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Permeable paving which protects homes from flooding up for award

Tuesday 27th October 2020 11:35

Permeable paving

State-of the-art permeable pavements which are helping to protect homes in West London from flooding have been shortlisted for a national award.

The pavements, which absorb rainwater and slowly release it into the sewer network, were installed by Thames Water on six roads in Hammersmith and Fulham as part of the Counters Creek Flood Alleviation Scheme last year.

The innovative designs, a type of Sustainable urban Drainage System (SuDS), have now been chosen among the final four for the Most Innovative Highway Authority Scheme of the Year at the Highways Awards 2020.

Thames Water worked with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Mott MacDonald, FM Conway Ltd and Cappagh Contractors on the SuDS scheme.

The wider Counters Creek Flood Alleviation Scheme also included a number of other methods to reduce the risk of basement flooding in the area, including sewer upgrades and the installation of the FLIP (Flooding Local Improvement Process), a self-contained pump which can be installed at properties to prevent wastewater spilling out into homes during heavy rainfall.

Harjeet Singh, Thames Water’s operations manager for major projects, said: “Finding innovative and eco-friendly ways to protect homes from flooding is central to what we do and we’re delighted to be nominated for this award.

“The pavements safely capture and slowly release rainwater, relieving the pressure on our sewer network during periods of heavy rainfall, without taking up too much space on residential streets.

“We’ll continue working hard across the business to protect all our customers from flooding.”

The pavements are among the first to be installed by Thames Water as part of an effort to relieve the pressure on sewers in the borough during periods of heavy rain.

Instead of rainwater running off hard paving and tarmac in to drains, where it can overwhelm the sewer network, it is instead soaked up into crates installed underground and gradually released back into the network.

Rain gardens which also soak up and store rainwater were installed on one of the roads, with Thames Water holding a community day with residents, council staff and volunteers, planting flowers including daffodils, crocuses and tulips.

Ian Hawthorne, the council’s head of highways, said: “The scheme was all about Thames Water working with a borough to deliver flood risk management on a wider scale whilst bringing with us the community who are most impacted by flooding.

“That is why I am so pleased that we have been shortlisted. We must celebrate working together as it just shows what can be achieved when we all come together.”

The Highways Awards celebrate projects, schemes and innovations which make a difference across the highways industry, as well as the people that make them happen.

The winners will be announced in January.