Future Surface Water Management

Rainwater Harvesting diagram

In a recent edition of Builder Merchants Magazine, Glyn Hyett, Founder-member and Director of the UK Rainwater Management Association, writes about how to mitigate the problems of Winter floods and Summer droughts.

The solution, Glyn summises, is two fold. To “… store sufficient surplus Winter rainfall to meet subsequent summer requirements without relying upon river extraction.” He goes on to say that “Taking an integrated approach to SuDS and water shortages would be much more cost-effective than treating floods and droughts as separate issues”. In times of drought, rain water is a valuable natural resource.

Making use of stored water (after it has been temporarily stored in cisterns) for non-potable purposes such as flushing toilets makes sense from a sustainable point of view.

The illustration at the top of this post shows infiltration, water gardens and rainwater harvesting (RWH) being used as the primary Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) tools. The overflow of the RWH component of the system can be used to help supply downstream communal systems; these serve properties with a low roof-to-occupancy ratio, which do not harvest sufficient rainfall to meet residents’ non-potable needs. Balancing ponds or swales to accommodate exceptional weather events then complete a highly cost-effective system that provides a raft of environmental and amenity benefits.

Read the full Future Surface Water Management article as a pdf document.


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