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Bioretention research and practice

This free event, hosted by The University of Sheffield and Newcastle University, provided insight into the outcomes and impacts of a three-year collaborative research project (Urban Green DaMS) to improve design parameters for biofilters/raingardens.

Drainage/flood protection engineers need to be able to quantify how SuDS devices respond to rainfall events – including the extreme events that are responsible for flooding – to effectively use SuDS for stormwater management purposes.

Biofilters (also known as raingardens) manage runoff from catchments typically ten times larger than their own plan area and provide filtration of pollutants associated with road runoff.

The Urban Green DaMS project collected data from a combination of full-scale test beds (lysimeters) at Newcastle University and column tests at The University of Sheffield. The data will help understand and quantify the influence of design parameters (growing media composition, planting selection and outlet control configuration) on the rainfall retention (ET rates) and runoff detention performance (K values and outlet controls) of lined biofilter systems.

Findings of the three-year EPSRC-funded collaborative research project were summarised by the researchers and use of the data within modelling for rainwater management was discussed.

SuDS practitioners talked about the impact of this work on design, implementation, regulatory targets, and guidance including incorporation into the forthcoming update of CIRIA's The SuDS Manual (C753F). They also provided an overview of important ongoing retrofit SuDS projects.