Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Storm drains for rain storm pollution control

Given the high volumes of rain water discharge and the volume of pollutants it may carry along with it, the need for more effective rainwater systems becomes self apparent.
Storm drains for rain storm pollution control
An effective storm water system usually collects water run off and transports it to treatment facilities. Largely, the effectiveness of such systems depends on the condition of transport pipes, the volume and type of debris and the amount of water received at any given time. Moreover, most of these systems are not well enough protected to prevent the influx of hazardous chemicals or pollutants and may become easily blocked by debris.

While many effective systems already exist, the developed technology here advances a comprehensive solution that differs in one major aspect; subterranean, onsite treatment. This simply means that storm drain water can be treated where it is collected, using sedimentation, adsorption and chemical precipitation to cleanse the water.

This German innovation allows for the effective removal of all forms of nutrients and pollutants such as heavy metals and hydrocarbons. These are trapped in a sedimentation chamber that constitutes part of the technology's innovative aspects. The subterranean chamber, built of concrete, consists of several attractive innovations. One such is an especially developed pollution control pit called the HydroControl. This is where the cleaning process is undertaken. Using the hydrodynamic separators and vertically charged, multistage filters of porous concrete (HydroFilters), water is thoroughly cleaned before it is safely discharged into main waterways.

Another attractive feature is the use of concrete pipes rather than plastic. The concrete has a natural tendency to buffer the water's pH levels which would otherwise remain typically acidic. Concrete also affords for the use of larger pipes thus allowing for a much higher storage capacity. Also, the pipes can be semi-porous in nature thus acting as filters in themselves.

The development is cost effective, as it remains a low-end technology, having a minimal impact on land-use and treats higher pollutant load. As such, it should go a long way in improving both residential and industrial runoff and help support overtaxed water purification systems. It doesn't take much to see this storm drain is the by-product of a fruitful brainstorm.
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