How it works

As our climate changes, it is important for us to manage our rainwater more effectively. Slowing the flow of rainwater into the drainage system helps to reduce surface water flooding and sewer spills into our rivers. Collecting and storing rainwater also supports gardens and plants during dry spells and it's free!

Helping to reduce surface water flooding

Rainwater management systems, such as 'slow release' water butts, rain planters, and rain gardens, work by capturing the rainwater from your roof and slowing the flow into the drains. Controlling how much rainwater enters the drainage system is really important. By managing this, we can ease the pressure on the drainage system and help to reduce the risk of surface water flooding during periods of heavy rainfall.

Resilience against drought

By using rainwater where we can, we are helping to reduce the demand on our water supplies and our freshwater resources. Rainwater is great for watering plants and filling up garden ponds. It can also be used to wash the car and help you to save money on your water bill if your water is metered. By using water wisely we can all help to protect our environment.

Reducing the risk of sewage spills

Heavy rainfall can also cause sewer spills into our rivers. In some areas of the UK, the sewers carry both rainwater and sewage in the same pipes. These are called combined systems and during periods of heavy rainfall they can become overloaded. To relieve pressure on the system the mixture of rainwater and sewage overflows or spills into rivers through Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) outlets. This often carries pollutants from the sewage, which can harm river ecosystems and water quality. By capturing our rainwater and slowing the flow into the drains, we can help to reduce the risk of sewer spills into our waterways.

Be the change for a sustainable future

Embracing rainwater management systems allows us to adapt and build resilience in the face of climate change and holds the potential for transformative change when widely adopted in specific areas.

Imagine if we all collected and stored the rainwater falling on our roofs. It is a precious resource waiting to be saved. Why not start today? Be the change, harness the rain and empower the future!

Ready to make a difference?

Connect with us

Innovation Centre
University of Exeter
Devon, EX4 4RN

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