The Sustainable Future of Drainage?
Typically, the English weather is renowned for being rather unpredictable, and with the recent bout of flooding this reputation doesn’t show any signs of changing. Although, unfortunately, we can’t prevent heavy downpours of rain from happening, we are able to put measures in place to help cope with such extreme weather.
Sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS)
Sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) have been designed to minimise the risk of flooding by providing better opportunities for water drainage without putting strain on our traditional drain system. More and more areas of vegetation are losing their ability to absorb rainwater, as they are either being covered by roofs or replaced with impermeable materials, such as concrete or tarmac. This has caused major problems as it is instead directed into surface water drainage systems, which can struggle to cope with high quantities of water in one go, often causing them to overload and flood.
The idea of SUDS is to provide a cost-effective, environmentally friendly solution to drain away surface water through collection, storage and cleaning. It is then released slowly back into the environment through natural watercourses, such as rivers and streams.
The aims of SUDS
The installation of SUDS aims to:
– Slow down the flow of rainwater into drains
– Improve the quality of water flowing into the drains
– Minimise the damage caused to the environment by heavy rainfall
Techniques when installing SUDS
In order to achieve these aims, there are several techniques used when installing SUDS:
– Rainwater harvesting
– Green roofs
– Integration of ditches, pond and wetlands around new developments
– Introducing more permeable surfaces, such as gravel, to allow gradual drainage
Using a water butt to harvest rainwater and prevent it from falling on the ground is an effective way of reducing the amount of water sent to nearby drains which, in turn, reduces the risk of flooding. It also reduces soil erosion and keeps surface water from being contaminated with pesticides and fertilisers.
Not only is harvesting rainwater an effective drainage method, it is also a great way of avoiding rising water costs. While the cost of fitting a harvesting tank may seem high, the financial benefits become very apparent in a short amount of time.
Green roofs improve drainage by absorbing rainwater and releasing it back into the drainage system at a much slower rate. This prevents drains and sewers from being flooded with water and allows them to cope with a sudden intake of water more efficiently. Green roofs have proven to be of great benefit to those concerned by flooding, or those with out-dated drainage systems, and have a host of other environmental benefits such as insulation for the home and air purification.
SUDS are now mandatory in new developments in the UK, and it is hoped that they will also become a popular installation when renovating older properties to reduce the risk of more devastating floods across the country in the future.
Here at ClearFirst, we offer an extensive range of first rate drainage services at highly competitive prices. Our wealth of experience enables us to provide the knowledge and expertise to solve any of your drainage problems. So for more information or a free, no obligation quote, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today!