MWH is undertaking an £800,000 study that aims to reduce the amount of surface water flows that enter the sewers in Wales.
MWH principal engineer Huw Jones said: ‘Surface water entering the sewerage system as a result of rainfall is one of the main causes of sewer overloading. This long term strategy will help to address the situation, reducing flooding and pollution, decreasing energy costs and supporting conservation and recreational opportunities.’
Currently surface water flows are set to increase as a result of new housing developments; creep (paving over gardens for parking and patios) which reduces the area for natural soak away; and the impact of climate change.
Jones added: ‘This study will look at a variety of ways that this problem can be addressed as reducing surface water flows is an essential part of any flood reduction strategy – dealing with the problem by building bigger sewerage systems is simply unsustainable in the long term’.
The project will develop an awareness and engagement campaign to look at legal issues and the control of surface water between different parties, reviewing charging systems and looking at a variety of technical initiatives including retrofitting rainwater harvesting facilities.
Welsh Water’s Dave Bayliss said: ‘The current work forms the second phase of the strategy and we see it as an approach that will transform surface water management in the longer term for the benefit of our customers and the environment.’
The project has received support for its strategy from the Environment Agency Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government and CCWater.