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BUTTON 2010 Stormwater Management in Monwabisi Park

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BUTTON 2010 Stormwater Management in Monwabisi Park
Stormwater Management in
Monwabisi Park: C-Section
Existing Conditions, Interventions and Proposed Solutions
Compiled by the 2010 WPI Stormwater Management Team
Kaylyn Button, Elisabeth Jeyaraj, Rodrigo Ma, Edwin Muniz
1
Table of Contents
2010 WPI Stormwater Management Team………
Mission of this Project……………………….……
Purpose of this Book……………………….……..
Limitations………………………………….……..
Regulations………………………………………...
4
5
6
7
8
SUDS: Overview………………………………….
SUDS: Informal Settlements……………………..
Overview of Methodology……………………….
Resident Brochure…………………………………
Key Terms………………………………………….
Physical Conditions……………………………
Social Conditions………………………………
Current Interventions…………………………..
Proposed solutions……………………………...
Map of C-Section Road…………………………..
Current Interventions…………………………….
Fences……………………………………….…..
Tyres…………………………………………….
Culverts/Holes…………………………………
Accumulation of Sand…………………….......
Vegetation……………………………………....
Rocks…………………………………………....
Wooden Ledges/Boards……………………….
10
11
12
14
17
18
20
23
26
29
30
31
33
35
37
39
41
43
Raised Platform………………………………..
Plastic…………………………………………..
Proposed Solutions……………………………….
Artificial Swales………………………………..
Soakaways………………………………………
Infiltration Trenches……………………………
Wetlands………………………………………..
Hot Spot A………………………………………..
Residents’ Point of View………………….……
Existing Physical Conditions……………….....
Existing Social Conditions…………………….
Current interventions…………………………..
Proposed Solutions…………………………...
Hot Spot B………………………………………...
Residents’ Point of View………………...........
Existing Physical Conditions…………………..
Existing Social Conditions…………………….
Current interventions…………………………..
Proposed Solutions…..………………………...
Hot Spot C…………………………………………
Residents’ Point of View…………………........
Existing Physical Conditions…………………..
Existing Social Conditions…………………….
2
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47
49
50
55
59
63
67
69
70
73
76
81
83
85
86
89
92
97
99
101
102
105
Table of Contents
Current interventions…………………….
Proposed Solutions……………………...
108
112
Hot Spot D………………………………….
Residents’ Point of View……………......
Existing Physical Conditions……………
114
116
117
Existing Social Conditions……………...
Current interventions……………………
121
123
Proposed Solution..……………………..
127
Bibliography………………………………. .
131
Proposed Cost Analysis……………………
132
3
2010 WPI Stormwater Team
Meet the Team
The 2010 WPI Stormwater Team is made up of four
students, Kaylyn Button, Elisabeth Jeyaraj, Rodrigo
Ma, and Edwin Muniz, from Worcester Polytechnic
Institute (WPI), a University in the United States.
Each student brings a different background of
knowledge to this project, as they are focusing their
studies on different aspects of engineering. Button is
studying Biomedical Engineering and Pre-Health,
Jeyaraj is studying Biomedical Engineering, Ma is
studying Chemical Engineering, and Muniz is
studying Civil Engineering. This group prepared for
seven weeks prior to arriving in Cape Town, and they
have spent seven weeks in Cape Town researching and
reporting aspects of their project: Stormwater
Management in Monwabisi Park.
4
Left to right: E. Jeyaraj, E. Muniz, K. Button, R. Ma
Mission of the Project
Dr. Kevin Winter
Thabo Gulwa,
co-researcher
As part of an interdisciplinary project program sponsored by WPI
(advised by Professors Scott Jiusto and Robert Hersh), these students
are integrating technology with social issues found within Monwabisi
Park, an informal settlement in Cape Town, South Africa. This team
has specifically researched and identified the most important issues
related to stormwater on the main road found within C-Section. With
assistance from the Violence Protection Through Urban Upgrading
Program (VPUU), a city funded organization working on aspects of
urban upgrading, co-researchers from Monwabisi Park and Dr. Kevin
Winter, a professor at the University of Cape Town, this team has
identified four problem areas along the road (hot spots). They have
researched how to successfully incorporate Sustainable Urban
Drainage Systems (SUDS) methods into the informal settlement, while
taking into consideration local solutions that have worked effectively
with time. By taking precise measurements of road and analyzing
different social conditions, the team has assessed the feasibility of
implementing an effective stormwater management system in the
roads. By preparing this guidebook, they hope to create a plan for
future implementation of various methods they have researched to
help prevent damages and other issues in these areas that are
commonly caused by excessive stormwater runoff and flooding.
5
This Guidebook
Purpose of this Book
The team has created this book to assist the VPUU and other interested organizations determine
appropriate methods to be implemented in Monwabisi Park to help control stormwater runoff and
prevent flooding. This guidebook has been organized to outline the existing conditions of each
identified hot spot along the C-Section road. The team has specifically identified physical and social
conditions found within these areas and have documented the existing interventions already in place
by residents. These interventions are explained in great detail and are then referred to as they relate
to sections in different areas. The team has also researched many stormwater methods and
techniques that have been used throughout other projects (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
(SUDS)) and they have determined which methods would work best in Monwabisi Park by taking
into consideration the available resources and unique conditions of the settlement. These solutions
are described in depth and are also referred to as needed throughout the respective hot spot pages.
Even though this guidebook is specific to Monwabisi Park, this book can be used as a guideline for
stormwater management in other informal settlements with similar physical and social conditions.
6
Limitations
During the duration of the project, the team encountered several limitations that did not allow their
plan to fully develop. These obstacles varied from political issues to a range of time restrictions, and
their summation resulted in a shortcoming of the original concept of the project. The two main, and
most limiting constraints were:
Violence Protection through Urban Upgrading Program (VPUU)
One of the major obstacles the team had to work around was the various policies put in place by the
VPUU. Through discussions with the team’s project advisors and the VPUU liaison, it was determined
that the VPUU’s methods are very conservative. The team fully understood and respected these views,
but unfortunately, the approach of the WPI Project Centre towards redevelopment is much more
experimental. The team had prepared for the implementation of a stormwater management plan as the
final aspect of their project, but without approval from their sponsoring agency, the team was advised to
hold-off on any forms of experimental implementation.
Time Constraints
Another big detriment in the project’s goals being completed was due to time constraints. The team
only had seven weeks in Cape Town to fulfill the various facets of the project. This provided for a tight
schedule, considering their plans for implementation and factoring in the various social, political and
economic aspects. Nonetheless, the team felt that if given the opportunity of physical implementation,
they would have been able to leave a meaningful legacy for the future development of Monwabisi Park.
7
Regulations
Spatial Reconfiguration Plan
The Spatial Reconfiguration Plan is a document that has been
created by the members of the VPUU, and is currently being
improved and completed. It outlines the placement of roads,
infrastructural services and major public buildings, in order for
them to be developed to eventually create an improved living
area that will have the potential to grow and prosper over time.
The VPUU is currently working on delineating a logical plan
related to how spatial constraints encourage and discourage
various social aspects present in areas within informal
settlements. These social aspects are focused on promoting
positive relations, reducing violence, and improving communitywide interactions. The team’s work along the C-section road
will be regulated by this plan, and it will assist in determining
appropriate solutions that will be accepted by both the residents
of Monwabisi Park as well as city officials.
For further information, refer to:
http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/sdf/Pages/default.aspx
8
Regulations
Biodiversity Regulations
Even though the City of Cape Town is home to one of the most biodiverse
areas in the world, the City has struggled in finding a sustainable balance
between environmental protection and the economic and social
development of the growing population. In reference to this project, the
team must be sure to adhere to the different policies that protect the City
of Cape Town’s unique ecological environment.
Some of the main threats towards biodiversity that the City has recognized
include urbanization, invasive species, and agriculture. All of these are
relevant to this project given that some of the stormwater management
interventions include vegetation as a means of biofiltration and water
pollution removal. The team has carefully planned to work within the City
constraints by being particularly careful not to use any alien plant species,
but instead, use plants that are native to the Western Cape. In this way, the
team will be working within the City’s legal framework to improve
residential life in Monwabisi Park while using plant species that do not
interfere with the unique ecosystem that the City of Cape Town harbours
(City of Cape Town, 2003).
9
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
What is “SUDS”?
The idea of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) was developed during
the UN Earth summit at Rio de Janerio in 1992 and later adopted in the United
Kingdom in 1999. This method came about when crowded areas were facing
problems related to draining rainwater, which created a chain of additional,
including a reduction of water quality caused by pollutants on the ground.
SUDS have taken a more integrated design approach in which the all aspects of
water drainage, including the quantity, quality and amenity (such as water
resources and community facilities), are treated with the same importance
(SUDS: Background, 2005). While one of the goals of sustainable drainage
systems is to manage the stormwater runoff rate so that it reduces its damaging
impact on the environment, sustainable drainage systems also encourage
protecting and treating the water from pollutants. Moreover, the overall goal of
SUDS is to get community involvement in order to increase the commitment of
the community to take care of all the stormwater measures (SUDS: Background,
2005). The methodologies of SUDS have already been successfully
implemented in England and Scotland, and are now being revised to be used in
informal settlements such as Monwabisi Park.
http://www.ciria.com/suds/background.htm
10
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
Applying “SUDS” to Informal Settlements
The implementation of SUDS in informal settlements requires much preparation in order to identify
all of the technical, institutional, economical, and social factors that may affect the development
objectives of the proposed systems. Land constraints and potential interferences caused by
preexisting conditions and systems need to be recognized before beginning the project, so that
resources can be mapped out and the overall cost can be minimized to the greatest extent (Micou,
2006). A series of oral surveys and field studies can aid not only in the identification of these physical
restraints, but also in the generation of maps that lay out which areas are suitable for new drainage
systems and methods. These maps can take into account the topography of the area by looking at
the varying depressions and elevations. Upon review, an analysis of these land features can determine
which areas will be able to successfully accommodate specific methods and systems. Due to the lowincome environment within informal settlements, these restrictions are crucial to the implementation
of the project. If they are not correctly defined, the proposed costs could be too high and the
sustainability of the proposed systems could be negatively affected.
11
Overview of Methodology
The team followed a systematic methodology in order to gather information and analyze the data.
