Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT December 2016

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | DECEMBER 2016 | 13 Project focus Stormwater drainage Canals provide capacity for 21st Century flood protection Project focus T wo hundred years ago, canals were the arteries of commerce in the UK. They carried trade to and from busy ports and ferried the coal that powered the industrial revolution. But their dominance as transport infrastructure gradually dwindled away. Trains and trucks supplanted ● 19km stretch of canal near Glasgow to be given stormwater drainage role ● Integrated plan for water management incorporates intelligent control ● Remote sensors and forecast data used to manage canal surface level escape the pressures of modern life. Today, canals are poised to shoulder a third, complementary purpose, and one just as important as the two roles that have gone before. As the UK strives to prevent the damaging effects of extreme weather and flooding, and mitigate the impact of climate change on water resources, canals are a vast untapped infrastructure for capturing, storing and transporting unwanted surface water, as well as supplying water into urban areas. Today's quiet waterways have a dramatic new role to play as components of dynamic, effective floodwater management systems. At first glance it may seem that a narrow, slow-moving canal offers little potential for alleviating floodwater risk. However, because they stretch over many miles, canals can add up to surprisingly large bodies of water. Moreover, they are manageable in a way that the natural watercourses of rivers tend not to be. Take the 19km branch of the Forth & Clyde Canal closest to North Glasgow. This section alone, just under a third of the canal's total length, has an overall surface area of about 42 hectares. That means you would need to feed in an extra 4.2 million litres of water to raise its surface level by just one centimetre along its length. This particular stretch of the Scottish canal network is the focus of a pioneering new project called the North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System (NGIWMS). Fresh ideas for stormwater management With sewer networks reaching full capacity across North Glasgow, fresh ideas for surface water management were needed to improve the potential for future development in the area. Nobody would want to invest in new commercial or residential property if it stood at risk of inundation or barges as the primary movers of goods in the 20th Century. Once thriving commercial waterways declined into stagnation and neglect until, more recently, they were rejuvenated and found a second life as havens for wildlife and leisure. Boating, jogging, cycling or fishing along a quiet canal has become a wonderful way to The project will give the canal a vital drainage function while enhancing the environment Marc Barone ManaGInG DIRECToR - WaTER, UK & IRElanD aECoM ● With combined sewer networks reaching capacity in Glasgow, new stormwater management ideas were required ● Using canal a more economic way of minimising flood risk than new tunnel construction ● Scheme to regenerate local area and bring waterway back into use • Drivers

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