Surface water flooding has been noted at the bottom of Fairview Manor and on Brae Road. How will this be addressed through the Scheme?

The Scheme is assessing the risk from surface water (pluvial flooding). It is not being designed to alleviate all surface water issues but will ensure they are not worsened as a result of the Scheme being in place.

Notwithstanding this, the Project Team have noted the issues at both Brae Road and Fairview Manor and are developing ancillary proposals to alleviate this flooding. These may include surface water drainage works and new drainage outfalls.


Will the Scheme alleviate flooding from the Skeoge River?

Properties at risk of flooding in the Slab area that are within the Burnfoot Scheme Area will be protected from flooding up to the 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (or 1 in 100 year) event. Properties further upstream on the Skeoge River, at Bridgend and elsewhere will not be protected by the Scheme.


Has the Scheme considered the impact of flooding at Inch Lake and the effect water backing up from Inch Lake has on flooding upstream, on both the Burnfoot River and the Skeoge?

Flooding at Inch Lake is considered to have a detrimental environmental effect, particularly on nesting birds around margins of the lake. The Flood Relief Scheme is focussed on providing protection to Burnfoot and to mitigate the impact of this downstream (i.e. Inch Lake). The proposed removal of the Arterial Drainage Scheme embankment downstream of Burnfoot will reactivate floodplain storage in this area. This will this have benefits in terms of reducing flood levels in Burnfoot and it will also reduce the volume and speed at which flood waters arrive at Inch Lough. This will mitigate any impact the Scheme may have on water levels up and downstream of Burnfoot and reduce the impact of floods on Inch Lake. It will also alleviate the risk to Burnfoot from floodwaters backing up from Inch Lake.


When can I expect to be protected?

The current project programme shows that Stage IV, construction will be completed in 2026. Elements of the scheme which could provide partial protection may be in place earlier in the construction period.

Whilst every effort is being made to implement the Scheme as soon as possible, the project programme is subject to changes outside the Project Team’s control and will be updated periodically. The project programme is available on the Project Website at:


Will the Scheme alleviate all flooding?

The Scheme is being developed to alleviate all flooding from rivers and watercourses up to the 0.5% AEP (1 in 200 year) event for properties within the Scheme Area. This means that Burnfoot properties currently at risk will be protected from a flood that has a 0.5% chance of occurring in any given year.

The Scheme is not being developed to alleviate flooding from other sources of flooding such as pluvial (directly from rainfall) or out of sewer flooding. However it is proposed that ancillary surface water drainage works will be developed for the junction of Brae Road / Monreagh Park and for the junction of Fairview Manor / Muff Road (R239). These areas have been highlighted by residents of Burnfoot as susceptible to surface water flooding and the project team is seeking to ensure that they do not cause flooding behind the defences when the Scheme is in place.


What will be the impact of the Flood Relief Scheme on properties outside the scheme area?

No properties outside the scheme area will be put at additional risk by the scheme.


Why is the Scheme taking so long?

Even though the outline of a potential flood relief scheme for Burnfoot was identified through the North-Western CFRAM Study (2017) and the subsequent Burnfoot Cost Review Study (2018), the analysis was not of sufficient detail to allow the development and design of an FRS through to construction.

A project-specific brief was developed in 2019/20 to meet the detailed needs of an FRS for Burnfoot. Specialist engineering and environmental consultants were appointed in July 2020. Since then a range of engineering and environmental surveys have been completed to ensure the analysis has sufficient detail and is up to date in terms of conditions on the ground. Complex hydrological and hydraulic analysis reflecting best practice across Ireland and the UK was required to determine to a sufficient degree of accuracy the design parameters for the scheme. Detailed multi-year environmental studies are required to ensure a robust assessment of this scheme’s impact on the environment. The preferred scheme has now been identified and is significantly larger and more complex than that identified in the Flood Risk Management Plan in 2018. Analysing and developing this larger scheme has taken longer than originally programmed.


Why am I not being protected by the scheme?

The scheme is being developed to protect properties and other receptors at risk of river and watercourse flooding from the 0.5% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) event, or the equivalent of a 1 in the 200-year return period. There are a number of reasons why a property may not be included to be protected by the scheme including:

  • the project has not determined the property to be at risk from events up to the 0.5% AEP event even though it is at risk in more extreme events;
  • the property is farmland or has another use which is compatible with being located in the floodplain;
  • the property is at risk from a different source of flooding, e.g. pluvial or direct rainfall runoff or flooding from the drainage system or;
  • the property is outside the scheme area. This was defined in the Flood Risk Management Plan and is based on the Settlement Framework Boundary for Burnfoot as set out in the County Development Plan for Donegal

If you think your property should be protected based on the criteria above please contact the project team to discuss.


Will interim measures be delivered in the meantime?

The removal of an embankment in Monreagh Park adjacent to the Burnfoot River has been identified as a potential interim measure which may provide a small reduction in flood risk to properties in Líos na Greíne and Pairc an Ghrianáin. However removal of this embankment may have to go through the full planning process in combination with the other scheme measures. It is currently assumed that the works would be undertaken at the beginning of the main construction contract in 2025 but the project team is investigating ways to accelerate this if possible.


Will the scheme protect against climate change?

The analysis includes a full assessment of the level of present-day flood risk and flood risk under two future climate change scenarios (mid-range and high-end projections). There is significant uncertainty in all of the scenarios. It is proposed the FRS is designed for the present-day scenario with an extra allowance for uncertainty, referred to as ‘freeboard,’ which is typically provided as additional height on a wall or embankment. A climate change adaptation plan has been prepared. The plan will ensure that the performance of the FRS is monitored into the future and adapted if certain trigger points are reached. The trigger points represent the point in the future where there is no longer sufficient freeboard on the scheme. If this happens, the actions included in the plan will be taken to ensure the original Standard of Protection of the scheme is maintained as  and when the effects of climate change start to occur . The FRS is not being designed for climate change levels from the outset as there is significant uncertainty in what these are and the impact of the scheme could be unnecessarily large e.g. overly high walls.

Where it does make sense to design the scheme for climate change now, e.g. installing a larger pipe from the outset to allow for potentially larger flows, the climate change adaptation plan will recommend this.