Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Urban stormwater management

Water supply and stormwater management are two significant issues for built environments, especially as our cities grow.

Municipal reticulated water supplies are very costly. As houses grow larger and sections grow relatively smaller, the resulting increase in impervious areas means the volume and speed of stormwater entering streams is increased. More environmentally sensitive and cost-effective options are needed to minimise impacts of this stormwater runoff.

There are many approaches to managing stormwater. These include:

  • Vegetated swales
  • Rain gardens
  • Rain tanks
  • Stormwater retention ponds
  • Permeable pavers
  • Filters
  • Treatment trains
  • Greenroofs
  • Riparian strips

It is also common to have several devices linked in what is called a "treatment train".

Treatment train. Reprinted from Wong & Breen 1999.
Stormwater quality improvement measures, target particle size range and operating hydraulic loading range (Wong & Breen, 1999)

Our research also includes assessment of the economics of various stormwater treatment devices.