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Drainage systems can contribute to sustainable development and improve the

places and spaces where we live, work and play by balancing the different
opportunities and challenges that influence urban design and the development
of communities. Approaches to manage surface water that take account of
water quantity (flooding), water quality (pollution) biodiversity (wildlife and
plants) and amenity are collectively referred to as Sustainable Drainage Systems

A sustainable drainage system is designed to reduce the potential impact of

new and existing developments with respect to surface drainage discharges.
Increasing urbanization has caused problems with increased flash flooding
(storm water) after sudden rain. As areas of vegetation are replaced by
concrete, the area loses its ability to absorb rainwater. The rain is instead
directed into surface water drainage systems often overloading them and
thereby causing floods.

The idea behind SUDs is to try and replicate natural systems that use cost-
effective solutions with low environmental impact to drain away dirty and
surface water runoff through collection, storage and cleaning before allowing it
to be released slowly back into the environment such as water courses. This is to
counter the effect of conventional drainage system that often lead to flooding,
pollution of the environment- with the resultant harm to wildlife, contamination
of ground water sources that are used to provide drinking water.

The paradigm of SUDs solutions should be that it should be easy to manage,

requiring little or preferably no energy at all, resilient to use and being
environmentally as well as aesthetically pleasing. Examples of this type of
systems are basins (shallow, landscaped depressions that are dry most of the
time when there is no rain), rain gardens (shallow, landscaped depressions with
shrubs or herbaceous planting), swales (shallow, normally dry, wide-based
ditches), bioretention basin (shallow depressions with gravel and/or sand
filtration layers beneath the growing medium), filter drains (gravel filled trench
drains), reed beds and other wetland habitats that collect, store and filter dirty
water along with providing a habitat for wildlife.

Originally the term SUDs was first used to describe the UK approach to
sustainable urban drainage system. The development was not supposed to be
necessarily restricted to the urban level only; hence later the word “urban” was
dropped to avoid further confusion. SuDS are more sustainable than traditional
drainage methods because they:

 Manage runoff volumes and flow rates

from hard surfaces, reducing the
impact of urbanization on flooding
 Provide opportunities for using runoff
where it falls
 Protect or enhance water quality
(reducing pollution from runoff)
 Protect natural flow regimes in
 Are sympathetic to the environment
and the needs of the local community
 Provide an attractive habitat for wildlife
in urban watercourses
 Provide opportunities for
evapotranspiration from vegetation
and surface water
 Encourage natural groundwater/aquifer recharge (where appropriate)
 Create better places to live, work and play.

Sustainable drainage includes a variety of components, each having different

approaches to managing flows, volumes, water quality and providing amenity
and biodiversity.

SUDS are not just traditional soakaways, ponds or wetlands, but are a suite of
components working in different ways that can be used to drain a variety of site
topographies. SUDS components work in several ways: -

 They can infiltrate into the ground.

 Convey into a watercourse/sewer.
 Storage on site and attenuate the flow of water.

Often SUDS use a combination of these processes and components of these

processes may use a number of mechanisms. Sustainable drainage systems use
a sequence of techniques that together form a management train. As surface
water flows through this system, the flow velocity is controlled and pollutants are
removed. The management train may include the following stages: -

