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The importance of stormwater infrastructure

Stormwater infrastructure is essential to the health and well-being of our communities and the environment. The fundamental goal of stormwater infrastructure and management is to minimise and contain runoff as much as possible while also eliminating impurities to improve water quality. Stormwater runoff is a significant source of water pollution in urban areas and can be more polluted than sewage, which can have serious consequences for human health.

So, how does stormwater management help?

In metropolitan and urbanised areas, impervious surfaces such as pavement and rooftops prevent rainwater from naturally soaking into the earth. Instead, water rushes into storm drains, sewer systems and drainage ditches, causing flooding, erosion, turbidity (or muddiness), storm and sanitary sewer overflow and infrastructure damage. Stormwater infrastructure and green stormwater infrastructure, on the other hand, collect and reuse stormwater to maintain or restore natural hydrology.

What kinds of stormwater management is possible?

A comprehensive stormwater management plan or stormwater system includes pervious surfaces that allow rainwater and snowmelt to soak into the soil, grey infrastructure constructions such as culverts, gutters, storm sewers and conventional piped drainage. It also involves blue/green infrastructure that protects, restores or mimics the natural water cycle.

What is grey infrastructure?

Grey infrastructure is vital because it reduces the possibility of storm-related damage by reducing floods, soil erosion, transportation blockages, and sediment deposition on roads/surfaces, all of which contribute to overall ecosystem health. It includes systems such as culverts and gutters that direct stormwater away from buildings or other structures to avoid floods, while also providing safe ways for water to drain off streets or empty into bodies like rivers or lakes.

What is blue/green stormwater infrastructure?

The goal of blue/green stormwater infrastructure is to maintain, restore or recreate the natural water cycle. It consists of natural systems, such as wetlands and bioswales, that can be utilised to control stormwater. Blue/green infrastructure imitates the hydrologic cycle by allowing water to seep into soil or vegetation rather than flow off impermeable surfaces such as concrete highways and rooftops. It is a crucial aspect of sustaining ecosystem health since it lowers flooding while also providing habitats for plants and animals inside our communities. AWD Civil are the experts in civil engineering projects, managing and planning many projects in Queensland and New South Wales. If you have a project that we can assist in, contact our team at 07 3200 5766.

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