British Water's Sustainable Drainage Focus Group has warned that as environmentally friendly drainage becomes a “must have” solution, there is a danger that poorly installed systems will fail and give the concept a bad name.
The group, which consists of some of the biggest and most influential names in the water and drainage industries, has expressed concern that there are cowboy operators claiming to be able to install both natural and proprietary sustainable drainage systems without the technical knowledge necessary and often using inferior or unsuitable products.
Alex Stephenson, the chairman of the Focus Group, said: “The worry is that as people start to get the message about using more sustainable methods of stormwater drainage, contractors are beginning to offer to install solutions like green roofs and underground geocellular storage systems but are using inadequate designs or the wrong products to try to save money.
“As those systems fail and there are problems with inefficiencies, leakage and possibly even failure, the whole idea of sustainable drainage will get a bad name.”
The market is seeing more and more inferior “lookalike” products which claim to do the same job as the reputable products.
“It's like specifying a Mercedes and getting a bicycle”, added Alex Stephenson. “They've both got wheels and will get you from A to B but the ride will be quite different.”
British Water represents the interests of the UK supply chain to the water and wastewater industry including monitoring UK and European legislation and regulation. It also aims to improve standards in the industry.
British Water 0207 957 4554 www.britishwater.co.uk