Urban flooding is one of the biggest environmental threats currently being faced by towns and cities around the world. Factors such as climate change and unpredictable weather patterns are leading to fluctuating rainfall levels, increasing the threat of urban flooding even in drier regions.

An urban landscape can only retain a certain amount of stormwater. Once the saturation point is reached, excess water naturally begins to flow downhill, generating a significant amount of run-off. This run-off can cause major pollution issues, as well as degrade the ecological make-up of urban streams. The use of impervious surfaces in urban centres, especially in residential properties is creating large quantities of stormwater run-off, which cause flooding. In order to commit to the restoration and protection of waterways, the amount of stormwater run-off to pipes must be reduced.

A recent article in The Conversation stated that the average volume of stormwater generated by an urban plot of land in Melbourne was approximately 83,000 litres per annum. There are solutions available to help prevent the rising tide of stormwater run-off.

There are a number of simple methods that can be implemented to reduce the amount of urban flooding and stormwater run-off on residential properties. Well-designed gardens have the ability to act as a sponge, allowing plants to absorb and intercept water on leaves and foliage during rains. Rainwater is then able to seep throughout the soil, or even evaporate into the atmosphere. Only leftover water, if any, is lost as superficial run-off.

One way to reduce great amounts of stormwater run-off is to plant more grass, shrubs and trees. Vegetation is able to transpire water into the atmosphere, creating a more sustainable lifecycle. Another solution is to install environmentally conscious materials to create permeable surfaces. Driveways, footpaths, car parks and pathways can be made from evaporative and absorbent materials that retain firmness, but still allow water to drain through them.

Leading Australian paver company, Premier Pavers offers absorbable permeable pavers designed to assist with fighting the urban flooding challenge. Combining an appealing appearance with high functionality, Premier Hydropavers are helping improve the sustainability of shopping centres, driveways, parking lots, walkways and alfresco areas by creating non-slip, puddle-free permeable surfaces.

Image: Premier Hydropavers are helping create non-slip, puddle-free permeable surfaces