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Can Smart Drains Solve London’s Drainage Problems?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

smart drainsInnovation from Down Under Could Ease UK Drainage Crisis

As London’s drains find it ever harder to cope, a high-tech solution could be on the way from the other side of the world. Our capital is faced with a growing drainage infrastructure problem, with the network finding it increasingly difficult to meet escalating demand. It is easy to think of it as a peculiarly English problem. An historic city that is seeing exponential growth, and that has these subterranean drainage networks that go back to Victorian times. However, it is a story that is told to a greater or lesser extent time and again in cities throughout the world. Urban sprawl and an ageing infrastructure are, after all, things that can be seen in most cities throughout the world, and London definitely does not have a monopoly on blocked drains. Nevertheless, you might be surprised to hear that the latest innovation, and one that could make a real difference in London and elsewhere, comes from a country that is not famed for its wet and miserable weather.

Flash flooding in Victoria

The thing about the state of Victoria in Australia is that when it rains, it really rains. In late November and early December of last year, homes in Melbourne and throughout the state were subject to flooding, with more than 20 cm of rain falling. Those living close to the Yarra River find themselves at risk on two fronts, with the water cascading from the sky, and at the same time the river levels rising. It is in this environment that a team of scientists and researchers have come together to produce an innovative solution that could help ease flood risks from blocked drains the world over.

Early warning needed

The trouble with a blocked drain is that

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