Thames Water to invest 20m in SUDS initiative

Over the next five years, the Twenty 4 Twenty initiative will see at least 20 hectares of hard, impermeable surfaces – an area equivalent to 30 football pitches – transformed into sustainable drainage projects, slowing rain water down before it enters the sewers or letting it drain away naturally into the ground.

By easing pressure on the sewer network, the work will help reduce the risk of sewer flooding and pollution following heavy rainfall.

Areas dominated by concrete and asphalt will be turned into rain gardens and natural drainage areas and concrete pathways will be replaced with permeable paving, able to allow water to filter through and soak away into the ground or enter the sewer network much more slowly.

Twenty 4 Twenty will focus on communities served by ‘combined sewers’, which collect both waste water from toilets and sinks, and rain water from streets, roofs and driveways.

It builds on existing SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems) which Thames Water has been involved in, including the award-winning Dulwich Park scheme which it funded in partnership with Southwark Council. The project was completed in 2014 and has reduced the risk of sewer flooding at more than 100 properties in the area.

While preparing the new campaign, Thames Water wrote to all 33 London boroughs for information about SUDS projects that are already being developed across the capital. The company is also keen to work with the Mayor of London, the Environment Agency, business and not-for-profit organisations.

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