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Rain Rain Go Away – Flood Prevention using Permeable Paving

With this week marking the start of autumn, we are entering peak flooding season. Just last year, unprecedented levels of rainfall brought devastating flooding to areas of the UK, destroying homes, belongings and livelihoods. In this blog we look at solutions to flooding and focus on Tobermore’s permeable paving range, Hydropave.

Last year’s floods, and those in preceding years, have many causes and it would be wrong to lay the blame on one single reason. However, there is no doubt that the laying of impermeable ground surfaces such as concrete and tarmac in areas of the country has reduced permeability, and rainwater has had nowhere to infiltrate to. The British drainage and sewer system is at its maximum capacity in many areas, particularly in the regions where the highest level of flooding has been experienced.

Worryingly, recent research shows that extreme flooding may become more frequent in the UK due to climate change, with almost five times more heavy rainfall events predicted to exceed 28mm in one hour in the future than currently.

In the UK there is a growing acceptance that a more sustainable approach is needed to managing rainfall and flooding. If flood water is effectively managed it can be recycled and used when needed.

The solution:  Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems

Through a Sustainable Urban Drainage (SuDS) system storm water can be absorbed by permeable paving through enlarged joints, which are filled with grit instead of sand which is used in conventional paving, and stored in a special sub base beneath the paving. This acts like a huge tank, and the aggregate that is used for the sub base filters out most of the pollution that may have been washed off the roads and roofs.

In April 2015, the government introduced new planning guidelines for the use of SuDS on any new housing site with more than ten units. The aim of the guidelines is to ensure that any new development has measures in place for combating potential flooding issues. A good example of this is in Wales. From January 7th 2019, proposed new developments must be served by sustainable drainage systems SuDS which complies with the Welsh Ministers’ Standards and is approved by the SuDS Approving Body (SAB).

Furthermore, the Environment Agency recommends that where appropriate, storm water source control measures, which also improve water quality, should be incorporated into a development proposal. They are essential for any new development in areas where existing sewerage systems are at full capacity.

With the recent flash floods in parts of England, it appears highly likely that this legislation will be adopted throughout the rest of the UK.

What does Tobermore have to offer?

Tobermore manufacture Hydropave – a permeable paving range that is manufactured with all the aesthetic detail and beauty of the non-permeable ranges but with valuable environmental benefits. Many of our quality permeable paving range can be machine laid, reducing both labour costs and project completion times.

For more information on the Hydropave product styles and finishes available, download the Hydropave permeable paving brochure.

What is the permeability of Hydropave permeable paving?

Hypropave permeable paving products have a 6mm drainage joint. The infiltration rate of the drainage joint and jointing material will decrease over a number of years but will eventually stabilise. Even after allowing for clogging in the joint research has proven that the long-term infiltration rates will substantially exceed UK hydrological requirements.

This 6mm drainage joint has been proven to have a permeability rate of approximately 30,000 litres/ sec/hectare in tests carried out at The University of Newcastle, this greatly exceeds the UK hydrological requirements.

Want to learn more about the Hydropave permeable paving range? Book a CPD with a Tobermore trusted advisor who can provide help and guidance.

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View our range of Hydropave Permeable Paving Products

Tobermore’s Hydropave permeable paving range allows you to create spectacular hard landscaping features with environmentally friendly products. Our permeable paving reduces the risk of flooding and pollution by allowing rainfall to infiltrate the ground naturally.

View the Range

About the Author: Sarah Templeton

Senior Communications Executive at Tobermore

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