Kildare County Council is to investigate how the newly built Waterways apartment and housing complex in Sallins was flooded so rapidly last week, resulting in the emergency evacuation of residents.

"The council is reviewing the course and cause of the flooding. We want to determine why and the how this happened," said council spokesman, Charlie Talbot.

But Talbot stressed that Waterways is a private estate and "the first responsibility rests with the owner and/or management company who looks after and maintains the estate".

Talbot said that while the council had dug a trench or culvert across the road to release the flood water last week, it had no legal obligation to do so.

But last Thursday Waterways agents Wyse Property Management said that it was its "understanding, based on information received from service personnel, that the external drainage facility outside Kerdiffstown Court is inadequate to cope with the unprecedented flooding from a local stream outside, and at the rear of, Waterways".

"Unfortunately, these culverts are not adequate to cope with the recent deluge of water, and hence leading to the principal cause of the flooding conditions," said Wyse.

Wyse said it had advised the council of the drainage problems and the potential risk of flooding.

While drainage will be one of the key issues examined under the investigation, Talbot said that after the third phase of the development, the original developers had applied and secured planning permission to put in a different drainage system to the one originally proposed.

"The application was supported by independent consultants and on that basis the council backed the change as an interim measure and on the assumption that the builder would revert to the original drainage plan," said Talbot.