1) SOURCE CONTROL: - The inclusion of source control in SUDS schemes is an

important principle of SUDS design. It decreases the volume of water
entering into the river network/sewer line by intercepting run-off water on
roofs for subsequent reuse (irrigation) or for storage and subsequent
evapotranspiration as well as providing other benefits like thermal comfort
(green roofs). Most of the source control components are located within
the private properties. Their main purpose is to manage rainfall close to
where it falls, and not allow it to become a problem elsewhere. The main
types of source control are green roofs, permeable surfaces and
rainwater harvesting. Source controls look to maximize permeability within
a site to promote attenuation, treatment and infiltration reducing the
need for offsite conveyance.
2) PERMEABLE PAVING: - Pervious surfaces can be either porous or
permeable. The major distinction between the two being, porous surfaces
infiltrates water over the entire surface area and permeable surface is
that which actually is impervious to water, but by the virtue of voids
formed through the pattern of the surface infiltrates water to the surface.
Pervious surfaces provide a surface for pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic
while allowing rainwater to infiltrate into the surface and further into the
underlying layers. The water can be temporarily stored before infiltration
to the ground, reused, or discharged to a watercourse or other drainage
system. Surfaces with an aggregate sub-base can provide good water
quality treatment.
3) STORM WATER DETENTION: - Detention basins are surface storage basins or
facilities that are provided for flow control through attenuation of
stormwater runoff. These basins also result in the setting of some pollutants.
These basins are normally dry and in certain areas the entire land may
function as recreational facility. Basins can also be of mixed nature, a
permanently wet area for wildlife or treatment of the water runoff and an
area that is usually kept dry to cater to flood attenuation. Basins, tend to
be found at the end of the management train, are used if extended
treatment of the runoff water is required or if they are required to support
landscape or wildlife.
4) STORM WATER INFILTERATION: - Infiltration systems such as infiltration
trenches and soakaways mimic natural recharge allowing water to soak
into the ground through the subsoil layers before returning it to the water
table below. Soakaways are the most common type of infiltration device.
They store runoff from a single house or a development and allow its
efficient infiltration into the surrounding soil. Drainage systems from the
individual properties are often connected to an over-sized square or
rectangular, rubble filled void, sited below the ground level. A soakaway
will allow water to soak through the surface into the gravel sub-base
below thereby draining out the pollutants and temporarily storing the
water before allowing it to soak into the ground.
5) SWALES AND CONVEYANCE CHANNELS: - The transfer of surface water
runoff (conveyance) across the site through various components is
necessary. There are a variety of approaches that can be used;
underground through pipes with little control or water quality treatment,
through vegetated channels on the surface providing some treatment
and attenuation and through more engineered canals. The preference in
terms of sustainability is given to vegetated swales or channels. Swales are
usually shallow grasses or vegetated channels that are used to collect
and/or move water. The shallow side slopes and flat bottom means that
for most of the time water flows in a thin layer, some of them can be
under drained with the use of perforated pipe. Swales can also provide
some storage and filtration as well.
Canals are open surface water features with hard edges. They can have
a variety of cross sections to suit the urban landscape and can also be
planted to provide water treatment. In dense urban developments, or
retrofit situations they can be an effective way of providing SuDS and if
appropriately designed can also act as pre-treatment to remove silt
before water is conveyed into other SuDS components.
A rain garden: similar to a bio retention area, except that it does not have engineering soils
and does not provide as much water treatment. A rain garden is primarily used to manage
runoff from roofs

An infiltration basin: dry basin or depression designed to promote infiltration of surface water
runoff into the ground. Plants in an infiltration basin should be able to withstand periods of
ponding and dry periods and enhance the pores of the sub soil by deep roots
Vegetated swales or channels used to collect or move water

Canals or rills having a hard edge that are used to transport water to
river network after treating the runoff water.
Permeable surface that allow water to pass through the voids of
the impervious surface material.

Green roofs used to store water for subsequent evapo-transpiration

Surface water runoff collected through permeable surfaces or other filter

mechanisms, such as an under-drained swale, will not contain debris so can enter
SuDS components through a grille or hidden inlet




ROLL NO.: - 16



SUDs aim to protect watercourses from point/diffuse pollution by acting as sinks

for contaminants of the surface water runoff. Sustainable drainage is moving
away from the traditional thinking of designing only to manage flood risk, where
runoff is regarded as a nuisance opposing the philosophy of where surface
water is a valuable resource and should be managed for maximum benefit.

THE TRADITIONAL APPROACH: - Surface water is conveyed way from our cities
and towns as quickly as possible to primarily manage risks from flooding and
poor sanitation without taking into account the level of pollutants. Water quality
and amenity/biodiversity is given least consideration. The basic aim according
to the traditional approach is to get rid of excess water at any cost.

