Home Flat Roofing Sewage spills a timely reminder for industry to better care for water

Sewage spills a timely reminder for industry to better care for water

Following news that Welsh Water has admitted illegally spilling untreated sewage in environmentally protected areas, ACO Technologies is calling for everyone in the industry to better care for water to avoid similar scenarios of treatment plants being overwhelmed in future.

It was revealed by the BBC that Welsh Water, the water company that serves three million people across Wales, has been releasing untreated sewage across many of its treatment plants for years. Often, the reason for sewage plants spilling untreated water is due to heavy rain and stormwater overwhelming a treatment plant’s capacity.

The revelation goes further, with Welsh Water having between ’40 and 50′ wastewater treatment plants reportedly in breach of their permits. In a year which has seen water scarcity and storage challenges make headlines, David Smoker, Technical Director of ACO Technologies, says the industry should not be passing blame. Instead, he urges everyone to work together on a common goal of creating sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to avoid stormwater overwhelming treatment plants in future.

David said: “It is certainly distressing to hear that untreated sewage has been entering our natural environment again, and particularly worrying to see that it is happening on a regular occurrence at multiple wastewater sites. Water is a precious commodity, as are the natural habitats and wildlife that we enjoy in the UK. Everybody within the construction industry must do what they can to prevent stormwater from surging into treatment plants and overwhelming them, as that will inevitably lead to the collapse of our ecosystems.

“This problem is not beyond the realm of our control, so long as everyone follows the principles of sustainable drainage. We must all work together to better collect rainwater upstream and appropriately cleanse it of pollutants, hold the water onsite and aim to reuse it, rather than just releasing it straight back downstream and into sewers and waterways. Only by doing this can we care for water better.”

The imminent implementation of Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 across England, sometime in 2024, will remind developers and the construction supply chain of their duty to look after water. Schedule 3 includes a provision that requires approval from a SuDS Approval Body (SAB) before starting any construction work that has drainage implications.

David added: “More and more, people are realising that there is not an infinite amount of water at our disposal. Rainwater must be managed correctly if we are to avoid not just the sewage spills we’re seeing, but also, an impending water scarcity crisis in this country. Earlier this year, regions in the South of England ran out of water supplies. Meanwhile rivers drying up in the Lake District, one of the rainiest areas in the UK, were witnessed in June.

“We encourage everyone who has the influence over decisions on water management and drainage, to speak to us about how to better manage rainwater and surface water runoff. We have a range of solutions from channel drains, proprietary water cleansing technology, attenuation products for both underground and blue/green roofs, and water release systems that can be deployed as part of a SuDS system. Our technical experts are also on hand to help design engineers with their schemes, all to ensure that developments are designed efficiently and meet with SuDS guidelines.”


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