Located within sight of the beautiful River Teifi in South Wales, Storm Callum hit us with intense and very localised rain last week. As local residents and business start to clean up and families mourn the loss of loved ones, the discussion returns again to how the UK can best prepare for extreme weather events in the face of climate change.
Wales is taking the lead on sustainable methods of dealing with rainwater for flood prevention, to protect water quality and biodiversity through the implementation of Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.
SuDS for New Building Developments
From the 7th of January 2019, Sustainable Draingage Systems (SuDS) are a mandatory requirement for all new building developments. The legislation ensures resilient drainage systems for new developments in both urban and rural areas.
Sustainable drainage systems key to reducing flood risk.
Hannah Blythyn, Minister for Environment
Amongst the Principles that SuDS Schemes in Wales should aim for are to:
- manage water onor close to the surface and as close to the source of the runoff as possible;
- treat rainfall as a valuable natural resource;
- ensure pollution is prevented at source, rather than relying on the drainage system to treat or intercept it;
The Priority Level 1 for SuDS components is that “Surface water runoff is collected for use;”
As a manufacturer and distributor of Rainwater Harvesting Filters, Pump Controllers and Garden Water Butts, this is of course good news. More importantly though, well designed Rainwater Harvesting Systems and Management is also key to resilience in times of drought too. Water stored during the Autumn and Winter months can be used during dry Summer spells (as we have also seen in this part of Wales this year).
You can read more about the new SuDS Legislation on the Welsh Government website.
SuDS Wales for Flood Prevention on new developments is part of the answer to flooding and drought. Importantly we also must retrofit Sustainable Drainage Systems to our existing towns, cities and countryside.
The Greener Grangetown project is a great example of retrofitting 12 residential streets with an array of SuDS components. The project aimed to capture, treat and divert rainfall from the sewer system directly into the River Taff.