More than 45 schools to play their part in reducing storm overflows in £1.2m project

SUDS at Nettlestone Primary School in Seaview on the Isle of Wight (a swale)
SUDS at Nettlestone Primary School in Seaview on the Isle of Wight (a swale)

Dozens of schools across Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent and Sussex will have sustainable drainage solutions (SuDs) installed over the next few months as part of a joint initiative with the Department of Education.

By slowing the flow of water from hard surfaces like classroom roofs and playgrounds, sewers are less likely to see huge jumps in volume in short timeframes – which can go on to trigger storm water releases into the sea and local rivers in order to protect homes, businesses, schools and communities from flooding.

The project is in its second year after a successful first year where more than 40 schools benefitted from having SuDS.

The project forms part of the work by Southern Water’s Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force aimed at significantly reducing storm overflows across the south east. The team are using innovative nature-based and engineering solutions, slowing the flow of ground and surface water that enters the sewer network.

Installing SuDS in the community not only prevents flooding and pollution incidents, but they can also provide environmental, social and placemaking benefits too. This is being underpinned by crucial partnership working with businesses, schools, councils and highways teams.

Nicole McNab, Southern Water’s Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force Strategic Communications and Partnership Delivery Lead, said:

“These schools are playing a big role in our work to reduce storm overflows across our region. Their help is making a real difference in reducing the amount of water entering our network and helps us ensure healthier rivers and seas. We’re looking forward to replicating these fantastic projects in more schools across our region in the coming months.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Education’s Schools Water Strategy said: 

“Not only do SuDS help reduce flood risk, but they also improve the school surroundings and create educational opportunities.

“Through the installation of SuDS, Southern Water is playing an important role in helping us to make the school estate more sustainable and resilient to the risks of climate change.”

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