SUDs TRIANGLE: - This is where sustainable urban drainage system comes into
play giving regard to both the quantity and quality of surface water runoff and
also the concerned biodiversity. The philosophy of SUDs is to replicate as closely
as possible the natural drainage of a site before development. SUDs design
within the opportunities and restraints of a site to deliver the most benefits for
water quality, quantity and amenity/biodiversity, as mentioned above. Where
these objectives overlap, it forms the triangle of SUDs.

THE 4 PILLARS OF SUDs DESIGN: - The overarching principle of SUDs design is that
the surface water runoff should be managed for maximum benefit. The benefits
that can be achieved by SUDs will be influenced by the topography of the site,
the location of the site, the development on and around the site but these can
broadly fit into 4 categories: WATER QUALITY, WATER QUANTITY, AMENITY AND
BIODIVERSITY. They all have their own design objectives. Many existing drainage
system cause flooding, pollution and damage to the environment and hence
are not sustainable. Sustainable drainage systems have long term environmental
and social impact in decisions about the drainage pattern.



Development can harm our water resources if the traditional approach to

drainage is continued with. Removing water from the site as quickly as possible
causes a range of impacts: -

1) INCREASED DOWNSTREAM FLOOD RISK as a result of the runoff from roofs

and paved areas (urban areas have become concrete jungles). This also
causes sudden rise in the flow rates and water levels in the local
watercourse if any.
2) SURFACE WATER RUNOFF can contain contaminants such as oil, organic
matter and toxic metals. Although often at low levels, cumulatively they
can result in poor water quality in rivers and streams, adversely affecting
the biodiversity and the amenity value. After heavy rain, the first flush of
water through the drainage system is often highly polluting.
3) RAINWATER diverted to piped drainage systems reduces the amount of
water soaking into the ground. As a result, the ground water level falls
As a result many urban watercourses are lifeless and unattractive and are
often hidden in culverts under the ground. SUDs significantly reduce the harm
to our water resources and improve the quality of our built environments by
moderating the flow of water and filtrating runoff water.


As the process of urbanization quickens, drains become increasingly overloaded

and unable to cope with heavy rainfall. Combined sewers, a relic of the
Victorian era, frequently overflow after prolonged rainfall discharging untreated
wastewater into watercourses and the sea.
SuDS seek to manage rainfall in a way similar to natural processes, by using the
landscape to control the flow and volume of surface water, prevent or reduce
pollution downstream of development and promote recharging of
groundwater. Natural vegetation, including trees, in SuDS helps attenuate flows,
trap silts and pollutants, promotes infiltration and be robust enough to prevent
erosion. It also enhances evapotranspiration and reduces the heat island effect
(the term heat island refers to builtup areas that are hotter than nearby rural

The change from conventional piped drainage to SuDS has been driven by a
realization of the shortcomings of traditional methods of collecting and
conveying runoff away from developed land. Just as in nature, water begins a
journey when it enters the SuDS sequence. These elements make up this
sequence or ‘management train’. Starting with a roof and ending with a
wetland, every stage offers potential for people and wildlife benefits.

Increasing use of SuDS will help us overcome a variety of challenges we face,

namely: -

A rapidly changing climate (including an increasing urban heat island effect)

1. Increasing loss of permeable surfaces through development and urban

creep. Permeable surfaces contribute a lot to the ground water recharge
by absorbing maximum runoff water.
2. Inadequate capacity of existing sewerage systems. Heavy rainfall creates
a lot of load on the piping system of the drainage pattern thereby
resulting in flooding.
3. Poor water quality in streams and rivers due to discharge of polluted
4. A lack of wildlife habitats in urban areas and a lack of connectivity with
suburban/rural areas.