This was divided into five different sections:
Identifying “Hot Spots”
In narrowing down the focus of the project, the team identified 4 major “hot spots” of flooding
along the C-section road and recorded their exact location using a Global Positioning System (GPS)
as well as the software, Google Earth. These “hot spots” were identified as the areas that are most
prone to flooding and had the greatest potential for improvement.
Interviewing of Residents
Realizing that successful implementation was based not only on technical aspects, the team visited
Monwabisi Park to gather raw data on the physical and social attributes from the local community
members. The information gathered by the team included the overall frequency of flooding, current
interventions put in place by residents and the reasoning behind their implementation, insights into
collaborations between neighbours and feedback on their proposed solutions.
12
Overview of Methodology
Spatial Conditions of “Hot Spots”
To accurately depict the sizes of the “hot spots” and the features included within them, the team
decided that taking measurements, such as the width and length of the road, the distance of the
houses from the road and the slopes of the road, would be beneficial. This data was collected and
inputted into a modeling software program, AutoCAD, where floorplans of each “hot spot” were
produced.
Generating alternative designs
Having surveyed the four different “hot spots”, the team proceeded to evaluate the current
interventions for effectiveness. They used this information to determine which SUDS solutions
would be the most appropriate for each spot; concluding that soakaways, swales, infiltration trenches
and wetlands would be the most suitable.
Guidebook, Poster and Brochure
The team’s final product varied for each audience they addressed. A guidebook and a poster were
produced for the VPUU’s usage in future redevelopment endeavors, while a brochure was created for
the residents of Monwabisi Park. This brochure contained information on how to prevent flooding
using simple, basic, widespread techniques.
13
Resident Brochure
The team created a brochure to be used by the residents of Monwabisi Park, to give them ideas on how
they can prevent flooding at an individual level. Providing insights into other interventions already in
place, they used pictures and diagrams to show the residents how to implement a successful solution.
In collaboration with this guidebook, the brochure incorporates the main aspects of flooding prevention
in Monwabisi Park. Using the current interventions described in this book, as well as the proposed
solutions, the brochure enables the residents to gain a better understanding of how to manage
stormwater runoff.
14
Resident Brochure
15
Resident Brochure
16
Key Terms
Throughout this guidebook, many “key terms” that will be used to characterize and organize the material
presented. These “key words” were chosen by the team because they felt that they were the most
appropriate and universal terms to be used with regards to stormwater management. These words have
been broken down into four categories to help keep this guidebook informative and organized. These
categories include:
1. Existing physical conditions
Characteristics and features of the preexisting landscape of the C-section road and its surrounding areas
2. Existing social conditions
Interactions between the residents along the C-section road that affect the overall interest and motivation for
stormwater management plans
3. Current interventions
Present methods and techniques used throughout the C-section road (implemented by residents) to minimize excess
water flow and flooding
4. Possible solutions
SUDS methods (adapted to the conditions of Monwabisi Park) identified by the team that are appropriate for
implementation and easy to maintain along the C-section road
These categories help develop a more in depth understanding of the environment and current situations
present in these areas.
17
Key Terms:
Physical Conditions
Existing Physical Conditions
Low-lying:
The topography of these areas is flat and does not contain any hills or depressions.
These areas are often found at the base of a hill or in between two hills, making them very susceptible
to high amounts of flooding and standing water.
Uphill slope:
These areas are characterized by an increasing slope, determined by the direction
they are being observed at*. This increase in slope can vary, ranging from a slight raise of ~15˚ to a
steep incline of ~50˚. The areas that are most prone to flooding in uphill regions are the areas toward
the bottom end of the slope, where water is naturally directed by gravity.
Downhill slope:
These areas are characterized by a decreasing slope, determined by the direction
they are being observed*. This decrease in slope can vary, ranging from a small drop of ~15˚ to a
sharp decline of ~50˚. The areas that are most vulnerable to flooding in downhill regions are the
areas on the lower end of decline, where water naturally flows as a result of gravity.
*In this guidebook, the team will be observing all areas from Mew Way, viewing the road from north
to south.*
18
Key Terms:
Physical Conditions
Existing Physical Conditions
Uneven Surface:
Sections along the length of the road are comprised of protrusions caused by
rocks and small divots. These varying levels throughout the width of the road disturb the natural flow
of water, causing it to pool and eventually spread to nearby side roads and houses.
Vegetation:
Grasses, small plants, and shrubs are found alongside the road, bordering the yards of
houses. They are found in small clumps and are sporadically spread along the length and width of the
road. Some grasses are found within ditches, and they help to capture excess runoff from both
rainwater and communal tap water.
19
Key Terms:
Social Conditions
Existing Social Conditions
Tension:
As a result of miscommunication and misperceptions regarding problems arising from
stormwater between neighbours and community members, uncertainty and frustration occur. There are
different levels of tension with regards to issues related to stormwater management and this guidebook
will define them using a scale of 1-10. “1” defines minimal frustration and lack of acceptance of other
residents’ ideas, while “10” demonstrates a sense of aggravation and annoyance between neighbouring
residents. These scales were determined based on responses from interviews of the local residents.
Low Tension (1-5): Verbal disagreements are a very common result of stormwater
management concerns along the road. At this level, community members put forward an effort
to work with each other, but their ideas may conflict with one another, and a lack of trust begins
to form. This level of tension is usually characterized by controlled criticism and slightly
apprehensive conversations.
High Tension (6-10): Disagreements between neighbouring residents result from many issues
related to stormwater. Personal interventions to prevent water from entering houses may
conflict with other interventions put in place by other residents. This leads to verbal conflicts
and arguments and can sometimes escalate into physical conflict, which only occur on a rare
occasion.
20
Key Terms:
Social Conditions
Existing Social Conditions
Awareness:
With regards to stormwater management, the wealth of knowledge varies throughout
the residents. Contributing factors to the overall awareness include knowing how the water effects the
roads and houses, knowing how to cope with excess water runoff, and understanding how to effectively
work with existing conditions to benefit the community in a way that helps to prevent excessive
flooding. On a scale from 1-10, the awareness of stormwater management can be defined as “1”
identifying minimal knowledge and background of the subject, and “10” demonstrating an in depth and
profound understanding of the subject. These scales were determined based on responses from
interviews of the local residents.
Low Awareness (1-5): The lack of understanding stormwater management is very common along
the road. Residents who do not have the knowledge and appropriate information regarding this
subject often do not understand the benefits that preventative measures can bring. This results in
dysfunctional personal interventions and a lack a interest towards providing a community-wide
preventative method that has the ability to decrease the overall amount of flooding within an area.
High Awareness (6-10): A deep understanding of stormwater management practices is mildly
prevalent throughout the road. Residents who hold this level of knowledge are often
characterized by a community leader who is supported by a close and tight community. These
areas possess a variety of preventative techniques against stormwater both at personal levels and at
community-wide levels.
21
Key Terms:
Social Conditions
Existing Social Conditions
Cooperative Collaboration:
The will to work together as a small community is witnessed in
various areas along the road. The organization of a small group of residents by one or two “leaders”
results in neighbours sharing their knowledge and ideas to work as a team to implement a stormwater
management intervention that benefits the entire community. Residents not only share their knowledge,
but they share tools and other materials to eliminate costs and minimize overall labour time.
Voluntary Isolation:
The lack of enthusiasm and, incorporated with conflicts between
neighbouring residents results in people working alone to implement a personal stormwater
management intervention. These personal interventions may or may not be successful due to the
shortage of labour and resources. The detached attitude that these residents possess is a direct cause of
this condition and it is often hard to change. This situation leads to increased levels of tension and
greatly effects the ability of the surrounding community to work together and benefit as a whole.
22
Key Terms:
Current Interventions
Current Interventions
Water Barrier:
To prevent standing water and water runoff from spreading across the road and
into houses, hurdles have been implemented to block the water from travelling further and into
unwanted areas. These blockades serve as an obstruction to both the movement and relevant flow of
water.
Water Redirection:
Interventions that are strategically designed to change the direction of the
flow of water assist in eliminating the amount of water that enters houses. These redirection
techniques allow residents to form paths during the dry season to prepare for the large amount of
water encountered during the heavy rain season. Paths can be created on either a personal level,
which relocates the water into a neighbouring yard, or on a community level, which redirects the
water along the side of the road toward the end of the road or into a highly vegetated area.
23
Key Terms:
Current Interventions
Current Interventions
Functional:
Interventions that successfully prevent water from entering a designated, unwanted area
(either a yard or a house), can be classified as functional.
Dysfunctional:
Interventions that do not successfully prevent water from entering a designated area
(either a yard or a house), can be classified as dysfunctional. In this guidebook, this term will be used to
identify any intervention that allows any amount of unwanted water, whether it is a large or small
amount, into an unwanted area.
Unsuitable:
Interventions are often duplicated along the road by various residents. Some residents
create a fully functional design, while others who try to repeat the design, create an intervention that does
not primarily serve to prevent flooding. These interventions will be referred to as unsuitable throughout
this guidebook due to their improper construction and misunderstanding of the original, appropriate
intention of the design.
24
Key Terms:
Current Interventions
Current Interventions
Personal:
Interventions that are implemented by individual community members are prevalent along
the road. These designs are put into practice to protect a specific resident’s yard and/or house from
both standing water and flooding. They are designed to benefit a specific person or family, and they
often effect neighbouring houses and yards.
Collaborative:
Interventions that are implemented by multiple residents working together are not
commonly found alongside the road. These preventative methods are designed to benefit an entire area
and small community, and they usually are implemented in the proximity of four to five houses that
neighbour each other.
25
Key Terms:
Proposed Solutions
Proposed Solutions
Long-term:
Solutions that will require at least six months of preparation will be classified as
