When it rains in the countryside, the water generally stays there. When it rains in an urban area, impermeable surfaces transform water into runoff that needs to be collected, directed and kept separate from wastewater. Faced with increasing urbanisation and heavier downpours, many of our stormwater networks are not up to the job. The good news is that we have solutions.
There are several approaches to improving how we deal with stormwater in the face of urbanisation and climate change. Some are technical, like building separate stormwater sewers alongside wastewater sewers, rather than moving stormwater and wastewater through one pipe. Further emerging solutions include employing smart overflow chambers within combined stormwater/ wastewater networks.
Amiblu, through our Hobas and Flowtite brands, offers a full range of products for separate and combined systems. These include pipes and inspection chambers, retention tanks, battery tanks, storage pipes and overflow basins.
Reengineering the urban landscape
Other ways to manage stormwater include Low Impact Development. LID employs innovative infiltration, evaporation and transpiration technologies that help stormwater leach into the ground and evaporate into the air. Think grass and plants on roofs, drainage layers, and pavements and roads that are permeable to water.
Decentralised infrastructure is another trend in stormwater management. This replaces the traditional, failure-prone end-of-pipe overflow ponds with stormwater management and treatment throughout its urban journey. Stormwater sewer pipes, for example, can be designed to be leaky. Infiltration chambers can hold back stormwater for subsequent slow release into the ground. Artificial wetlands can clean stormwater and remove nutrients. Decentralising stormwater infrastructure makes it possible to build resilience and redundancy into urban planning and design, helping communities better prepare for extreme deluges.
Build without disturbing
While smart design is one aspect of future-proofing stormwater management, so too is the use of smart technologies and installation techniques. Amiblu GRP solutions cut project time and disruption. Being lighter, our pipelines and other components can be installed using smaller cranes. Being lighter, each truck can carry more, which reduces truck movements and so the noise, dust, CO2 emissions and general inconvenience that goes with them for people living and working in the area. Advanced installation techniques, like trenchless slip lining, jacking and non-circular relining also save time and reduce inconvenience to pedestrians and traffic in busy urban centres. Finally, employing long-lasting GRP rather than concrete means it will be years before major work is required again.