House plot raingardens
The 10,000 raingardens programme in Greater Melbourne in Australia has rightly attracted a lot of interest globally. The primary driver for Melbourne water was the 10 years of drought experienced there; collecting rainwater and using it for landscaping and gardens – even for growing food – was important.
In the UK those drivers are still valid, especially in the drier towns and cities of Eastern Britain. But in addition, across the UK the biggest stormwater challenge is arguably pluvial flooding. SUDSbutts have been developed by C & D Associates LLP which are water butts modified to drain down and release the stored water slowly – at a rate which will not cause sewer surcharging if sized properly. For example a 1:30 rainfall event can be discharged at a rate equivalent to a 1:5 year event (the exact performance depends upon design specification and objectives).
A more attractive unit to deliver a similar purpose has also been developed – adding vegetation to the storage volume and controlling flows into and from the unit in an innovative all-in-one feature. The raised bed raingarden offers more amenity, and benefits for the householder, whilst still providing community benefits in terms of reducing pluvial flood risks if taken up in sufficient numbers in a problem catchment.
The SUDSBOXR units, designed by C & D Associates (part of the enviroexperience group http://www.enviroexperience.co.uk ) and a demonstration at the BRE Ravenscraig was staged in early October to show judges for the VIBES awards. The SUDSBOX has been short-listed for three categories in this year’s awards. Commercial manufacturers are currently being sought for all the versions of the above products; contact firstname.lastname@example.org .