Medium-term performance and maintenance of SUDS: a case-study of Hopwood Park Motorway Service Area, UK
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One of the main barriers to implementing SUDS is concern about performance and maintenance costs since there are few well-documented case-studies. This paper summarizes studies conducted between 2000 and 2008 of the performance and maintenance of four SUDS management trains constructed in 1999 at the Hopwood Park Motorway Service Area, central England. Assessments were made of the wildlife value and sedimentation in the SUDS ponds, the hydraulic performance of the coach park management train, water quality in all management trains, and soil/sediment composition in the grass filter strip, interceptor and ponds. Maintenance procedures and costs were also reviewed. Results demonstrate the benefits of a management train approach over individual SUDS units for flow attenuation, water treatment, spillage containment and maintenance. Peak flows, pond sediment depth and contaminant concentrations in sediment and water decreased through the coach park management train. Of the current annual landscape budget of £15,000 for the whole site, the maintenance costs for SUDS only accounted for £2,500 compared to £4,000 for conventional drainage structures. Furthermore, since sediment was attenuated in the management trains, the cost of sediment removal after the recommended period of three years was only £500 and, in future, less frequent removal will be required.