“long-term.” This preparation may involve the procurement of appropriate materials (through
contractors), the approval of various organizations (local government, provincial government and
street committees), and the obtainment of community involvement (both local residents and city
officials).
Short-Term:
Solutions that will require less than six months of preparation will be classified as
“short-term.” This preparation my involve the procurement of materials (local, readily available), the
agreement of organizations involved (local government and street committees), and the obtainment
of community involvement (local residents).
Material/Resource Intensive:
Solutions that require numerous materials and resources
(more than five different items) or large amounts (anything that requires outside assistance to
transport/move) of specific materials and resources will be classified as “material/resource
intensive.” These materials and resources may be obtained from local vendors or contractors
throughout neighbouring areas.
26
Key Terms:
Proposed Solutions
Proposed Solutions
Water Redirection:
Solutions that are strategically designed to change the direction of the flow of
water serve to direct the water away from the houses, eliminating the amount of water that enters the
houses. These redirection techniques allow residents to form paths during the dry season to prepare for
the large amount of water encountered during the heavy rain season. Paths can be created on either a
personal level, relocating the water into a neighbouring yard, or on a community level, redirecting the
water along the side of the road toward the end of the road or into a highly vegetated area.
Water Catchment:
Solutions that are designed to trap and hold excess water can be used to collect
runoff from both stormwater and communal taps. These interventions allow residents to redirect water
into a designated and contained area that can be maintained and monitored to accumulate the greatest
amount of water in the most efficient manner.
27
Key Terms:
Proposed Solutions
Proposed Solutions
Management:
Solutions will require both maintenance and monitoring to ensure optimal use of
the intervention. Depending on the level of management the solution requires, maintenance will
entail proper care, knowledge and understanding of the intervention by various people. This level
will be determined by a scale of “1-10”, where “1” will demonstrate limited involvement of different
people, and “10” will demonstrate a collaboration of multiple people to ensure that the solution stays
functional and usable. These scales were determined based on responses from interviews of the local
residents.
Low Management (1-5): Solutions that will require the involvement of only a select number
of people at the local level to ensure that the intervention is well maintained and the
community is properly informed on how to use it are classified as “low management.” The
individuals involved may include members from local street committees or local residents who
live alongside the road.
High Management (6-10): Solutions that will require the involvement of representatives
from various organizations to ensure that the intervention is well maintained and the
community is properly informed on how to use it are classified as “high management.”
These organizations may include both local and provincial governments, street committees, and
local residents.
28
Map of the C-Section Road
(Hot Spots identified in red)
A
B
C
W N
D
S
29
E
Current Interventions
Throughout the entirety of the C-section road, residents have implemented both individual and
community-wide interventions to assist in controlling stormwater runoff and minimizing household
flooding. The following section details the numerous existing interventions found along the road and
provides a concise explanation of why residents use these techniques.
Each intervention is briefly described, providing details of how it works to prevent the damages
caused by stormwater. This description is followed by a “Key Features” segment that emphasizes the
important aspects and attributes of each intervention.
30
Current Interventions
Fences
There are a variety of fences found along the C-section road. These fences serve as a barrier against
both rainwater and communal tap water runoff and are designed to prevent household flooding.
They are commonly built around the perimeter of individual yards and they are often incorporated
with other interventions to reinforce their stability and functionality. Due to them being built directly
into the sandy ground, over time they sink into the sand and become lowered.
Dimensions: Height: 1 meter – 1.5 meters
Width: Typically the same width as the house
31
Current Interventions
Varied Materials
Key Features of Fences
Most fences found within the C-section road are made out of a variety of
materials. Thin boards of wood are used commonly as poles to hold the fences
up, while the materials that hold these poles together vary from house to house.
Some people use strands of wire to hold the wood together, while others use
scrap pieces of metal siding to keep the poles standing. In some rare cases, both
metal wiring and metal siding was used. With regards to stormwater
management, the fences that are the most successful in preventing water from
entering yards and houses are the ones that are metal. They create a barrier
against the water, and help to redirect it around the yard. However, it usually
directs it into another near by, neighbouring yard.
Another material that is commonly integrated into the design of a fence is a
shadecloth. Shadecloths are large pieces of materials with a dark green tint that
serve to help block the sun and provide privacy to the residents who reside in that
area. Shadecloths are commonly not used as a method of stormwater
management, but some people do consider this technique, and claim that it does
help to create a small barrier against the water. In most cases it allows water to
enter yards, but it helps to debilitate the overall flow of water.
32
Current Interventions
Tyres
Old automobile tyres that are made out of a sturdy, rubber material and that are found along the main
road (Mew Way) and throughout the settlement are used in various ways to help prevent household
flooding. When incorporated with the sand found along the road, they can be very useful in producing
a stable road surface that is able to withstand the pressures of water runoff. Tyres are used to stabilize
the sand and prevent it from moving and shifting during a rain storm. They can also be used to form a
barrier against water by being stacked on top of one another, ultimately forming a wall-like structure
that is similar to a fence.
Dimension: Height: 1 – 3 tires
Width: usually the width of the house
33
Current Interventions
Incorporation with Sand
Key Features of Tyres
The two main designs that residents use to manage stormwater involve either burying the tyres into the
sand or stacking the tyres on top of one another and then filling them with sand. Burying the tires into
the sand stabilizes the sand and help to reinforce the ground by providing enough extra support to keep
the sand from moving around and creating unwanted natural paths and channels that redirects water
into houses and shacks. The other design that involves stacked tyres allows the tyres to form a barrier
against the water, and the sand inside of the tyres creates a sturdier base for the tyres to stand upon.
Without the sand in the tyres, they would not be strong enough to redirect the water, as the flow would
be too powerful and would begin to move the tyres and knock them over.
Accessibility
Tyres are very abundant in Monwabisi Park and can be easily obtained from the sides of roads and in
abandoned areas or can be bought cheaply. Due to their convenience, many people accumulate tyres
over time and use them to create barriers against the water during the rainy season. Unfortunately, the
ease of access of tyres is not always a positive thing. When the rainy season arrives and certain
community members are unprepared for it, they tend to steal tires from other people who are using them
to help protect their yards and houses. This causes conflict between neighbours and results in the lack of
trust between numerous community members.
34
Current Interventions
Culverts/Holes
Throughout the C-section road, many residents have begun to dig
out small areas around their yards and in front of their doorways
to help capture the rainwater and prevent it from entering their
houses. These culverts can also be found alongside the road to
help redirect water away from houses and into a communal area
where no one currently resides. Some of these culverts work very
well, as they are built along a sloped area, allowing them to work
with gravity to aid the proper direction of water. However, there
have also been culverts dug along the perimeters of various
residents’ yards that redirect the water into the yards of
neighbouring residents.
Similarly to culverts, some residents dig different sized holes in
front of their doorways in hopes of creating a trap for the water.
The goal of these holes is for them to be deep enough so they can
lower the height of water when it comes in contact with the house,
but shallow enough to not create a dangerous environment (one
that someone may trip on, or fall in). These holes are very
common, and usually help to prevent a large portion of flooding.
35
Current Interventions
Key Features of Culverts/Holes
Varied Size
The sizes of the ditches and holes vary depending on their location along the C-section road. These
interventions are very adaptable to different conditions, and can be created in numerous, varying areas.
Some ditches are approximately a half meter in width, and are commonly found alongside the road,
while other ditches are only a quarter of a meter wide and are found in smaller, narrower areas
(between houses, along yards). The ability of these interventions to vary in size allows them to be used
very commonly by residents who live in different areas and in different conditions. The sizes of holes,
most generally the ones found in front of doorways, range from a quarter of a meter in diameter, all the
way to a meter in diameter. These larger holes are less commonly found within individual yards, and
are located at the ends of side roads to help prevent flooding for numerous residents.
Dimensions: Height: 15 centimeters -30 centimeters
Width: 0.5 meters – 1 meter
36
Current Interventions
Accumulation of Sand
Residents have strategically piled up sand both along the
perimeter of their yard and at the base of their house,
which helps create a barrier against stormwater flowing
into the houses. The residents who build up the sand along
the perimeter of their yard commonly do so by
incorporating it into an existing fence to cover up any holes
in the fence. This also stabilizes the fence. The other
method of using sand around the base of a house serves to
reinforce the foundation, and provides a shield between the
water and the walls of the house. This helps to keep water
from coming in contact with the house, eliminating the
amount of damage seen by floors and furniture, that is
caused by water.
Dimension: Height: 15 centimeters – 30 centimeters
Width: Length of the side of the house
37
Current Interventions
Key Features of Accumulation of Sand
Temporary Nature of Sand Piling
The use of sand as a preventative method against stormwater is often seen as counter productive.
The build up of sand is much stronger than loose sand found within the road, but it is still not strong
enough to form a barrier against powerful stormwater flows. Over time, the sand begins to shift, and
the barrier that the residents had formed with it eventually breaks down and begins to allow water to
push through it.
Incorporation with Other Current Interventions
Due to the unreliability of sand, many residents have realized that by incorporating it into other
interventions, it can be more useful and beneficial. The main intervention that sand is incorporated
with is tyres and this method is frequently found along the C-section road. Sand is also commonly
incorporated with fences, used mostly as a stabilizer to ensure that the fence will stay intact during
rain storms and wind storms.
38
Current Interventions
Vegetation
Small patches of vegetation, such as grass and small shrubs can be found
throughout the C-section road. The grassy areas are commonly located
alongside the road, bordering the fronts of residents’ yards, and serving to
help catch excess water to direct it to various places both on and off the