There is a growing acceptance that we need a more sustainable approach to

managing surface water. Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) mimic natural
drainage processes to reduce the effect on the quality and quantity of runoff
from developments and provide amenity and biodiversity benefits. SuDS can
also deliver additional benefits (some of which are in table 1).
Designing SuDS to deliver more than just surface water management is not
difficult or costly but it does depend on early consideration at the master
planning stage, creativity, consultation and partnership. Done properly, they
can deliver benefits for the whole community in terms of biodiversity, climate
regulation, regeneration, learning, health, recreation and play.


isolated features within the urban environment and care should be taken at the
design stage to situate them within existing or future networks of habitats. They
can act as linking habitats, stepping stones or as part of a corridor. They are
particularly useful in urban areas allowing wildlife to move through and into rural
areas as well as being urban habitats in their own right. These help in
maintaining and building ecological function in urban areas.

CLIMATIC EFFECT: - SuDS as part of Green Infrastructure will help us adapt to

rising temperatures and increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather
events. It works on combating the effects of climatic change with respect to
flooding and heat waves. Drainage systems need to adapt to and manage
extreme events including flooding and periods of drought, while helping to
reduce our carbon emissions. SuDS schemes can be designed to slow water
down (attenuate) before it enters a watercourse, provide areas for water
storage in natural contours, and can be used to allow water to soak (infiltrate)
into the ground, be evaporated from surface water and/or transpired from
vegetation (known as evapotranspiration). Depending upon the design,
conveyance and storage techniques SuDS can reduce the frequency and/or
severity of flooding.
WATER QUALITY MANAGEMNET BENEFITS: - Our activities lead to numerous
pollutants (such as oil, sediments, fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste and litter)
that can cause diffuse pollution and adversely affect the environment. Often,
this is not managed by traditional piped drainage. Pollutants or contaminants
can be washed into sewers and eventually watercourses in surface water runoff,
drastically polluting the watercourses thereby having an adverse effect on the
immediate environment.

Some SuDS components provide water quality improvements by reducing

sediment and contaminants from runoff either through settlement or biological
breakdown of pollutants. This can improve the quality of downstream water
bodies such as streams, rivers, lakes, bathing or shellfish waters. Furthermore,
where SuDS reduce flows entering combined sewers, this can lead to reduced
combined sewer overflow discharges (controlled discharge of surface water
runoff and sewage), again improving the quality of the receiving water body.
Such water quality improvements (or prevention of deterioration) can lead to a
number of benefits including aesthetic, health (e.g. reduced risk of infection
from bathing) or enhanced recreation and opportunities for wildlife and
biodiversity (see the pathway diagram below).
Roof gardens may contain native or non-native collection of plants and mounds of soil to
vary the topography thereby increasing habitat diversity and purifying the water. This water
is then stored in tanks and used for irrigation purposes.

Here the water is filtered into the soil recharging the ground water level. Overflow, if any, is
then drained out into the piped drainage system.
PAVEMENTS: - Pavements act as an interconnection between the built form and
the natural site system. They are used extensively for vehicular as well as
pedestrian walkaways, parking, outdoor activity zone, or informal zones
integrated into the built form.

The normal practice used while designing a pavement is to exclude water from
the soil in order to provide a stable surface for human activities. This practice,
hence, increases storm water runoff, soil erosion and deteriorates top soil cover
due to loss of soil fertility. Pavements fragment the natural ecosystem of the site
by dividing the entire landscape system and hence retain the heat that
contributes to the heat island effect. This in turn places an increased load on the
HVAC system. If the choice of materials for pavements is incorrect, it can also
cause uncomfortable glare and produce harsh environments. Sometimes,
excess planning for pavements in climatically unsuitable zones may reverse the
concept of human comfort it was originally planned for. Judicious planning
which overrides the chances of under and over use and is compatible with the
climatic conditions as well as the human comfort, always generates into a
sustainable site design. Due to over-exploitation, water levels have been steadily
declining over the past few years. The need to recharge groundwater becomes
an issue of primary importance because of decreasing depth of freshwater
aquifers. In areas with inadequate water resources, pavements act as efficient
surfaces in collecting rain water. They can be effectively utilized to harvest
surface and groundwater.
BIORETENTION AREAS: - These are basically landscaped shallow depressions to
capture and bioremediate polluted run-off from roads and car parks. These
areas can be formally landscaped with colorful shrubs and herbaceous plants
to increase the level of filtration. It is ideal in high density residential housing,
commercial and industrial areas.

