Articles & Case Studies

Sewer surveys keep pollution-busting cycleways in the pipeline

Posted: Monday 27th January 2020

Drainage teams are carrying out a major sewer cleaning and surveying programme for a £21million plan to reduce congestion and air pollution in Cardiff.

The drainage work is needed to prepare for the city's first dedicated cycleways and other road and public transport improvements designed to clean up the Welsh capital's air.

Lanes Group plc is gathering a wide range of survey data for Cardiff City Council to make sure drain and sewer modifications comply with new sustainable drainage regulations introduced by the Welsh Government.

Under the regulations, all new buildings and structures must have sustainable drainage systems (SuDs). They reduce the risk of rainwater overwhelming the sewer system, causing flooding and increasing wastewater treatment costs.

The sewer cleansing and surveying work is being carried out during night shifts across designated sectors covering the route of the cycleway across the centre of the city.

Lanes Cardiff Area Development Manager Kyle Burgess said: "This is one of the most comprehensive drainage survey programmes we've ever carried out. It incorporates pipe systems for pedestrian areas, car parks, alleyways, underpasses and bridges, as well as main roads.

"The advanced technology we can deploy is helping capture and save the survey data in the optimum way so the city council's engineers can quickly and easily use it carry out their SuDs planning."

Data captured includes GPS locations for all points of interest in the drainage systems. The Lanes teams are also using the latest drainage survey WinCan VX software to log data on the design, dimensions and condition of every manhole.

The new SuDs regulations for all new developments came into force in January 2019. Around 163,000 properties in Wales are at risk of surface water flooding. The Welsh Government says using SuDs will reduce flood damage by up to 30 per cent.

The segregated cycleways in Cardiff city centre will form part of a wider initiative called the Cardiff Bay Cycle Way. The council is also working with the Welsh Government to introduce electric buses to reduce diesel pollution, which is known to be particularly bad for health.

The city council says the new cycle way will help Cardiff comply with UK-wide clean air regulations, improve road safety, reduce reliance on car travel, encourage healthy living and create a more pleasant urban environment.

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