road. Some residents have vegetation in their yards and around the base
of their houses, which serves as small, commonly useless, barrier between
the house and excess water, but it also helps to catch the water and
encourages it to soak into the ground.
Another form of vegetation that is commonly found along the road in
this area is small shrubs. Commonly, they resemble a small fence, but
they have much greater open space throughout them, which allows water
to easily flow through.
Dimensions for grasses: Height: 15 centimeters – 30 centimeters
Width: along the side of the house
Dimensions for shrubs: Height: 1 meter – 1.5 meters
Width: along the side of the house
39
Current Interventions
Key Features of Vegetation
Grass
Many types of grass are found along the C-section road and in
Monwabisi Park. The most common grass is referred to as Buffalo
Grass (S. secundatum), which is indigenous to Cape Town. This grass is
found sporadically alongside the road and throughout residents’ yards.
Unfortunately, the grass is not well maintained, so there are only a few
prominent strips while the rest is found in small patches. This grass
helps to soak up and catch the rainwater as well as excess water that
runs the length of the road.
Shrubs
The shrubs found along the C-section road are most commonly used as
fences and barriers against the water. They are placed along the
bordering section of yards with the road, and they also serve to provide
privacy and isolation to many residents.
40
Current Interventions
Rocks
Rocks and stones are found throughout and along the entire length of the C-section road. They are
buried both completely and partially in the sand. They serve to help stabilize the sand and help to
prevent it from shifting and moving around. Unfortunately, the rocks that are only buried partially
create an uneven surface and disrupt the natural flow path of water, resulting in spreading and
flooding in unwanted areas (off of side roads, and into yards and houses). Residents have taken
some of these rocks and incorporated them into their yards to prevent flooding. In some cases,
large rocks have been used and lined up across the perimeter of the yard to create a barrier against
the water. These rocks serve a similar purpose as fences, but they are often hard to acquire, so the
barriers have open spaces and large gaps enabling the water to flow through into the yards.
41
Current Interventions
Key Features of Rocks
Varied Size (Dimensions of the different rocks)
Depending on the size of the rock used along the road, the purpose that it serves can vary greatly.
Within the road itself, both small stones, as well as medium sized rocks can be found. The small stones,
approximately two to three centimeters in diameter, help to keep the road level and provide the sand
with a slight amount of stability. The medium sized rocks, roughly fifteen to twenty centimeters in
diameter, serve to keep the sand in certain areas of the road from moving around and shifting. These
medium rocks are successful in doing this when they are completely buried, but when they are
protruding from the surface of the road, they begin to redirect the water and enable it to spread to areas
where the water is unwanted (yards and houses).
Alongside the road, there are rocks that are much larger in size, about half a meter in diameter, that are
used at a more personal, individual level. These rocks, due to their size, are placed above the ground
and are located directly next to one another to form a barrier against the water.
42
Current Interventions
Wooden Ledges/Boards
Many houses along the C-section road are located in valleys
and low-lying areas. This predisposes these houses to a
greater amount of flooding, and it has resulted in many
residents building small interventions, such as wooden
ledges in front of their doorways and around their yards to
help block the water. These ledges are made from long, thin
scraps of wood (mostly frequently found along Mew Way)
and are positioned either along the perimeter of yards, or
directly in front of doorways. They serve not only to block
the water from entering the unwanted areas (yards and
houses), but they also assist in redirecting the water into
either neighbouring yards or central areas where water
accumulates and pools.
Dimensions: Height: 10 centimeters – 20 centimeters from
the ground
Width: Length of the door
*It is buried 10 centimeters – 15 centimeters
into the ground
43
Current Interventions
Key Features of Wooden Ledges/Boards
Permanency
Wooden ledges and boards are built securely into the ground, so that they are able to stand upright and
endure the forces of water witnessed during the heavy rain seasons. Due to these slabs of wood being
positioned deeply into the ground, they are often hard to remove. This is often seen as an added
benefit, because they do not need to be replaced after each rainstorm, except for when the wood rots
and decays overtime. The elimination of constant management with these interventions is very
beneficial to the residents. Unfortunately, some see this permanency as an obstacle and problem. If the
ledge is not working properly, or it was placed in the wrong area, the time and labour that must go into
removing and relocating it is sometimes excessive.
44
Current Interventions
Raised Platforms
To prevent stormwater and communal tap water runoff from entering houses, some residents have
designed raised platforms that enable their yards and houses to sit above the road level. These houses
are often found at the bottom of hills and in low-lying areas, where flooding is the most prominent.
The raised platforms incorporate scrap pieces of wood found throughout the settlement to create a
border along the entirety of the yards, primarily composed of excess sand. The boards provide an
outline for the sand and a barrier against the water. The risk of flooding is highly decreased since the
whole house is raised above the ground.
45
Current Interventions
Key Features of Raised Platforms
Permanency
Similar to wooden ledges and boards, raised platforms are very permanent. They are often time
consuming to initially implement, but once they are in place, they are very hard to remove. The wood
pieces need to be dug into the ground, and need to be strategically placed so that they form a complete
enclosure. The inner layer of sand also contributes to the permanent nature of this intervention because it
becomes packed down over time and forms a raised layer within itself. The boards primarily act as a
support to keep the sand in one area, but after the first rainfall, the sand becomes saturated and
compacted, creating a firm and sturdy layer.
Aesthetic Appeal
Raised platforms are not common along the C-section road. Due to the large amount of time and labour
that goes into designing and building such an intervention, many residents choose to implement a smaller
plan to manage stormwater. Even though they are not frequent in this area, the raised platforms that have
been built are often well maintained and cared for. Many residents who put the time and effort into
implementing and maintaining a raised platform often incorporate other aspects of design into their
overall intervention, such as vegetation and shrubs.
46
Current Interventions
Plastic
Incorporated with sand and other select materials (metal
siding, scrap wood), plastic is used to help stabilize the sand
and protect houses from coming in direct contact with
water. The plastic is intended to create a barrier between
the sand and the walls of the houses, to eliminate the
amount of damage caused by stormwater. The plastic can
be located either between a layer of built up sand and the
outside walls of houses, or it can be placed between the
outside walls and inside walls, including the floors of
houses. When placed between the sand and walls, the
primary purpose of the plastic is to stabilize the sand and
assist in preventing it from shifting around and breaking
down around the houses. When located on the inner
portion of the houses, the plastic serves to block the water
from entering. When the water comes in contact with the
walls, it often seeps through small cracks and holes, but
with the extra layer of plastic in place, the water is unable to
proceed any further, severely decreasing the amount of
household flooding.
47
Current Interventions
Key Features of Plastic
Thickness
Different types of plastic are used throughout Monwabisi Park to assist in the management of
stormwater. These plastics range from thin, garbage bag-type consistency, to thick, unbendable forms
of plastic that are commonly used in high-strength industrial products. The thick plastics perform
better overtime when it comes to forming a steady, reliable barrier against water, but they are often
more expensive and harder to find. The thin plastics are much more assessable, and they are
consistently less expensive. Unfortunately, these plastics tend to disintegrate with time, and they
begin to break down, preventing them from creating a sturdy, reliable barrier.
48
Proposed Solutions
After analyzing and compiling the data that the team gathered from interviews and field studies
conducted along the C-section road, they identified four stormwater management solutions that would
be appropriate for implementation in this area. Incorporating ideas from past projects using SUDS
methods in formal settlements, the team created specific interventions that could properly adapt to the
existing conditions of Monwabisi Park. The following section details these four proposed solutions and
provides a concise explanation of why each intervention would be beneficial if placed in an informal
settlement.
Each proposed solution is briefly detailed, providing a short description of how it works to prevent the
damages caused by stormwater. This description is followed by a “Key Features” segment that
emphasizes the important aspects and attributes of each intervention and method.
49
Proposed Solutions:
Swales
Artificial Swales
Artificial swales are narrow ditches dug into the ground, often into a low-lying area along a preexisting,
natural water flow path. These ditches are covered with vegetation and are designed to help promote
the spread and directed flow of rainwater and other sources of runoff. They can range in size, but
commonly they are approximately five to ten meters in length, a quarter of a meter to a half of a
meter deep (measured at the center of the ditch), and roughly one to two meters wide. By spreading
the water runoff, artificial swales are able to slow the rate at which the water flows as well as capture
the water, so it can be managed and concentrated into a certain area.
Cross-sectional view of an
artificial swale
Computer generated (SolidWorks) model of an
artificial swale
50
Proposed Solutions:
Swales
Key Features of Artificial Swales
Vegetation
The layer of vegetation that covers the ditch in an
artificial swale is strategically comprised of specific plants
that assist in both the catchment and direction of water.
Grasses are commonly used in these designs, as they are
easy and fast to grow, easy to manage, and are small
enough to stay contained within the boundaries of the
overall swale.
Dr. Kevin Winter from the University of Cape Town has
been studying a variety of indigenous grasses and plants
to be used within Monwabisi Park. Specifically for
artificial swales, he suggests to use small grasses that are
very accessible in Cape Town. These grasses can be
found alongside roads, as well as in populated residential
areas. The proposed grass to be used in an artificial
swale in Monwabisi Park is an indigenous grass,
Stenotaphrum secundatum (Buffalo Grass).
51
S. secundatum
(Buffalo Grass)
Proposed Solutions:
Swales
Key Features of Artificial Swales
Dish-shaped ditch
The design of an artificial swale is crucial to its
functionality and rate of success. Ideally, a swale should
be created in such a way that the ditch forms a dish-like
shape. This allows for a greater amount of water to be
redirected in a shorter period of time and it provides a
greater surface area in which water can be captured.
For an artificial swale to be successful in Monwabisi Park,
it will need to be built on a small slope, no greater than
15˚, and it must be designed to incorporate a shallow,
wide, dish-shaped channel. By being built on a gentle
slope, the water will naturally flow into the shallow trough
and spread across the dish-shaped area, allowing it to be
redirected toward the end of the swale.
52
Ideal shape of ditch
Proposed Solutions:
Artificial Swales
Proposed Implementation of Artificial Swales
In order to have successful implementation of swales in an informal settlement like Monwabisi Park,
there are different factors that need to be addressed:

