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Water water everywhere - Using stormwater tanks to reduce off- site flows

Minimising stormwater is becoming more and more important as part of property development and resource consent applications. As areas develop, and infrastructure becomes overloaded or there simply isn’t any present, we need to become smarter about how we manage stormwater. We also need to use alternatives which have less impacts on stream, rivers and other waterways.

One way you can manage stormwater is via the use of tanks. In rural areas water tanks are pretty common; roof water is collected and discharged into large tanks and the water is reused in the house. In many urban areas however tanks aren’t so common. Changes to planning documents, including the Auckland Unitary Plan in more recent times, try to control new impervious surfaces and how these are managed. Tanks are becoming more common, but what are they and how do they work?

Stormwater Detention Tanks

Stormwater Detention Tanks collect water from roofs and other impermeable surfaces, store it (“detain it”) and then release it at a much lower rate. These tanks are important during high rain fall events, where they hold the water back and slowly release it over a longer time via a small orifice (a small diameter hole in the tank). This reduces the impact of extra water in the local environment, reduces flooding, scouring and erosion. Often these tanks are underground. They require design for specific sites and uses.

Hannah Thomson is Director of Planning Plus and has over 17 years of resource management experience working in both local government and the private sector. Hannah has a wide range of experience including commercial, rural, residential and coastal development and subdivision on small to large scales and appearances at both Council and Environment Court as an expert witness for mediation and hearings. Hannah has assisted Councils with policy development and has also assisted private individuals with submissions to Council.

Disclaimer As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s. Planning Plus is not liable for any errors or omissions.

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