Benefits of bioretention areas are as follows: -

1. Reduces run-off and localized flooding

2. Groundwater recharge if geology suitable
3. Intercepts and filters pollutants at an early stage
4. Increased evapotranspiration improves the climate, contributing to the
reduction of the urban heat island effect.

The use of bioretention areas is to enhance the landscape that is otherwise

devoid of greenery. It also provides information panels to raise the awareness of
SUD system. Bioretention areas give opportunities to create elements of green
infrastructure in urban areas. This in turn not only looks aesthetically pleasing but
also controls the environmental impact. The design principles of bioretention
areas are as follows: -

The bioretention areas shall be integrated along with the

permeable/impermeable surfaces.

Consideration should be given such that runoff from hard surfaces enters the
roadside planters via dropped down curbs.

Bioretention areas shall be backfilled with engineered soil to retain permeability

and allow root development.

The bioretention areas shall be under drained by permeable pipes that are
connected to the main drainage system.
CASE STUDY: - Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht

Leidsche Rijn is the largest ongoing housing project in Netherlands located in the
west part of Utrecht. The project was founded in the year 1995 and got
completed in the year 2015 with 30000 housing units accommodating 80000
inhabitants. The area of the site is 2100 hectares of land of which 11% is covered
by surface water. The site is divided into two hydrological parts. The topography
varies with relatively high grounds in the central parts of the area to lower lying
areas along the perimeter. The higher grounds mainly consist of sandy soils
facilitating stormwater infiltration, whereas the surrounding lower grounds are
loamy and thus not suitable for infiltration.

Stormwater is infiltrated in the center; overflow is led to the free water surface
canals, before being retained in the large lake in the northwestern part of the
area. The lake has direct contact to the groundwater, and here the water is
stored, used for recreation and as an ecological habitat. The key feature of this
project is the storm water management which is mainly made as an open
system, visible to the citizens in order to improve the quality of life for the
inhabitants. Stormwater is managed in a closed loop system intended to retain
water in the canals year round, to prevent the occurrence of flooding incidents
and with as little intake of water from the surrounding area as possible. The
reason for this is that stormwater is regarded as a source of non-polluted water,
whereas the water in the neighboring Amsterdam-Rhine Canal and the water
from the surrounding agricultural areas are high in phosphorus concentration,
which will lead to algae growth in the system. In order to have sufficient water in
the system during dry periods it is therefore important to keep the stormwater in
the area.

The stormwater collected from roofs and small streets is conducted through a
network of wide infiltration trenches and canals, and ends up in a 40 m deep
lake on the northwestern edge of the site. The trenched located in the dry areas
also contribute to direct infiltration of surface water and replenishes the ground.
In addition to this, many low-traffic roads and yards are equipped with
permeable pavement that lets the stormwater runoff percolate to the subsoils.

This stormwater system was established due to problems in the past, when
Leidsche Rijn was an agricultural district. Normally the groundwater levels in the
region are higher in winter and lower in summer. Agricultural activities require
fairly stable groundwater levels, and therefore a lot of groundwater was drained
out from the area during winter, whereas water had to be supplied externally
from the Amsterdam-Rhine canal during the summers. The water in the canal
was relatively polluted that started harming the vegetation hence a need to
store water from the wet periods arose. Because of the system adopted, the
ground water level is well regulated and allowed to fluctuate a maximum of 30
cm. the lake renders a buffer of about 100 cm in case of floods.

In order to keep the open stormwater system clean and avoid stagnation of
water, the water is continuously being pumped from low to high areas, which
results in constant circulation. Within this closed loop, in the north-western corner
of the district, a so-called vertical flow reed bed is incorporated where
phosphate particles are held back. This filter matrix consists of sand enriched
with limestone and iron oxide and covers an area of about 6 hectares.

