Where does rainwater go?
When it rains, that water
needs to go somewhere and down the drain is discouraged by the local
council now. You should deal with it on your own property and not give
the problem to the water company.
Serious flooding is
affecting the UK, resulting in loss of life, disruption and damage, because drains could not
cope with the amount of rain water flowing to them.
Climate change has lead
to heavy rainfall event.
in most urban areas were not designed to cope
Paving front gardens
further adds to the problem.
The harm caused by paving
gardens is not limited to just flooding. Hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt
collect pollution (oil, petrol, brake dust etc) that is washed off into
the drains. Many drains
carry rainwater directly to streams or rivers where the pollution damages wildlife and the
wider environment. In older areas the rainwater may go into the foul water sewer which
normally takes household waste from bathrooms and kitchens to the sewage treatment
works. These overflow into streams and rivers in heavy rainfall.
As more water runs into
foul sewers from paved areas there are more frequent overflows, passing untreated sewage
into watercourses. Replacing grass and plant
beds with concrete and asphalt surfaces means that water does not soak into the ground.
This reduces the amount that reaches our natural underground aquifers. Some water that
soaks into the ground will evaporate back into the air, causing a cooling effect around the
house. This is lost if the garden is covered with hard impermeable surfaces and can cause
local temperatures to rise. This is also known as the urban heat island effect.
areas in front of your house without adding to flood risk and
pollution. You can use permeable surfaces that allow water to drain
into them or by other methods such as rain gardens (see below).
Permeable driveways are often more attractive than an expanse of
concrete, adding value to the property. These types of surfaces can
also be better for the environment and do not necessarily cost more or
require a lot of maintenance.
There are three
main types of solution to creating a permeable driveway:
Using gravel or
a mainly green, vegetated area.
from an impermeable surface to a border rain garden or soakaway.
block paving, porous asphalt or concrete.
appropriate construction will depend on factors such as the space
available, slopes, the type of soil and whether the existing garden
How they work?
surfaces work by allowing water to soak through the surface into the
ground below. Soakaways can be located beneath, along the edges of
impermeable driveways or in the garden area to collect water and allow
it to soak into the ground. On clay soils it may be necessary to
connect to the house roof water drain.