.

Seasonal leaf fall is a major contributor to surface water flooding, creating a road safety hazard.  Many local authorities did not have an inventory of where their trees were and therefore could not effectively manage blocked gully grates, caused by leaf fall.  

Gully crews could be redirected from their planned cyclical cleansing role, to attend blocked gullies – costly callouts - without understanding the cause.  

If drainage teams had knowledge of deciduous trees that were in the vicinity of gullies, a more cost-effective, proactive approach could be taken to clearance, by sweeping the leaves away from gullies before they cause a problem. 

Our Approach

Smart integration identifies problem trees efficiently

Additional functionality was added to both Tree SMART and Gully SMART to identify problem trees.

For customers that use both Gully SMART for drainage and Tree SMART for tree management, KaarbonTech’s innovative development team created additional functionality in both systems, which enabled any tree logged to Tree SMART to be classified as deciduous or evergreen.  

This information was then passed live into Gully SMART where a newly built filter enabled the drainage crews to identify those gullies in the vicinity of deciduous trees and control this by a filter showing the number of gullies within x meters. 

The Result

Proactive scheduling prevents flooding, saves money

Scheduling of sweeping was made possible in advance of rainfall events, to reduce additional cleansing.

By having live tree information available, the drainage teams could schedule additional proactive manual or driven sweeper rounds - a more cost-effective form of maintenance - ahead of storm events. Town and parishes which had taken on devolved services were well placed to act swiftly in their locality if this information was shared with them.  

As well as saving money this prevented deviation from cyclical cleansing and reduced the risk of flooding, improving safety for road users. 


Our developmnet enabled a more cost-effective approach for crews dealing with leaf-covered gullies.

Doug Maxted, Technical Strategy Manager, KaarbonTech,

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