Since 2016 Business in the Community and our Water Taskforce have been working to look at how we can increase the resilience of places we live, work, learn and play to extremes of water. Looking at the way we manage water in urban environments can ensure that our towns and cities can adapt and manage extreme weather.
In Manchester we have been working with businesses, government and other NGOs to understand how sustainable drainage (SuDS) can manage surface water and also generate financial savings for non-domestic water customers who are supplied by United Utilities. Over two years the project has also demonstrated that green and blue SuDS, such as rain gardens, can also provide many other benefits including improved mental and physical health, education opportunities and improved air quality. If implemented at a city-wide level even more benefits can be found, including reduced flood risk and carbon sequestration. Direct financial savings at a site level are currently only achievable where the water supplier charges for surface water drainage by surface area, and our models have been based around United Utilities' charging bands. However, the wider benefits of green and blue SuDS can be achieved anywhere.
Our demonstration site at Moorlands Junior School in Manchester has generated significant interest from others keen to look at the opportunities within their own sites. Below are some resources to help assess the opportunities within a school to implement SuDS, build green and blue space and benefit from savings and wider benefits.
- Information from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust on SuDS for Schools
- How to create a rain garden
- Groundwork - Support on school ground redevelopment
- SuDS Audit Guide for schools - this is just a guide, it is a trial version that will help you understand the opportunities within your school. As detailed in the guide, we would recommend getting professional advice to assess your site if you think there is an opportunity for SuDS.
- Wider resources for schools from Phases 1 and 2 of the project.
We have been working with our water taskforce to develop this project and deliver our demonstration projects. If you would like to talk to experienced members of the team about developing SuDS opportunities on your site you can contact:
Peter Holt, BEng CEng MICE
Senior Engineer, Stormwater Management, Arup - www.arup.com
Chris McLarnon, CEng, FICE, PhD
Project Technical Lead, Stantec - uk.mwhglobal.com
Design Engineer, Marshalls - www.marshalls.co.uk