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Introduction Aspenden is a small village about ten miles east of Stevenage in Hertfordshire. Aspenden Brook, a small tributary of the River Rib, flows through the village. This is a typical 'bourne' in the upper part of the Lee catchment and it is normal for it to be dry for most of the year. The location was appropriate for source control via a soakaway system. This option was promoted by the Environment Agency to the developer for a new development comprising five large detached houses.

Description The surface water drainage from the front roof area is connected via a perforated pipe to a pond. The pond provides a focal point at the front of the site and a new habitat. Drainage from the road and driveways runs off naturally and is directed towards the pond or to shingle soakage strips. When the pond is full, it spills into an adjacent hollow which in turn soaks into the underlying gravel sub strata.

The roof water from the rear of the properties is collected in 1000 litre water butts. When these are full the water is diverted into a standard soakaway, a french drain or perforated pipe and connected to the pond. As the houses have water meters, the use of water butts makes both financial and environmental sense.

Project team Environment Agency Leach Homes

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