Free Planters and Water Butts for Prestwick Neighbourhood to Reduce Flood Risk

05 April 2024
example of a planter installed on a property to capture roof run off

planters capture roof run off

example of a planter installed on a property to capture roof run off

surface water is diverted away from the sewer network

“Our traditional drainage systems are not designed to cope with such volumes, so we must look at more sustainable ways to manage rainwater”

Grant Vanson
Flood Risk Management, Scottish Water
Scottish Water is launching an exciting pilot initiative to help reduce the risk of flooding in the town.

The publicly owned water utility has identified a neighbourhood of around 250 properties where residents will be offered the chance to have planters and/or water butts installed free of charge.

Called blue/green infrastructure, they will capture rainwater runoff from roofs that can overwhelm the drainage system during heavy rainfall. 

It’s the first time Scottish Water has used this approach to target a whole neighbourhood to reduce the flooding risk for residents further downstream.

The initiative is part of Scottish Water’s wider strategy to use natural solutions to enhance the resilience of communities and the environment to the impacts of climate change.

Grant Vanson, flood risk management team leader at Scottish Water, said: “We’re facing increasing challenges from climate change, particularly with the increasing intensity and number of storm events in Scotland.

“Our traditional drainage systems are not designed to cope with such volumes, so we must look at more sustainable ways to manage rainwater.

“By mimicking the natural water cycle we can remove surface water run-off from roofs and divert it away from the sewers into planters and butts, as well as swales, raingardens, and permeable surfaces in larger areas. 

“This reduces the likelihood that the network will be overwhelmed and have to use the overflows.

“The benefit is they look great, and an enhanced environment makes for happier communities and wildlife.”

Blue-green infrastructure refers to the use of natural features such as plants, trees, wetlands, and ponds to store, filter, and slow down water, as well as provide other benefits such as biodiversity, recreation, and wellbeing. It works alongside traditional underground pipe networks.

The pilot project is being delivered by Clancy on behalf of Scottish Water. Teams will go door-to-door within the boundaries of Maryborough Road, Grangemuir Road, Ayr Road (both sides), and the rail track.

Those who sign up will be offered free installation of the appropriate planters and/or butts, and they will be monitored and maintained by Scottish Water twice a year for two years.
example of a water butt installed on a property to capture roof run off

Blue Green

Free water butts like these will be offered to a Prestwick neighbourhood to capture roof run off to reduce the risk of flooding. And they look great too!

Community Consultation

Residents can learn more about the initiative and how they can get involved at a public consultation on Saturday, April 13th at Bellevue Carpark at St Ninian’s Park, from 11 am - 2 pm.

Scottish Water wants to understand how local people use the park and car park and get their vital feedback on ideas to enhance the space with nature-based solutions in future development.

The consultation is being carried out by AtkinsRéalis on behalf of Scottish Water. 

Martin Hagen, waste water strategic planner at Scottish Water, said: “We want to hear what residents and stakeholders think and use their local knowledge to help inform and shape development and improvement for the community who use the park the most.

“This could be things like raingardens, swales, or areas of permeable paving. This kind of blue-green approach can offer place-making opportunities and improve the environment for all who live in it. 

“I’m looking forward to having some valuable in-depth discussions with members of the local community to find out what they think about this blue-green approach.”

Representatives from the team delivering the pilot planters and water butts project will also be there to talk about the launch of the property-level pilot and answer any questions. 

The blue-green project is one of a raft of investment proposals for the Prestwick area, following the outcome of the Prestwick Strategic Drainage Study.
If you can’t make it along to St Ninian’s Park on the day, you can still have your say. Just head to Rainproofing Prestwick