Up-Date on DCWW’s Surface Water Management Strategy
What have we done so far?

Welsh Water have begun a step change in our approach to the prevention of sewer flooding and pollution. Our Strategy has set out the practical implications of surface water reduction in the sewerage system, looking at alternative forms of management and exploring what additional benefits might be gained. Through a number of projects we have also learned more about how we can implement such techniques more widely in the future.

Developing a successful approach to surface water management can often present opportunities to work with other stakeholders and many benefits can be realised. We are committed to building relationships and working with others at both a national and local level. From our work in previous years we have started to build these relationships. We have gained considerable support from organisations including the Welsh Government, Environment Agency Wales and Ofwat. We have learnt many lessons so far and will continue to do so as our Strategy is refined.

What are our future plans?

We plan to build on our programme of reducing surface water flows to combined sewers. Phase 3 of our Surface Water Management Strategy will help us to further develop our shorter and longer term objectives for sustainable drainage. This Phase will continue until March 2015. We have combined our funding for surface water reduction schemes with our flooding budget. This will help us
to sustainably achieve our target set by Ofwat, our Regulator, for the current investment period (2010 – 2015). It will align the more sustainable approach alongside our flooding scheme delivery and embed it into our investment planning process. We will also develop proactive Sustainable Drainage Plans for catchments where surface water removal techniques will be considered at the forefront.

It is our aim that surface water management will be considered at the concept stage of every Welsh Water scheme. It is only through doing this, that surface water reduction and removal will be
successfully implemented. It is already Welsh Water policy that all designs for flood schemes will fully investigate a SWEAR solution. This will be supported by the requirement that schemes developed by our Delivery Partners clearly demonstrate compliance with our SWEAR standards. Engagement must take place within the different strands of Welsh Water’s business and with other stakeholders as part of this process.

We will also continue to promote the good work carried out around the region in applying sustainable drainage practices and seek to learn of best practice undertaken by other organisations
across the UK and around the world.

We have a responsibility and are committed to delivering the sustainable SWEAR approach. It represents a fundamental part of our overall response to climate change. Through its implementation we will adapt our sewerage service so that, as custodians of the sewers within our operation area, we will be able to manage increased future flows.

Sustainable surface water management is specifically identified as a commitment to customers within “Our
Sustainable Future”, our 25-year Strategic Direction Statement. This sets out our vision for the company for the next 25 years and how we will deliver this vision. It highlights specifically that achieving this vision includes contributing fully to the implementation of the SWEAR approach across all our catchments in order to reduce the volume of surface water entering the sewer system.