Kent County Council

Overhaul of Drainage Operations


  • Drainage | Gully


  • Software
The Problem

Inconsistent drainage systems and productivity monitoring

Kent County Council (KCC) wanted to improve its drainage operation, reduce flooding and be able to accurately monitor the productivity of the workforce. 

Their existing drainage asset management systems were not integrated or consistent and they needed to re-evaluate their working practices.  

KCC decided to conduct a trial of Gully SMART in Maidstone, in order to assess the potential added value and cost savings. 

Our Approach

Improved drainage system through data-driven approach

A full condition and location survey took place in Maidstone as a trial, to establish the benefit to using Gully SMART across the whole county.

KaarbonTech staff reviewed, researched, analysed, and cleansed the maintenance process and historic drainage datasets - including inspection, complaints, and flood data. All usable data was then input into their tailored Gully SMART system.  

Full location and condition surveys of all the gullies in the Maidstone area were uploaded into Gully SMART’s powerful risk modeller.  

Any roads with the highest silt levels or a high concentration of repetitive call-outs were subject to a further investigation where manholes were lifted to get a clear picture of connectivity between council-owned gullies and their outfalls. Sample CCTV surveys were then taken at the most vulnerable spots.  

The final phase was to propose a new cleansing regime, based on the results of the new, historical, and geospatial data.  

The Result

Improved gully program saves costs, enhances productivity

A new comprehensive gully programme was created encompassing the highway drainage network across the county.

KCC now has a comprehensive inventory for Maidstone of over 55,000 drainage assets, their locations and their condition. The new cleansing programme significantly increased the number of gullies visited, inspected, and cleaned– and dramatically reduced costs per asset maintained.  

Using Gully SMART gave the Council’s drainage crews access to additional functionality they had not had before. The ability to visualise jammed lids, locations, a ‘one-click view’ of missed or a ‘to-do list’ of gullies still to be cleaned means they can get the right vehicles and equipment ready to be deployed where needed quickly, saving valuable time, and ramping up productivity.  

Performance reports are now produced automatically so KCC can easily see the number of gullies cleaned against the programme. Using the Gully SMART monitoring app, all audits are also stored, so the evidence is clear when challenging any work completed.  

Gully SMART satisfies all aspects of the HMEP Guidance on the management of drainage assets, so supports and provides auditable evidence for KCC’s statements on communication, continuous improvement, and implementation for DfT incentive funding level 3 status. 

With the Maidstone trial producing and evidencing significant improvements, KCC asked KaarbonTech to do the same for the remaining 11 districts so they can take more preventative action across the county to mitigate flood risk and keep their roads safe for the travelling public.


Gully SMART enables drainage crews to use the right vehicles and tools, increasing productivity

Graeme Forward, Technical Operations Manager, KaarbonTech,

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