Planning: Before breaking any ground, a thorough study of the road itself is needed. In this way, all of
the engineering solutions can be calculated, which are important in determining the speed and volume
of the runoff flowing through the swale. It is also important to get the community involved so that they
can replicate these solutions in the future.

Materials: Securing all of the necessary materials is also a crucial step in the implementation process.
The raw materials, such as soil and vegetation, have to be funded, which in Monwabisi Park’s case, will
almost certainly translate to government or external aid. Building tools, such as spades and tape
measures, can most likely be obtained from within the community.

Human Labour: In terms of who would physically build the swales, the implementation team would
follow the SUDS philosophy closely and empower the community by allowing them to build it.
Community leaders would be appointed and they would rally other members into action, hence
producing a result that is significant to the residents.
53
Proposed Solutions:
Swales
Proposed Maintenance of Artificial Swales
Swales are considered a low-maintenance SUDS solution. The short-term management aspect will require
supervision in specific areas only, including interval cutting of the vegetation that controls the velocity of
the water runoff, and the monitoring of the swale to clean blockages or prevent them.
The swale, being a low-maintenance solution, would only require local community organization in order
for it to be properly maintained. Community boards can be created in rather small stretches along the
road, which will assist in making the supervision more personal, and thus more significant to the
residents.
The long-term management aspect will include the education of residents living around the swale to
enhance their understanding of the overall function of the intervention, as well as its benefits and how to
make it keep it functioning in the most efficient manner.
54
Proposed Solutions:
Soakaways
Soakaways
Soakaways are ditches dug into the ground, approximately
one meter deep by one and a half meters wide and
approximately four to six meters in length, that are filled
with a layer of rocks and covered in a layer of vegetation.
The main goal of a soakaway is to capture water runoff from
the ground level and allow it to soak into the ground and be
redirected to a specified area that is designed to manage large
amounts of water. The layer of rocks act as a filtration
system, and they help to cleanse the water and soak up the
nutrients, which in return, are used to promote the growth of
the plants within the layer of vegetation. The layer of
vegetation serves to capture the rainwater and runoff, and
also plays an important role in cleansing and filtering the
water as it is soaked into the ground.
Cross-sectional view of a
soakaway
Computer generated (SolidWorks)
model of a soakaway
55
Proposed Solutions:
Soakaways
Vegetation Layer
Key Features of Soakaways
The proposed plants to be used in the vegetation
layer include a variety of indigenous plants found
and grown in Cape Town. These plants are
currently being researched at the University of
Cape Town by Dr. Kevin Winter, to determine their
ability to filter certain nutrients from water. The
plants that will be the most beneficial to Monwabisi
Park are the ones that can absorb a variety of
nutrients, including phosphates, nitrates, and
ammonia, and those that are easy to manage.
Z. aethiopica (Arum Lily)
 30% absorbency of nutrients
 Highly prevalent in Western
Cape, easy to obtain
http://www.milliwaysnurseries.com
/Zantedeschia%20aethiopica.html
N. nouchali var. caerulea (Blue Lily)
 50% absorbency of nutrients
http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantn
op/nymphnouch.htm
As per Dr. Winter’s suggestions, the three most
valuable plants to be implemented in a soakaway
for use in Monwabisi Park would include:
1.
2.
3.
S. Juncea (Crane Flower)
 60% absorbency of nutrients
Reeds can be used to make mats
and matted shacks
Zantedeschia aethiopica (Arum Lily)
Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea (Blue Lily)
Strelitzia juncea (Crane Flower)
http://www.plantzafrica.com/plant
qrs/strelitzjun.htm
56
Proposed Solutions:
Soakaways
Proposed Implementation of Soakaways
In order to have a successful implementation of soakaways in an informal settlement like
Monwabisi Park, there are different factors that need to be addressed:

Planning: Before any construction takes place, a in-depth study of the road itself is needed to
determine the capacity of the soakaway, its spatial dimensions, the varying sizes of stones and
the type of vegetation used. It is also necessary to look into the City of Cape Town standards to
make sure that native vegetation, rather than alien plants, is used. It is also necessary to gain
community involvement.

Materials:. The raw materials, such as stones and vegetation, have to be funded, which in
Monwabisi Park’s case will almost certainly translate to government or external aid. Building
tools, such as spades and tape measures, can be obtained from within the community.