INFILTRATION TRENCHES: - In order to improve the quality of the runoff before

discharging into the canals, infiltration through a trench is required. A trench is
basically a grass covered suppression provided in the landscape, with a top
layer designed to retain pollutants (grass cover) and a soak away pit or good
infiltration potential underneath. The trench is constructed with a mixture of sand
and humus in the top layer, which will remove a wide range of pollutants which
is found in stormwater. Underneath the top soil there is a chamber, storing the
water while it infiltrates into the ground. In areas of low permeability (clayey soil)
or high ground water table, these trenches mainly function as reservoirs so hold
the water during extreme events because of low infiltration potential. Here there
is a drain pipe in the bottom leading to the open water canal system. Most of
the trenches in Leidsche Rijn are covered with grass and some are additionally
escorted by trees alongside. These trenches can also be maintained easily
because of its large size.

PERMEABLE PAVING: - The smaller local roads from which direct infiltration of
runoff is considered as safe practice are covered with permeable pavement.
The roof runoff from adjacent buildings is led through downpipes and spouts
onto the street to either infiltrate or run as surface runoff directly to the nearby
canal or trench. Permeable paving is a very effective practice for infiltration of
surface water used in the low-traffic areas of Leidsche Rijn. Unfortunately this
type of paving is not suitable for high-traffic zones because the tire particles
tend to clog the infiltration pores. If this type of pavement is done close to
gardens then humus particles of the garden soil can cause the same effect. This
could only be prevented by regular cleaning of the pavement by vacuums to
suck out the settled sediments. This technique is cost intensive and not done in
Leidsche Rijn yet. Hence there is less dependence on permeable paving for
infiltration purpose.

In order to maintain the quality of water, proper functioning of the trenches and
the vertical sand bed is monitored on a yearly basis. The stormwater
management in the area of Leidsche Rijn aims to handle the accumulated
stormwater on site. The stormwater is with few exceptions detached from the
sewer system. Besides the technical solutions for infiltration, transpiration and
storage of the water, the stormwater is also used for the design of the
neighborhood. The elements for stormwater management, like trenches and
canals are communicating with the inhabitants and visitors. Even though the
stormwater is not always visible, the elements give a special structure and
arouse associations of water. The elements show the ecological standard and
give an identity to the area.




As Leidsche Rijn is a large scale project with several neighborhoods of different

ideas and designs the case study is carried out for a local residential area in
Terwijde in the northern part of the Leidsche Rijn district. The houses in this area
are situated in 8 well-structured clusters with green grass covered areas in
between, and surrounded by a large canal system. Each enclave is arranged
with buildings framing a common court yard dominated by hard surfaces. On
the rear side of the buildings the soft surfaces dominate with private gardens
overlooking the public green space.
These green areas are topographically lower than the inhabited areas by up to
approximately 0.5 meter. The green areas form wide swales which are able to
store significant amounts of stormwater without putting the buildings at risk, and
there may be further storage below ground in the form of infiltration trenches or
other porous material. As this area is built of clayey soil, it is most likely that the
surface water is stored, evaporated or discharged into the nearby canal system,
which are in direct connection with the green areas.

Rainwater from roofs is transported via downpipes below ground. All hard
surfaces in the inhabited areas are permeable to some extent consisting only of
tiles and stones. The stormwater which is not infiltrated is transported via open
drains in the middle of the roads to the green areas. The area is deliberately
turned into a low traffic area with most parking spaces situated furthest from the
canal system to ensure maximum treatment of this water before discharge.


area stormwater infiltration
beds are implemented in local
streets. By differences in the
terrain, the stormwater is led to
the beds and infiltrated through
grass covered soil.

Provided that the roof and downpipe materials are not zinc, copper or
otherwise pollutant releasing materials and that the inhabitants follow the
environmental guidelines provided by the municipality there seems to be no
incentive for further cleaning of the rain runoff from this particular area.

EVA- Lanxmeer is a residential area developed by a group of ecologists

belonging to the EVA foundation and is designed to house 250 inhabitants. The
project is designed as a demonstration project integrating multiple aspects of
urban ecology including landscape based stormwater management, grey
wastewater treatment and infiltration, passive solar heating, non-motorized
transportation and the use of environmentally friendly construction materials.

