‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’
So why do we persist in using impermeable surfaces to pave our town and cities?
Road closures, flats and homes evacuated, rivers flooded…Adverse weather is a never-ending issue in the UK, with certain areas specifically such as the North West recently suffering half a month’s rain in 24 hours. City centres become inaccessible, trains are cancelled, and traffic is disrupted, all because we are failing to adapt national legislations to changing weather conditions and police them sufficiently.
With the government handing responsibilities to already over-stretched LPA’s and no cohesive SuDS strategy in the planning approval process in England, it is near impossible to govern compliance with regulations now enforced in countries like Wales and Australia. The question of this blog, how long must we repeat the same mistakes until we realise new laws and approaches must be enforced if we wish to successfully manage our weather conditions.
Manchester City Centre, 2019
Permeable Paving by SUDSTECH is seen as a desirable SUD solution as it takes up no extra space, is very low maintenance and turns pathways and driveways into dual purpose products. In densely populated urban areas like London, space is a key factor in the implementation of SUD approved methods. We have already seen in Australia an effort made by councils and over 70 inter-disciplinary partners to create ‘Water Sensitive Cities’ using sustainable water strategies. Does the UK need to adopt its own national incentive? We have seen Wales in January adopt new regulations on SuDS compliance, an optimistic sign that in time the whole of the UK will become SuDS compliant.
What are SuDs used for?
The purpose of SuDS is to reduce the impact of rainfall imitating natural drainage, meaning the landscapes around the area can help manage the flow and capacity of surface water. There are numerous benefits to SuDS including:
- Reducing Flood Risk
- Water Quality Management
- Increased Property Value
- Enhance Quality of Urban Areas
- Reduce Impact on Sewerage Systems
“Porosity That Lasts A Lifetime”
Types of SuDS
Permeable paving is a type system that allows for infiltration of rainwater across the entire surface. Permeable Paving not only reduces surface runoff but also reduces the need of deep excavations. However, some systems such as permeable tarmac will inevitably clog and become impervious over time. They can also become damaged due to frost; as the water expands when freezing, the surface will crack. The only systems which are tested for freeze-thaw safety and carry a ten year no clog guarantee are the Sudstech and Trailflex systems from Langford Direct.
Swales are shallow, wide and vegetated ditches designed to store and convey runoff. They are extremely low cost and aid in the removal of urban pollutants. The downside to Swales is that they are not suitable for steep areas or areas with roadside parking. They also limit the opportunities to use trees in landscaping.
Infiltration Trenches are shallow excavations filled with stone that offer temporary subsurface storage of storm water runoff holding water until it seeps through to the water table. Although they can significantly reduce runoff rates, they are at high risk of clogging.
So, be it commercial, government or a public sector project, we are committed to bringing eco-friendly, no clog, permeable and attractive paving across the UK. As new laws come into place, SUDSTECH are ahead of the game in providing a product that improves the world around us
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