Controlling private rainwater wells
Creating extra buffer capacity by making intelligent use of the existing infrastructure. That’s the aim of Aqtiput, a concept developed by Aquafin in which private rainwater wells are deployed to combat flooding. The Flemish municipality of Edegem participated in a demo project for this.
Private rainwater wells aren’t usually very dynamic. Some families use the rainwater to flush toilets or water their garden in the summer. But not much normally happens with them. If some of this capacity can be used to cope with a peak downpour, that can be a really easy way of preventing local flooding.
Smart controls, linked to weather radar, are needed to activate the rainwater wells. When heavy rain is forecast, the water level in the well is lowered so the water has plenty of time to penetrate the soil in the private garden. This frees up space in the well to collect rainwater runoff.
Testing in demo project
In the Antwerp municipality of Edegem, residents were offered the opportunity to take part in Aquafin’s demo project. Owners of homes with a large rainwater well in the selected neighbourhoods were invited to have the equipment installed. For the time being, they can track changes in the water level via a web application. Later, Aquafin will develop a mobile app for this.