It is located at the edge of a water protection area. It focuses on approaching

a closed hydrologic cycle and small scale solutions. This includes for instance
rainwater harvesting and re-use, wastewater treatment and local infiltration. The
involvement and motivation of inhabitants in the area is a highly prioritized area,
since improper use or disposal of the water resources may cause a risk of
groundwater pollution, which in turn can affect the drinking water. Wastewater
management in the area is divided into 4 different flows: -

1) Run-off from roofs and vegetated areas collected in free-water surface

2) Surface water run-off from the vehicular/non-vehicular roads.
3) Grey wastewater collected and treated in a constructed wetland before
being infiltrated through the soil matrix.
4) Sanitary wastewater collected and managed in conventional sewers.

The stormwater from the roofs is collected in ponds located within the area.
Much of the precipitation that falls on the roofs is however retained and/or
detained by the many green roofs in 15 the area, which also contribute to
increased evapotranspiration. Stormwater runoff from streets and paved
surfaces is led to trenches where it is allowed to infiltrate. Extra storage capacity
is provided by restored riverbeds to prevent flooding during intense precipitation
Water is supplied to all the houses in this area via 2 major pipelines: Household
pipe and drinking water pipe. Household water is collected rainwater as well as
wastewater from the cleaning process of filters at the local water plant. The
household water was used for toilet flushing and washing machines.

The fact, that the settlement is a pedestrian only area, reduces the pollution of
the stormwater, contributes to a high quality of the collected rain runoff in the
surface ponds and minimizes the need for larger paved areas. Most of the small
pathways connecting the houses are graveled and are frequently used.

Another measure adopted in order to maintain a closed hydrologic cycle is the

local treatment of household grey water, consisting of effluents from kitchen
and toilets. The treatment is made by a reed bed located on the terrain. There
are 3 local facilities for treatment of grey wastewater in the vicinities of the area.
One of the grey wastewater treatment facilities is a sand filter/gravel filter. Other
types of wastewater from households, such as blackwater, is led to sewers and
treated externally, due to the risk of groundwater contamination.

With the exception of the lakes providing aesthetic character to the area and
reflecting the buildings, the integration of landscape based urban drainage
principles renders effective infiltration to the surface water runoff.

 EVA-Lanxmeer aerial view-

during construction.

India has been undergoing rapid urbanization since independence. This is

clearly directly related to the impact on the drainage system of the country. In
almost all of India’s cities, developments in the water supply sector have
outpaced those in the drainage sector. With increasing water supply to cities,
drainage managers are faced with additional wastewater from the highly
populated areas for which the existing drains are totally inadequate. There are
currently 108 million people living in 35 metropolitan cities and each city
receives different amount of annual rainfall depending upon its geographical
location and physical topography. For example Santa Cruz, Mumbai which lies
on the coast receives over 2400mm annual rainfall during the monsoon season
from the Arabian Sea while other cities like Delhi receive only 700mm of rainfall

What is however significant is that over 75% of the rainfall occurs during the 4
months of June to September. Mumbai receives almost all its 2400mm rainfall in
these 4 months and several catchments in Mumbai experience severe flooding,
usually when preceded by high tides in the time of heavy rainfall continuing for
hours. This period of rainfall causes severe disruptions to the transportation
system and paralyzes commercial activities to a great extent.

With increasing urbanization and the pressures of population, the impervious

surfaces in the metros are increasing, thereby increasing the volume of
stormwater runoff. The former holding basins and detention ponds have been
levelled and new housing estates have been built on these sites. While the new
areas have been receiving increased water supply through pipelines or tankers,
these localities do not even have a well-defined sewerage system and it is a
common sight in most cities to see raw sewage flowing into the open storm
drains. Many cities are now working towards retrofitting their urban landscape to
incorporate storm water management systems.

