Originally buildings were never drained, rainwater landed on roofs and fell to the ground (if you were lucky and your roof didn’t leak!). This has obvious problems, so following the introduction of sewers in the 1800’s we began piping rainwater away. The trouble with the many places is there aren’t separate foul and rainwater systems, the pipes were designed for waste water, so rainwater can often end up in sewerage treatment systems which can then be overwhelmed during rainfall and storms. So is there a better way?

We’re not experts in drainage, but we have seen a pipe or two. Engineers can design systems to slow the water as it leaves the site into drainage systems, but this can be very expensive as it involves underground storage which can be very large!

We’ve known and worked with DSA Environment & Design for many years. They are a landscape and urban design practice ( based in Nottingham. With them we have looked at a better way to drain sites, a more sustainable way referred to as SuDS. This is used for many new housing developments, but can bring a dual use for schools!

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are drainage solutions that provide an alternative to the direct channeling of surface water through networks of pipes and sewers to nearby watercourses.

SuDS can mean the use of open channels, depressions in the ground where rainwater from buildings and hard surfaces is channeled and slowly soaks into the ground. These swales as they are called can be mostly dry or have water in them all year round. There are many benefits and we can’t go into great depth here, but we thought you may like the video linked below which explains how this works at a school site. By the use of SuDS not only can you have a sustainable drainage system, but it can provide a rich learning environment.

Do give us a call if you’d like to know more.

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