In a number of residential properties in the lowest area of the district of Reutsberg in Heel (Maasgouw municipality), waste water rose up via the toilets and streets and gardens became flooded during heavy showers. Enlarging the sewer was not an option and the construction of a rainwater separate rainwater sewer would be too expensive. A pilot project was therefore begun, in which rainwater was diverted and the water ran above ground into swales where it could infiltrate into the soil.

This was a good functional solution, with the exception of one location - a swale on the Boslaan which served as a playing field. The original swale configuration with lava stone in the substrate appeared not to be working as anticipated. The soil into which the collected water had to be infiltrated appeared to be silted up, as a result of which water was not absorbed during wet periods. The playing field was regularly flooded and even had to be sealed off with fencing at certain times for safety reasons. This was an unacceptable situation, all the more because the playing field had been designated as an important social area by the neighbourhood steering group at the start of the project. A solution was therefore required which combined the functions of playing field and water storage in this location.

Heel (Reutsberg), Maasgouw

Project location

rockflow, wadi, heel reutsberg, lapinus

: Construction team

Once the initial choice had been made, a kind of construction team was set up comprising, alongside Houben and Smits, advisors from the engineering bureau Kragten and from supplier Lapinus as well as Hans van der Sligte as the local authority supervisor. Houben: This worked really well; you could view the problem and the solution from all perspectives and optimise the design on that basis. The motto of our municipality is DOING IT TOGETHER with COURAGE! and courage was certainly required in selecting such an innovative system with which experience had yet been gained in only a limited number of locations. But within the team we looked very critically at the risks and how they could be overcome. Furthermore, Lapinus had carried out a great deal of research, so the most critical questions we had were answered robustly and supported by research results; this generated confidence and also provided the necessary courage.”