The DJB, MCD and PWD are jointly responsible for the construction and
maintenance of drains in the city. Storm water drainage in Delhi is a complex
situation owing to the combination of a number of natural and man-made
drainage systems being large drainage basins, storm water drains along the
roadside, a combined sewer-cum-stormwater drain along the roadside
(sometimes as a by-pass arrangement for blocked sewer lines). Most of the
water collected through different drainage systems finally gets discharged into
the river Yamuna directly. The length of the natural drains in the city is 350km
carrying discharge of 1000cum whereas the total length of drains is 1700kms
spreading over 12 municipal zones. Storm water drains carry considerable
quantities of raw and untreated effluents, the drains are ill-maintained leading
to choked drains, and there is lack of coordination between planning and
construction of roads and drains.

The problem has been exacerbated by informal settlements on the banks of the
storm drains. There has been a gradual encroachment on the banks of the
open storm drains and some drains have had their widths reduced to only 20
per cent of their original width. What were once natural drainage channels now
have buildings on their flood plains discharging raw sewage into storm drainage
channels. In a few extreme cases, even multi-story buildings have been built on
the top of the storm drains. The capacity of the drains to carry storm flows has
therefore been reduced. This has resulted in increased incidences of urban
flooding during the monsoons.

To reduce the impacts of storm water runoff, it is required to install sustainable

stormwater management practices that reduce the volume and remove
pollutants from runoff generated on their development sites. Roads and parking
lots have many opportunities for managing stormwater. Delhi has 25% of its area
under roads.
Delhi’s stormwater drains from the western ridge areas to the river Yamuna
situated in the east. There are 19 major drain outfalls connected to the river. The
actual rainfall in Delhi is 611mm. However, recharge of ground water gets limited
due to decreased availability of permeable surfaces owing to urbanization, and
the runoff getting diverted into the sewers or stormwater drains that convey the
water into the river Yamuna. The annual rainwater harvesting potential has been
asses at 900 billion liters per day. If even 25% of this could be harvested it would
imply availability of 625 MLD (millions of liter per day) which would be nearly
equivalent to the presently estimated deficiency.



Stormwater retrofit designs are required to overcome these situations and

achieve successful ground water recharge. Storm retrofit is basically installation
of a new facility to recharge and treat stormwater from existing impervious area.





FILTRATION: - Filtration can include rock and vegetated swales, filter strips or
buffers and sand filters.

This method prevents sediments and other materials from reaching and
clogging downstream facilities.

Filtration is effective only effect flow is slow and depths are shallow.

The slow movement of runoff through vegetation or gravel provides an

opportunity for sediments and particulates to be filtered and degraded through
biological activity.

In draining soils, the filters also provide an opportunity for stormwater infiltration
which further removes pollutants.

These are especially applicable for parking lots and along highways as they can
be sloped into linear grass or rock swales to collect and treat runoff from
pavement surfaces. Adjacent pavement level should be slightly higher than the
filtration area. Filtration systems are of three types: - Gravel filter, Vegetated filter,
Riparian buffer.

GRAVEL FILTER: - Gravel filter can be designed with an impervious bottom or is

placed on an impervious surface.

Pollutant reduction is achieved as the water filters through the gravel and sand.

Filters may be constructed in-ground or above grade as they include

waterproof lining.

Gravel filters can be used next to road curb or foundation walls adjacent to
property lines (if less than 30” in height) or on slopes.

An overflow to an approved conveyance or disposal method will be required.


VEGETATED FILTER: - These are sloping areas used to filter and infiltrate
stormwater runoff. Stormwater enters the filter from an impervious surface. Flow
control is achieved using relatively large surface area and for slopes greater
than 5%, a generous proportion of check dams or berms. Pollutants are
removed through filtration and sedimentation.
RIPARIAN BUFFER: - It is a vegetated strip along the banks of flowing water body
such as a stream. Riparian buffers are a simple, inexpensive way to protect and
improve the water quality through local plan materials. Buffer strips structurally
stabilize banks and shorelines to prevent erosion. Trees and shrubs provide shade
to maintain consistent water temperature necessary for the survival of aquatic
life. Width of the buffer is based on the surrounding context, soil type, size and
slope of catchment area and vegetative cover.