Innovating with the latest below-ground drainage

Innovating with the latest below-ground drainage

Steve Jeffries, Product Manager Foul Water Systems at Wavin UK, discusses the processes architects can undertake to help to future-proof residential developments and improve biodiversity. This is all made possible with specifying the latest below-ground drainage innovations.

Sustainability targets have added a renewed pressure and impetus on housebuilders to add greener and future-proof innovations to their new developments. This includes improving biodiversity through initiatives like the upcoming Biodiversity Net Gain mandate One of the key ways developers are achieving this is by incorporating more potential habitats for wildlife, with trees and green spaces. As far as below ground drainage is concerned this creates challenges., because root ingress can pose a serious threat to the structural integrity of water management systems, potentially wreaking havoc in the long-run.

Root ingress can occur when tree roots encounter below-ground pipework, leading to tree roots becoming invasive within the pipework. It is often a hidden issue that lies dormant for years but can quickly lead to blocked, broken, and damaged pipes. As roots infiltrate drainage networks in search of water, oxygen and nutrients, this leads to build ups of debris, causing tissue paper, wipes and fats, becoming stuck. This ultimately leads to waste flowing more slowly, or stopping altogether, resulting in lots of problems from the perspective of those at surface-level.

Traditional methods of combatting root ingress include cutting the roots, drain relining, or excavation. These processes are time-consuming, extremely disruptive for those responsible for managing pipework, and damaging to the surrounding environment. In fact, these solutions are so disruptive to natural elements, they can negatively impact the overall sustainability credentials of a development, alongside the reputation of architects and housebuilders if extensive remedial work is required.

Innovating underground

One of the most effective ways for architects and specifiers to reduce the likelihood of damage and upheaval caused by root ingress is to stop it from happening in the first place. RootSeal Technology, by Wavin OsmaDrain, is a new innovation that gently discourages roots from penetrating pipe joints. It does this by using an inhibitor, consisting of a naturally-occurring additive, which actively protects the socket and seal from root ingress.

The use of RootSeal has also been proven to have no negative impact on trees’ health, surrounding soil or wildlife. This enhances the protection of the below-ground drainage system, as well as the sustainability and environmental credentials of any development. Given the importance of creating green spaces in new developments to protect wildlife, this is a vital tool in future-proofing core infrastructure.

Reducing whole-life cost

On top of the environmental concerns, digging up and replacing pipes can be expensive. Underground drainage systems can cause lots of upheaval if in need of repair and this doesn’t come at a small cost. Any blame for the requirement of expensive repair work is likely to fall on those in involved in the design and planning stages of the development. Therefore, it is important to adopt a preventative attitude regarding potential issues that could occur further down the line, helping save on time, money and improve overall build quality.

Given that RootSeal Technology comes at no extra cost compared to existing solutions, it is the type of innovative and long-term solution that can make a genuine difference to the overall cost and sustainability of a build protecting drainage from overgrown roots.

Designing sustainable drainage

As architects will be all too aware, the need to create neighbourhoods that are desirable places to live, with ample green space must align with the reality of increasingly challenging weather patterns. This requires the careful design of holistic sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) – now mandated in new developments. These also encourage natural elements like swales, basins and ponds which bolster local ecosystems and improve biodiversity. Trees will often be a core component of these SuDS too, which is where RootSeal Technology can again play a vital role in ensuring the system’s longevity isn’t impacted by ingress into neighbouring foul water systems.

For further information or to request a consultation on Wavin OsmaDrain, with RootSeal Technology, for your next project, click here.

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Wavin is a pioneer in manufacturing and supplier of plastic drainage piping and water management solutions for above ground and below ground projects. Wavin has a range of innovative solutions to meet your requirements, combined with a wealth of...
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