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WSUD Strategies to minimise the impacts of climate change
Urban drainage systems are frequently unable to cope with increasingly intense storm events, mainly due to non-stationary climate and rapid urbanisation. As drainage systems become less efficient, the incidence of urban flooding and sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) increases. This, in turn, has various detrimental impacts, including on human health and the environment.
SSOs are caused by rainfall-derived infiltration and inflow (RDII), which is the increased portion of flows that enter the ageing sewer network in terms of inflow as well as infiltration. Inflow is the stormwater that enters the sewer pipes through direct connections. Sources of inflow include illegal connections of roof downpipes to the sewer pipes and broken manhole covers, etc. On the other hand, infiltration denotes stormwater runoff, which enters the sewer pipes after percolating through the soil. Sources of infiltration include cracked sewer pipes and defective joints. Sanitary sewers are designed to accommodate a certain amount of RDII flows. However, during intense rainfall events this amount of inflow and infiltration is exceeded and may lead to SSOs.
Recently, there has been an increase in the implementation of water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) strategies to manage the urban water cycle in a more sustainable way. These strategies include rainwater tanks, rain gardens, bio-retention cells, porous pavements, green roofs and vegetative swales. If adopted, either alone or in combination, they can reduce urban flooding and SSOs by controlling the excess stormwater runoff that enters the drainage system.
This study aims to quantify the impacts of implementing a commonly used WSUD approach, rainwater tanks, in terms of minimising SSOs.
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