On 1st October (2019) the Environment Agency issued 70 flood warnings and 181 alerts across England as torrential downpours drenched many parts of the UK, with some areas seeing as much as two weeks’ worth of rain in just an hour.1 The result was nationwide chaos, with widespread flooding, travel disruption, power cuts and thousands of homes affected.
Looking to the winter ahead, even more profound weather patterns are expected with forecasters predicting that temperatures could dip to as low as -14C in some parts of the UK – reminiscent of the ‘Beast from the East’ that covered the nation in snow in 2018.2
For local authorities and developers alike, the result is increased onus on efforts to mitigate the impact of the UK’s increasingly erratic weather – with Sustainable Drainage Systems being a vital tactic in this.
In pre-empting this growing demand, Aggregate Industries recently launched its newly updated SuDS range offering a full suite of surface options; from aggregates designed to ensure excellent drainage characteristics through to permeable paving enabling water filtration, all of which can be used together or separately as part of a strategic SuDS drainage system.
Paul Wagstaff, Head of Product Management at Aggregate Industries, comments: “While the UK’s weather has always been difficult to predict, recent years have seen a shift towards more profound extremes as climate change continues to take its toll. This September, for example, ended with a sudden heatwave, with some areas reaching highs of 25C, only to be followed less than two weeks later with the recent tirade of torrential rain and flooding.
“The reality is that this type of erratic weather is only going to increase, along with storm intensity and regularity – placing increased onus on flood risk measures. After all, it’s now estimated that five million homes are in flood risk areas and the annual probability that two thirds of these homes will be affected is around 10%.
“As such, the case for SuDS, whereby the clever use of flood defence measures that mimic natural processes - such as green roofs and grassland tranches for water capture, through to permeable paving to allow water follow through – can make a huge difference to slowing if not halting the flow, should a flood happen.”
Constituting one of the of the widest SuDS ranges in the construction industry, Aggregate Industries offer includes various foundation design and system surface options, including SuperFlow aggregates, Hydromedia ready-mixed concrete, Charcon infilta paving, Grassgrid block paving, Lytag lightweight aggregate, SuperDrainasphalt and SuperSport asphalt. Each product can be combined to offer a comprehensive and complete sustainable drainage system designed to help reduce flood risk and control and minimise pollution before it enters the watercourse.
Paul adds: “There is no getting away from the very real flood risk facing many parts of the UK and, as demonstrated by the recent issues, our current defence measures are limited. It is therefore imperative that local authorities, developers and all those operating in the construction sector take stock of the SuDS opportunity and the importance it can play in helping up be prepared, whatever the weather.”