Human Labour: In the actual building of the soakaways, the implementation team would
follow the SUDS philosophy closely and allow the community to build it themselves.
Community leaders would be appointed and they would take the lead on the final product.
57
Proposed Solutions:
Soakaways
Proposed Maintenance of Soakaways
Soakaways are considered a low-maintenance SUDS solution. The short-term management aspect will
require supervision in select areas only, including interval cutting of the top layer of vegetation that
controls the velocity of the water runoff and creates an initial filter, and the monitoring of the trench to
remove blockages and prevent them.
Being a low-maintenance solution, infiltration trenches will only require local community organization
for proper maintenance. This can include community boards, that can be created along small stretches
of the road, which would make the supervision of this intervention more personal, and thus more
significant to the residents.
The long-term management aspect of this solution will include the education of residents living in close
proximity of the soakaways, so that they can learn and fully understand the proper function of it, its
benefits and how to efficiently ensure that is works and stays functional over a long period of time.
58
Proposed Solutions:
Infiltration Trenches
Infiltration Trenches
Infiltration trenches are ditches dug into
the ground covered in layers of various
types of rocks (depending on their size).
The bottom most layer is comprised of
large rocks and is topped with a layer of
smaller stones. The third layer is made up
of small pebbles, which is approximately
even with the level of the ground. The
purpose of these three levels is to create a
filtration system that allows water to travel
through the layers while being filtered and
cleansed of pollutants. These trenches
are approximately a meter deep, between
three quarters of a meter and a meter
wide, and range anywhere from four to
eight meters in length.
Cross-sectional view of an
infiltration trench
Computer-generated
(SolidWorks) model of an
infiltration trench
59
Proposed Solutions:
Infiltration Trenches
Key Features of Infiltration Trenches
Rocks, Stones and Pebbles
The three layers found within an infiltration trench
are comprised of different sized components to
enable the trench to efficiently filter the water that
runs through it. The top layer is made up of the
smallest pieces, most commonly pebbles, and acts
as an initial filter to rid the water of large particles
such as rubbish and other waste products. The
next layer, the middle layer, contains slightly larger
components such as stones. This layer cleanses the
water as well and helps to eliminate potential
pollutants and other small elements. The bottom
layer, comprised of larger rocks, serves as a final
filter and helps to remove any remaining small
particles, pollutants and other matter that was not
filtered out by the first two layers.
60
Layer 1: Pebbles
Layer 2: Stones
Layer 3: Rocks
Proposed Solutions:
Infiltration Trenches
Proposed Implementation of Infiltration Trenches
In order to have a successful implementation of infiltration trenches in an informal settlement like
Monwabisi Park, there are different factors that need to be addressed:

Planning: Similar to planning the building of artificial swales, analysis of the selected area and a
study of the proposed literature is required. It is also important to obtain community
involvement.

Materials: Securing all of the necessary materials is also a crucial step in the implementation
process. The raw materials, such as varying sized stones, and plastic covers, have to be funded,
which in Monwabisi Park’s case will most likely translate to government or external aid. Building
tools, such as spades and tape measures, can possibly be obtained from within the community.

Human Labour: In terms of who would physically build the trenches, the implementation team
would follow the SUDS philosophy closely and empower the community by allowing them to
build it. Community leaders would be appointed and they would rally other members into action,
hence producing a result that is significant to the residents.
61
Proposed Solutions:
Infiltration Trenches
Proposed Maintenance of Infiltration Trenches
Infiltration trenches are considered a low-maintenance SUDS solution. The short-term management
aspect of this solution will require supervision in select areas only, such as the monitoring of the trench
to remove blockages and prevent them, and ensuring that the stones in the ditch are not removed or
stolen.
Being a low-maintenance solution, infiltration trenches will only require local community organization
for proper maintenance. This can include community boards, that can be created along small stretches
of the road, which would make the supervision of this intervention more personal, and thus more
significant to the residents.
The long-term management aspect will include the education of the residents living around the trench,
allowing them to learn about the proper function of the solution, its benefits regarding both the
individual and community-wide levels, and how to ensure it will successfully function overtime.
62
Proposed Solutions:
Wetlands
Wetlands
A wetland is an area of land that is used to
maintain and hold large amounts of water. It is
often found in a low-lying area in a vegetated and
marshy environment. The soil of this area is very
moist, and often completely saturated, which
creates small pools of water. They are characterized
by minimal standing water, which is used to
promote and assist the growth of seasonal plants.
Wetlands help to capture and gather water, from
rain and runoff, and they incorporate it into a
natural environment.
They are areas of rich
biodiversity (see biodiversity regulations), as they
are home to a variety of plants and animals, such as
lilies, cattails, amphibians and insects.
63
Computer-generated (SolidWorks) model
of a wetland
Proposed Solutions:
Wetlands
Plant Life
Key Features of Wetlands
Wetlands rely heavily on the plants that grow within them. Due to the
marshy environment that they are comprised of, there are only specific
plants that can thrive and successfully live in them. The soil is often very
saturated, and this condition contributes to the limitations defining what
plants can be found in these areas. Plants that are commonly found in
wetlands include a variety of tall grasses and reeds, as well as lilies and
other small flowering plants.
For a wetland in Monwabisi Park, conservation and biodiversity
regulations need to be taken into consideration. As per Dr. Kevin Winter’s
(UCT) recommendations, the plants that would be the best suited for a
Monwabisi Park wetland include:
1.
2.
3.
Z. aethiopica (Arum Lily)
T. capensis (Bullrush)
Zantedeschia aethiopica (Arum Lily)
Typha capensis (Bullrush)
Phragmites australis (Common Reed)
P. australis (Common Reed)
64
Proposed Solutions:
Wetlands
Proposed Implementation of Wetlands
In order to have a successful implementation of a wetland in an informal settlement like Monwabisi
Park, there are different factors that need to be addressed:

Planning: Determining the capacity of the wetland, its most appropriate location, and developing an
appropriate management program is crucial to the planning process of implementation. It is also
important to get the community involved so that they can reproduce the management systems without
outside assistance. Another aspect of planning requires the careful consideration of the City of Cape
Town’s regulations and codes.

Materials: Securing all of the necessary materials is also a crucial step. In the case of a wetland, it can
be artificial or natural. Ideally, it would be natural, meaning that no work is necessary to construct it. If
it is artificial, labour and different plants are needed. Nonetheless, the city should be prepared to
supervise to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Spades and other materials could be supplied by
the community, although other more heavy machinery might be needed (refer to the cost analysis on
page 133).

Human Labour: It is important for the community to participate in the building process, but at some
point, some level of city involvement will be needed to construct the wetland.
65
Proposed Solutions:
Wetlands
Proposed Maintenance of Wetlands
Wetlands are considered a medium-maintenance SUDS solution. The short-term management aspect of
this solution will require supervision in select areas only, such as regular cleaning of the wetland and
constant supervision to assure the facility is not abused.
Being a medium-maintenance solution, wetlands can work closely with local community organizations,
such as a community boards and street committees, but some form of government involvement would be
beneficial, especially towards the process of creating the committee.
The long-term management aspect will include the education of the residents living around the wetland,
so that they can understand the proper function of it, its benefits and how to ensure that it works
efficiently and effectively overtime.
66
Hot Spot A
67
Hot Spot A
Existing Physical
Conditions
Current
Interventions

