How Can WSUD & STORM Reports Address Stormwater Quality in Australia?April 28, 2023
Stormwater comes from the rain and other forms of precipitation that flow off building rooftops, streets, parking lots, and others. As this type of water reaches various parts of waterways, developments in various states in Australia should ensure that its quality will be maintained.
To address stormwater quality in Australia, crucial tools like Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and Source Control (STORM) Reports should be implemented. WSUD is an approach to urban design and water management that aims to protect and enhance the natural water cycle. On the other hand, STORM Reports are utilised to assess the impact of new developments on the stormwater system.
Both tools can be used to address the growing problem of stormwater pollution in Australia. After all, this pollution has led to an increase in the volume and intensity of stormwater runoff. This runoff can generally contain pollutants like nutrients, sediment, and litter, which can generate serious environmental and health consequences.
Promote Sustainable Urban Design Practices
WSUD and STORM Reports can help address the problem of runoff by promoting sustainable urban design practices. They can also ensure that new developments in various states do not contribute to and promote stormwater pollution.
WSUD focuses on managing urban water systems by mimicking the natural water cycle. This approach aims to reduce the amount of runoff produced by urban areas and increase the amount of water that is absorbed by the ground. Some common WSUD techniques include the utilisation of green roofs, rain gardens, and permeable pavements. They can effectively reduce the volume of stormwater runoff and filter out pollutants before they enter waterways.
STORM Reports, alternatively, are used to assess the impact of new developments on the stormwater system. They are required by many local councils and state governments and must only be prepared by a qualified professional. These reports ensure that new developments do not contribute to stormwater pollution. They also aim to minimise any impacts on stormwater.
A STORM Report will often include a detailed assessment of the site's hydrology, which includes the amount of runoff generated by the site. It also describes the characteristics of the stormwater. The report will likewise identify any potential sources of pollution on the site and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate them. Some of these measures may include the installation of sediment traps, oil and grease separators, or permeable pavements.
The Integration of WSUD and STORM Reports
WSUD and STORM Reports can work together to address stormwater pollution.
Firstly, WSUD techniques can be incorporated into new developments, which can then be assessed in STORM Reports. For instance, a development may maximise the installation of rain gardens or permeable pavements. They can then be included in the STORM Report to prove that the development will not contribute to stormwater pollution.
Secondly, WSUD can be used to retrofit existing urban areas in reducing the volume and impact of stormwater runoff. It may include the installation of green infrastructure like rain gardens. It can also involve the redesigning of streets and public spaces to reduce the number of impervious surfaces. These installations and retrofits can be evaluated in STORM Reports to showcase their effectiveness in reducing stormwater pollution.
Lastly, WSUD and STORM Reports can engage the public on the importance of sustainable urban design and stormwater management. Any public workshops or demonstrations of WSUD techniques can easily increase public awareness and understanding of stormwater pollution. These reports can build a culture of sustainability and environmental support.
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