Sustainable Drainage In Hammersmith and Fulham 💧

Sustainable Drainage Team

On 28th June members of the FPS Team attended a Summer SuDs Tour with PROSPER and the Environment Agency around Hammersmith & Fulham.

Sustainable Drainage, or SuDS, is a way of managing rainfall that mimics the drainage processes found in nature and addresses the issues with conventional drainage.

With the implementation of Schedule 3 being moved forwards to 2023, where SuDs will become mandatory on all new developments, our team are well placed to provide Surface Water Drainage Designs and Strategies.

Hammersmith & Fulham have been very proactive and shown commendable foresight in recognising and including Sustainable Drainage Schemes in town regeneration areas.

There are some sizable open spaces and parks in the borough, but because Hammersmith & Fulham is an urban region, there are a lot of impermeable surfaces as well. The borough also has a significant number of basement homes that are particularly vulnerable to surface water/sewer floods. Nearly all of the borough’s drainage infrastructure is a combined sewer system run by Thames Water.

Before the universal use of piped drainage it was common to collect and convey runoff across the land surface directly into ditches, streams and local rivers. With the growth of Victorian cities and the development of piped drainage, human and industrial waste, together with rainwater runoff from buildings and streets, was directed into a single underground pipe called the combined sewer. In periods of heavy rainfall, combined sewer overflows act as a relief valve when flows exceed sewer capacity, discharging untreated foul sewage into local watercourses. Many British cities and towns of Victorian age are served by combined sewers. Combined Sewer Overflows or (CSOs) are a profound issue causing pollution of our watercourses, and therefore incorporating SuDs is vital to reduce the overwhelm on sewers.

Conventional drainage seeks to remove runoff from development as quickly as possible. In contrast, SuDS slow the flow and store water in both hard and soft landscape areas, thereby reducing the impact of large volumes of polluted water flowing from development.

These tours are arranged as part of the programme funded by the Thames RFCC (Regional Flood and Coastal Committee). They have identified £1M of levy funding to deliver the PROSPER project – Protecting People, Property and Environment with SuDS. The overall aim of the project is to promote the adoption and delivery of SuDS with the view to streamlining the assurance and providing evidence to inform alternative funding mechanisms for Flood Defence Gift in Aid (FDGIA).

It was pleasing to see the works conducted in Hammersmith & Fulham, including what (if any) maintenance has been required since installation, along with how the benefits are monitored, such that the examples can be used as a blueprint for projects nationwide.

If you need any assistance with Sustainable Drainage for your development, do not hesitate to Contact Us.

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