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By Eloise Evans on 24/08/2016
A new property development in the heart of London is set to be the UK’s biggest sustainable urban drainage system.
This summer, the Nine Elms on the South Bank regeneration area is set to launch an innovative project designed to dramatically cut the amount of clean rainwater becoming contaminated in London’s overstretched sewers.
Instead of rainwater going into drains that link to London’s sewers where it will mix with raw sewage, it is going to be channelled straight back into the Thames. As Nine Elms is roughly the size of 20 football pitches, the amount of rainwater that this saves from the sewers is pretty incredible.
It not only helps keep this water safe from contamination, it will also reduce flood risks and save on the energy and costs involved in treating it after it has combined with waste from sinks, toilets, and washing machines.
The £14m project will be the biggest sustainable urban drainage system in the UK which is set to pioneer design features in new building and landscaping that capture rainwater, increase evaporation and then direct it to a surface water network. It will then drain into large underground pipes which create a new green channel through to the Thames. After heavy rainfall, the underground reservoir gradually pumps the water back into the Thames to avoid flooding by using an upgraded pumping stations situated close to the Nine Elms development.
Thames Water sustainability director Richard Aylard said: “By keeping the rain out of our combined sewers we are reducing the risk of flooding, pollution and pressure on our sewers, this will become especially important in the long term as London’s population continues to grow rapidly and the climate changes. It is about putting surface water back where it belongs – in the river.”
“Development and regeneration across London is a major opportunity to do something different with surface water – to take it out of sewers, create additional capacity for new homes and businesses and allow areas like Nine Elms on the South Bank to thrive. Initiatives like this will also help to prolong the life of the Thames Tideway Channel.”
The Senior Development Manager at Ballymore, Tristan Stout, said: “Collaboration with Thames Water has enabled these [effective water management] features to be integrated into a strategic surface water network, which does not just reduce the flow, but removes it entirely from the existing network. This collaborative approach is one we hope will be replicated throughout London to make the city more resilient to the future climate change challenges.”
The Nine Elms development will include a variety of eco-friendly rainwater design features, including green roofs, swales – ditching containing vegetation used to remove pollutants – and streets with rainwater gardens which allow water to evaporate into the atmosphere, irrigate plants and generally reduce the volume of rainwater flowing back into the river.
Post Source: Nine Elms London