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Pearson Park, Hull, on Monday 25 June 2007, at 4.20 pm

adAqua - the proposal

Partial solution to flooding caused by very heavy rain over Hull flood plain

Low-tech scheme with various additional benefits

Water butts used by each household to collect rain water from the roof of the house so that it can be released slowly into the drains, thus reducing the peak demand for drainage.

This method is cheaper than building drainage infrastructure which could cope with the demand in real time.

Benefits of the low tech low cost solution proposed include: supply of soft water for watering plants (better for them than chalky tap water), car washing, WC flushing, and when properly installed with a filter and uv sterilizer, independent emergency supply of water for cooking, and, after boiling, for drinking. It might also be possible to get a reduction of water rates where surface water drainage is charged for separately.

Smoothing the demand on drainage services by this low tech method thus also reduces the demand on the supply of clean water. The electricity supply infrastructure needed to satisfy peak loads on both drainage and supply of water is also reduced since electricity powers the pumps for drainage and to supply clean water.

How does it work? When heavy rain is expected the water butts would be ready to receive it, thus reducing the demand for drainage at that point. In the simplest version of this remedy the water butts are provided with a slow-release drain point so that collectively the water butts act as a buffer, holding back a significant proportion of the rain water until the peak drainage need has passed and then releasing it slowly over, say, the next day or two. It will then be empty, ready for the next heavy rain.

Who benefits?

Everyone benefits by this Community scheme, carried out by the community for the community: