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Water experts discuss 'drains of the future' at Lancaster University

Story supplied by LU Press Office

Green Streets planter image courtesy of Paul Cone, Bureau of Transportation, City of Portland Green Streets planter image courtesy of Paul Cone, Bureau of Transportation, City of Portland

Businesses and organisations interested in the waste water industry will hear how new regulations are likely to affect the management of our sewage and water and provide new commercial opportunities.

The long-awaited publication of new National Standards are expected to mean all new building developments will have to include sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), and approving bodies will need to be established to regulate the new systems.

Increasing urbanisation has caused problems with flash flooding. As vegetation, which absorbs water, is concreted over the land loses its ability to absorb rainwater. This rain pours into surface water drainage systems, often overloading them and causing floods.

SuDS replicate natural systems to drain away surface water run-off through collection, storage, and cleaning before allowing it to be released slowly back into the environment, causing significantly less damage. The implementation of SuDS in all new housing developments was a key recommendation of the Pitt Review carried out after floods in 2007.

Between 9am and 5pm on September 23, Lancaster University will be hosting the 'SuDS: Changing the Landscape' conference. This event will update delegates on the current situation regarding new regulations and the approving body. It will also explore planning and design issues, as well as maintenance and retro-fit possibilities.

The event, which is co-hosted with British Water, is aimed at developers, consulting engineers and drainage designers, contractors, planners, water companies and anyone involved in the provision of surface water management.

It will also revisit the findings of a UKTI-funded British Water SuDS mission to the USA in 2006. Members of this mission will be included in the conference's presenters.

There will also be a keynote speech by Jeremy Jones, an independent consulting engineer from JRJ Consulting.

Dr Ruth Alcock, Head of Business Partnerships at Lancaster Environment Centre, said: "Flooding is a growing problem for communities across the UK. As more farmland and countryside is converted to housing, it means the land around our communities has less ability to hold on to large amounts of rainfall. This means that with traditional drainage systems our rivers and waterways are more and more likely to become overwhelmed.

"New regulations on the use of SuDS are expected and this conference will address key issues around how they can be incorporated in new developments, as well as put into existing developments.

"There is potential for significant business opportunities with SuDS and this conference should help answer many questions around this increasingly important field."

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Thu 19 June 2014