Downhill Slope

Fences

Uneven Surface

Ditches

Potential
Ponding

Accumulation
of Sand

Minor
Vegetation

Wooden
Ledges/Boards
Existing Social
Conditions
Mew Way

Low Tension

Cooperation

Environmental
Adaptation
68
Possible Solutions

Artificial Swales

Soakaways
Residents’ Point of View
“We put a
wooden board
in the doorway
to create a
barrier, it didn’t
work as well as
we had
hoped.”
“We do not get
flooding, but all of the
water is redirected from
around our house into
our neighbor’s house”
“Neighbors do not
complain, they just
continue the
redirection cycle as
well.”
69
Existing Physical
Conditions
Downhill Slope
From the north to south end
of this section, the road
encounters a steep decline,
forming approximately a 45˚
angle with the flat, ground
level. Over a roughly 30
meter span, the road begins
to level out, and it turns into
a low-lying area. Due to this
natural topography, water
flows at a high rate along
this slope. Gravity works to
direct the water down this
decline and enables it to
accumulate at the bottom,
forming a small pond that
has the potential to spread to
nearby yards and houses.
70
Existing Physical
Conditions
Uneven Surface
This portion of the C-section road is characterized by
numerous holes, divots and protruding rocks. Holes
are created by a relatively high flow of traffic, and the
inability of the sand to stay in place, both when
traveled on and when saturated during and after a
rainstorm. These holes are scattered throughout the
road and are characterized by a variety of shapes,
including circles and long, rectangular shapes. Water
is attracted to these areas, and over time it accumulates
and eventually spreads to side roads and nearby yards
and houses (increasing the risk of flooding). The small
divots and bumps caused by rocks and other objects
found within the road, such as rubbish and small
household items, result in not only a dangerous path to
walk along, but in a new path for the water to flow
along, directing it to unwanted areas (yards and
houses).
71
Existing Physical
Conditions
Potential Ponding
As a result of the natural topography of this section of road, and the lack of a smooth, level surface,
water has an increased potential to accumulate in specified areas and form ponds. Specifically at the
bottom of the hill, in the low-lying area, and in areas where there are large holes (ranging between half
a meter to three quarters of a meter in diameter), excess water is captured and builds up, forming a
large puddle. Depending on how deep the hole is, or how accommodating the low-lying is for
gathering water, the water will eventually reach a point where it cannot be contained any longer and it
begins to spread to nearby areas, such as side roads and houses alongside the road, resulting in higher
flood potentials and risks.
72
Existing Social Conditions
Low Tension
The residents in this section are very close with one another, as many of them are related. They
understand that stormwater causes many problems in their area, and there are only a limited number of
things that can be done to fix them. Unfortunately, many interventions that are put in place by
residents at an individual level have negative effects on neighbouring houses. These interventions often
reinforce the redirection of water into nearby yards and houses, which in most areas, would result in
verbal and potentially physical conflicts. Due to the nature of the relationship of these residents, they
realize that this redirection of water is something that cannot easily be fixed. One resident explained,
“Neighbors do not complain, they just continue the redirection cycle as well.” Instead of getting
upset with neighbouring residents, they simply work with the current conditions and situations and
redirect it to the next house, until it is no longer their problem. (Level of tension: “3”)
73
Existing Social Conditions
Cooperation
Due to the low tension in this area, many
residents find it easy to work collectively with
one other.
They understand that not all
residents are capable of implementing a
functional stormwater management system to
protect their house, so they reach out to these
people and assist them creating an intervention.
A community member explained, “We put a
wooden board in the doorway to create a
barrier, it didn’t work as well as we had
hoped.” He added that other members of the
community who lived nearby helped him rebuild
his barrier so that it was more functional and
able to prevent a large amount of water from
getting into his house.
This collaborative
cooperation results in a greater number of
houses having interventions, and it helps to
eliminate the overall risk of flooding in
individual houses.
74
Existing Social Conditions
Environmental Adaptation
Many of the residents in this area have a concrete
understanding of the philosophy behind stormwater
management. They have lived in conditions similar to these
for a large portion of their lives, and over time, they have
gained an in-depth perception of how stormwater affects yards
and houses (Level of awareness: “8”). These residents realize
that existing conditions play an important role in the level of
damage that stormwater can cause, and they have used this
knowledge to their advantage when designing various
management plans. One resident stated that he had to take
into consideration both the slope and curve of the road when
he was building a fence around his yard, to ensure that it
would form a proper barrier against the path of water with the
greatest amount of flow. By considering these aspects of the
environment and becoming aware of specific surroundings, the
process of determining appropriate interventions becomes
much simpler, and in the future, much more beneficial.
75
Current Interventions
Fences
The fences found along this portion of the C-section road
are commonly incorporated with the use as sand. Residents
gather sand at the bottom of these fences to assist in
stabilizing the main supports, enabling them to withstand
more water pressure and last longer. These fences are made
primarily out of wood, as the residents live fairly closely to
Mew Way, where there is an abundance of scrap boards.
The wood boards are incorporated with a variety of other
materials in this area, including wire, shade clothes, metal
siding, and shrubs. The functionality of these different
materials varies greatly, as the wire and shade clothes do not
provide enough substance to create a firm and solid barrier.
Shade clothes are easily penetrated by the water, and the
wire is too thin to form a completely, enclosed fence. The
use of metal siding and shrubs work very well in this area to
prevent flooding in yards and houses. They both enable the
fence to create a fully enclosed wall, that acts as an obstacle
against the water flowing along the road.
76
Existing Locations
of Fences
Current Interventions
Culverts
Residents living in this area have built culverts along
the perimeter of their houses to help redirect the water
away. These ditches are very small, and are
approximately twenty to thirty centimeters in depth,
twenty to thirty centimeters in width and range from a
meter and a half to three meters in length. These
interventions serve to provide a channel for the water
to run along, creating an alternative path directed away
from houses. The culverts in this area are specifically
designed to redirect the water along side roads,
incorporating the downhill slope, so that the water will
take on a partial natural flow. By directing the water
along the side roads, the residents are able to keep the
water from entering their yards, but they do not take
into consideration the houses located on the side
roads. As a result, these houses get bombarded with
stormwater, and they witness an unfair amount of
flooding.
77
Existing Location
of Culvert
Mew Way
Current Interventions
Accumulation of Sand
The use of sand to create a barrier against
water has been implemented by a select
number of residents in this area. Specifically,
one resident who’s house is located directly
across from the spaza shop used large
amounts of sand to create a ridge in front of
his doorway to prevent water from flowing
into his house. After speaking with this
resident, it was determined that the build up
of sand is not a reliable intervention. When
the sand becomes wet and saturated, it
becomes heavy and when built up, it begins to
disperse and crumble. As the sand shifts
around and moves away from the house, the
barrier that it was intended to form becomes
no longer effective.
Mew Way
78
Existing Locations
of Accumulation
of Sand
Current Interventions
Minor Vegetation
Found along the edges of the road, small patches of
grass are used to soak up minimal amounts of water
to assist in limiting the amount of standing water
found throughout the road. Some residents use
vegetation (small grasses) along the perimeter of
their yards to capture water as it flows into their
property, hoping that it will cut down the amount of
water that eventually comes in contact with their
houses. The use of shrubs along the perimeter of
yards also serves to prevent water from entering
houses, but they do so in a slightly different way
than the small grasses do. Shrubs are much taller
than patches of grass, so they function similarly to a
fence, creating a blockade against the water,
disabling it from penetrating into unwanted areas,
such as yards and houses.
79
Mew Way
Existing Locations
of Minor Vegetation
Current Interventions
Wooden Ledges and Boards
Residents have taken small pieces of wood, approximately a meter in length and about twenty five
centimeters in height and placed them into the ground, so that roughly ten centimeters protrudes.
These pieces of wood are located in front of doorways to create an extra obstacle for the water to
overcome when entering houses. The ledges in this area are not very useful, as they are often not
built high enough off the ground, and they do not provide a tall enough barrier for the water to come
in contact with. Due to the lack of a functional barrier, the water simply flows over the board and
enters the house with great ease.
Existing Locations
of Wooden Ledges
and Boards
80
Mew Way
Proposed Solutions
Artificial Swales
In this area of the C-section road, artificial swales can be implemented alongside both the main
road and along the side roads to assist in directing the water to a designated, well contained area.
Specifically, they can be implemented along the east side of the main road which will enable the
water that flows down the slope to be directed towards the bottom of the hill in a uniform path,
eliminating the spreading of water across the road and into unwanted areas (yards and houses).
This swale would be roughly ten to twelve meters in length, a meter wide and between a quarter of
a meter and half a meter deep.
Proposed Location of an
Artificial Swale
Mew Way
81
Proposed Solutions
Soakaways
Along this portion of the C-section road, soakaways can have a highly beneficial effect on the overall
management of stormwater. If placed along the side road that branches off of the west side of the
main road, this intervention will serve to capture water that naturally runs down the slope and spreads
into this area. The soakaway, measuring approximately half a meter in width, three quarters of a meter
in depth, and three to five meters in length, will act to gather excess water that accumulates along the
sloped section of the road, and encourage it to soak into the ground, eliminating its ability to runoff
into neighbouring yards and houses. If incorporated with other interventions, such as artificial swales,
it can help to redirect water away from houses and direct it into a specified, well controlled area.
Proposed Location of a
Soakaway
Mew Way
82
Hot Spot B
83
Hot Spot B
Existing Physical
Conditions

