What Are Stormwater Management Solutions and Why Are They Important?
What Is Stormwater?
Stormwater is the result of heavy precipitation (rainfall) and snowmelt, which more often than not will soak into the ground. However, this isn’t always possible, at which point it is referred to as surface run off. This is an issue, as the stormwater can cause water levels to rise and this can lead to flooding and environmental damage.
Following on from this, stormwater can also lead to pollution and spreading of water that can have implications and danger for human life; if it is contaminated with chemicals bacteria or something worse such as sewage.
Therefore it is important to use stormwater management solutions to capture and store surface run off and put the stormwater through filtration and purification processes; meaning the water can be stored and repurposed. Stormwater harvesting is an idea that enables a particular urban area to become self sufficient in terms of water usage and is a core use of stormwater management solutions.
Why Do We Need Stormwater Management?
As climate change has become more of a reality in the UK (as has been shown by the recent flooding in the south of England) legislative controls and requirements to make urban areas able to deal with stormwater have been put in place – also referred to as Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS). The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 lays out, in Schedule 3, the aims and reasons that stormwater run-off needs to be managed safely and efficiently:
- Reducing damage from flooding
- Improving water quality
- Protecting and improving the environment
- Protecting health and safety, and
- Ensuring the stability and durability of drainage systems
Types Of Stormwater Management Solution
There are a number of stormwater management solutions that are used throughout the developed world and in urban centres to protect the population and environment. These include installing underground tanks and pipes for storage and drainage. However these can be expensive projects that are labour intensive and need a lot of work due to the digging of ground and so on.
One alternative to these methods, is the use of underground stormwater infiltration tanks. These store water during times of high water and slowly release it after the levels have dropped. In rivers and other natural waterways this prevents erosion damage.
Unlike the conventional method of installing a whole network of piping, the stormwater boxes can be installed with as few as two groundworkers. The installation is carried out by excavating a hole in the ground and layering geotextile fabrics before stacking the boxes together in a grid format until the desired size of system has been formed. The pipework to the ground surface is connected, the tank covered with more geotextile fabric and the box is filled. It really is as simple as that.
GEA 2H Water Technologies are specialists in stormwater management solutions and are leading suppliers of GEOdek filtration tanks. View their website for more information about stormwater management and the available products.