Anglian Water has installed an eco-drainage scheme at school in Newmarket, East Anglia that will help reduce the risk of flooding due to excess surface water. The project may be the first of many, with Anglian Water proposing to roll-out a series of such SuDS schemes across schools in the the region.
The roll-out will help combat the large amount of hard surfaces in urban areas, which can prevent water runoff, aiding natural drainage and reducing the risk of flooding. The SuDS may also bring a range of other benefits including increasing biodiversity and climate change resilience. Some of the measures funded and installed by Anglian Water included:
- A tree pit at the front of the school
- A rain garden
- Planters enabling school drainpipes to be disconnected from the sewer
- A system to flow rainwater into planters
- A weather station to monitor the climate at the school.
Anglian Water has proposed a £6.5bn investment – the company’s largest ever investment programme – between 2020-2025 to tackle the impacts of climate change and flooding, while improving resilience and reducing leakage. During 2018 alone, the utility is due to invest £384m in improving water quality (D&I 08-Feb-18), while £45m has been dedicated to reducing flooding by 2020.
Nick Sexton, Anglian Water’s innovation manager in Newmarket commented: "We want to reduce and slow the amount of rainwater entering local sewer systems. Doing so using SuDS technology is more environmentally friendly than building bigger concrete sewers with a big carbon footprint. It’s also less disruptive and more attractive for the local community."