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The increasing effects of climate change are testing the limits of our infrastructure, including drainage systems. Within the built environment sector, it has been a matter of national debate that the country’s drainage networks are facing challenges as the intensity of rainfall increases and a demand for new housing continues to rise.

It’s vital to adapt to the changing situation before us and discover sustainable methods of reducing the pressure on the sewerage network. At the Genuit Group, we are committed to helping the built environment sector achieve these goals and make a difference.

What is happening to our drainage system?

More adverse weather events are beginning to push the boundaries of what conventional drainage and sewerage systems can handle. Increased surface water runoff is contributing to overloaded sewers and more pollutants entering our rivers and streams. Designers are obliged to consider what were considered extreme and unlikely events, as being probable, and with increased impact.

As areas become more populated, urban and residential water management and drainage is going to become more important and is now a key focus for the Government. Studies from the Met Office show that from 2010-2019, summers in the UK were 13% wetter than the period of 1961-1990. Solid evidence that as the effects of climate change have greater impact on society, urgent action needs to be taken to combat these risks at ground level.

If water drains into our water courses, rather than being absorbed by the ground, the likes of river flooding is much more likely. What’s more, surface water flooding is more likely when rainfall sits on the surface rather than running away through the right drainage systems. It’s particularly common in urban areas, where there are more impermeable surfaces like concrete or tarmac.

What are the solutions?

Innovative flood water drainage systems can help to mitigate the effects of climate change, allowing us to adapt and make sustainable changes to the infrastructure of our cities and towns. These systems must be created to better cope with a warmer and wetter world.

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) can allow rainwater to be absorbed by the ground through features like ponds, rather than flowing into the sewer network. Previously, one of the major obstructions in creating SuDS has been uncertainty around long-term maintenance of the systems, but this is changing.

There are also emerging geocellular systems that can help with water storage and alleviation of localised flooding and surface water management. Geocellular structures are designed to store excess water when there is heavy rainfall and the excessive flowing water cannot immediately drain into sewers or off-site drainage.

Solutions from Polypipe Civils and Green Urbanisation, Permavoid and Plura Innovations have been created to offer sustainable water management and drainage. Permavoid helps to create a circular, nature based solution for sustainable management in metropolitan areas, while solutions from Polypipe Civils and Green Urbanisation offer a range of solutions for different needs, including surface water retention, infiltration, surface water treatment and flow control devices.

The increase in green urbanisation

As the pressures increase on our urban areas, the value of green spaces becomes even more important. Green urbanisation can provide a way of integrating solution to improve air quality, wellbeing and water management for the chance to adapt our cities and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The right green urbanisation solutions can be utilised to better control the flow of water and reduce any excessive surface water, while also sustainably storing necessary water supplies. In time, this allows us to create a more sustainable place to live.

Water is the world’s most valuable resource, with many sources of water having the responsibility of sustaining life. Creating on-site solutions for sustainable water management is just one step in making sure our communities are playing their role in reducing the effects of climate change. To find out more about how Genuit are making this a reality, get in touch.

Statistics from the following sources:

https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.6726

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