Low-lying

Tyres

Uneven Surface

Ditches

Potential
Ponding

Raised Platform

Buildup of Sand

Vegetation
Existing Social
Conditions
Mew Way
Current
Interventions

Conflict

Lack of
Cooperation

Individual
Efforts
84
Proposed Solutions

Artificial Swales

Soakaways
Residents’ Point of View
“After putting in a platform
around my yard, my
neighbour complains that
his flooding is caused by
me.”
“We dug a ditch to help
redirect the water, but every
time it rains, we have to redig it.”
“Every man is for
himself when it
comes to dealing
with stormwater.”
85
Existing Physical
Conditions
Low-Lying
This section of the road is
located at the base of two
hills, one downhill and one
uphill.
Due
to
the
topography of this area, the
road forms a slight valley,
and fairly flat surface. This
stretch of road, measuring
roughly eighteen meters in
length, is prone to a high
amount of standing water.
Water is naturally directed
along the slopes of the hills
into this area, and the houses
located alongside the road
witness large amounts of
flooding and water damage.
86
Existing Physical
Conditions
Potential Ponding
As a result of this area falling between two
hills, water is naturally directed to this
section of the road. This area is relatively
flat , and the water is attracted small divots
and holes that are naturally found
throughout the road.
This water
accumulates over time and begins to forms
small puddles and pools. When the sand
beneath this water becomes oversaturated,
the standing water quickly builds up and
starts to spread across the road. As it
extends to nearby areas, the potential for
flooding increases, and it travels along the
slightly sloping side roads (both on the
northwest and southeast sides) round in
this area. As a result, the houses along
these side roads receive high quantities of
water and large amounts of stormwater and
flooding damage.
87
Existing Physical
Conditions
Uneven Surface
Located in a fairly flat section of
the road, this area is characterized
by numerous divots and bumps,
caused by erosion (mainly from
water), and small rocks scattered
throughout the road. Due to the
amount of excess water found in
this section, the inconsistencies
within the road disrupt the path of
the water, and enable it to pool,
and
eventually
spread
into
neighbouring yards and houses,
resulting in high amounts of
flooding.
88
Existing Social Conditions
Conflict
Residents in this area have implemented many interventions on an individual level. Unfortunately,
these interventions often have negative effects on others and verbal arguments arise between
neighbours (Level of Tension: “7”). Residents claimed that their interventions would upset their
neighbours, and specifically, on resident stated, “After putting in a platform around my yard, my
neighbour complains that his flooding is caused by me.” As a result of the high amount of
flooding witnessed in this area, the level of frustration is presumably higher than that found in
other areas of the C-section road. When the residents become bombarded with problems arising
from stormwater, such as uncontrollable flooding, and property/infrastructure damage, they cope
with their aggravation by blaming neighbours and other members of the community.
89
Existing Social Conditions
Lack of Cooperation
The widespread attitude of “Every man for himself ” in this
area results in the unwillingness of residents to work
together. Numerous residents expressed the high level of
tension between neighbours (Level of tension: “7”) and
added that people are better off working alone. The
isolation that arises in this area creates an unfriendly
atmosphere, and with regards to stormwater management,
it leads to a greater number of problems rather than
solutions. With the lack of community-wide efforts, the
awareness of stormwater management practices is very low
(Level of awareness: “2”). The residents who do have a
strong understanding for the philosophies behind different
preventative techniques are unable to share them with
other residents, resulting in individual interventions that
are highly inefficient. This area is prone to a high amount
of flooding, especially along the road itself, and without an
appropriate community-wide intervention, the proper
containment of the water will never occur.
90
Existing Social Conditions
Individual Efforts
As discussed in the “Lack of Cooperation” section, the residents who live in this area do not work
well together. Many of these people have brilliant ideas when it comes to designing stormwater
management systems, but they keep these ideas to themselves, in fear that another resident might take
advantage of what they have in mind. This competitive atmosphere leads to a variety of personal
interventions, both successful and unsuccessful. Fortunately, the residents who take the time to
implement a well thought out plan, have the motivation to ensure that these methods work. While
often simple ideas, these techniques flourish into time-consuming annoyances, in which the residents
must constantly manage. “We dug a ditch to help redirect the water, but every time it rains, we
have to re-dig it.” This community member expressed his frustration with his intervention, but he
also made certain that the success of this ditch was well known. Even though it requires constant
management, he exclaimed that the extra work is worth the effort, both in the near and far futures.
91
Current Interventions
Tyres
Alongside the main road, residents have partially buried
tyres and filled them with sand to create a border
between their yards and the road. On both the
northwest and southeast sides of the road, multiple tyres
have been lined up next to each other, in such a manner
that they protrude about twenty five centimeters from
the ground.
This minor protrusion allows this
intervention to form a small barrier against the flow and
potential spread of ponded water. In this area, these
tyres are incorporated with other interventions, such as
shrubs and fences, and when filled with sand, they
create a reliable, sturdy base to build upon. By placing
sand inside these tyres, the residents create a stronger
barrier, and more permanent intervention, making it
more difficult for others to move or steal them for use in
their own interventions.
Existing Locations
of Tyres
Mew Way
92
Current Interventions
Culverts
Along the side roads branching from this area, specifically
on the southeast side, residents have built a ditch to help
channel the water that flows down the two adjacent hills.
The high amount of water that travels along this path
requires a deep ditch, approximately half a meter, as well
as continual management.
After each rain storm,
residents, primarily the two who live directly next to this
intervention, need to restore the ditch by re-digging it.
Residents have begun to adapt to this challenge, and they
have placed tires along one side of the ditch to help
stabilize the stand and prevent it from filling in the
conduit. Community members have mentioned that these
tyres do provide assistance, but during the heavy rain
storms, the sand from the main road gets pushed toward
the low lying area and shifts into the ditch. Despite the
extra labour and time that this intervention requires, it is
very successful in redirecting the water from the main
road into an area where it can be appropriately stored.
93
Existing Locations
of Culverts
Mew Way
Current Interventions
Raised Platforms
On the southeast side of the C-section road, off of a small
side road, residents have used wood boards to create an
elevated surface in which their houses are placed upon.
These platforms, approximately twenty five centimeters
above ground level, help to block water from entering houses
and causing infrastructure damage. The wood boards are
placed along the entire perimeter of the yards, and they form
a discrete enclosure. One resident designed a raised platform
on his property and incorporated a small ledge in front of his
door as well to ensure that the amount of water entering his
house would be minimal. These platforms are slightly time
consuming to implement, but once in place they are
functional for a significant amount of time. In this area, it
was noted that the enclosure formed by the wooden boards
also serve to redirect water into neighbouring yards. This
has lead to a greater number of residents building ledges and
platforms around their yards, and eventually redirecting the
water into remote areas far from the main C-section road.
94
Existing
Locations of
Raised
Platforms
Mew Way
Current Interventions
Accumulation of Sand
Throughout the flat, low-lying stretch of road in
this area, residents have gathered sand from the
adjacent hills and piled it up against the sides of
their houses and along the perimeters of their
yards. Incorporated with fences, many people
have pressed large piles, roughly a half meter in
height, of sand against the bases of wood and
metal fences. The purpose of this sand build up
is to reinforce barriers already in place, and to
help prevent the spread of standing water into
yards and nearby houses. The topography of this
area predisposes this section to a large amount of
standing water, and the creation of built up ridges
is a simple method and solution that can be easily
implemented by the residents.
Existing
Locations of
Accumulation of
Sand
Mew Way
95
Current Interventions
Existing
Locations of
Vegetation
Vegetation
Incorporated with both tyres and fences in this area, vegetation is
commonly used as a simple intervention to prevent stormwater from
entering unwanted areas (yards and houses). Alongside the road,
on the southeast side, large shrubs are supported by wooden posts
(from fences) and create a thick barrier against the water that pools
in this section of the road. These shrubs are about a meter and a
half tall, and range from half a meter to a meter in width, covering
a large portion of land. Due to their size, residents commonly only
place one to three shrubs in their yard, eliminating costs and
management. In collaboration with these shrubs, smaller forms of
vegetation are scattered throughout the road to help soak up extra
water and provide small barriers (commonly ineffective) against the
water. On the northwest side of the road, small patches of grass
have been incorporated into the use of tyres. These grasses are
placed inside the open portion of the tyre that is filled with sand,
providing a potential catchment area for both rain water, and high
flood waters.
96
Mew Way
Proposed Solutions
Artificial Swales
To assist in the redirection of water, artificial swales
can be implemented along the southeast region of
the road. Following the path which comes directly
down from a downhill slope and runs past a lowlying side road, this intervention will encourage
excess water to flow alongside the road. This
specific area of the road will benefit the greatest
from an artificial swale because it will incorporate
the natural flow of water that is caused by gravity
(from the downhill slope topography, northeast of
this area). The swale will help to capture water from
areas of ponding and it will be incorporated with the
patches of existing vegetation.
By integrating
existing conditions with this proposed solution, the
residents will have a better understanding of how to
manage it, and keep it well maintained.
97
Proposed Location
of an Artificial
Swale
Mew Way
Proposed Solutions
Soakaways
Along the two main side roads, one on the northwest and one
branching off of the southeast side of the C-section road,
soakaways would be very beneficial if implemented in these
regions. A large amount of water runs off onto these roads
because they sit slightly lower than the main road. The water
flows directly from both hills flanking this vicinity, and when it
meets at the bottom, in the low-lying, flat area it begins to pool.
Soakaways would help to capture this excess water and would
prevent the spreading of it into yards and houses located along the
side roads. Due to gravity, the water flow is naturally directed
down the length of these roads, and it has no place to drain. With
a soakaway in place, the runoff would not only be captured and
infused into the ground, but it would also be directed into an area
that can withstand these excessive amounts of water. The
proposed soakaways would be approximately three to four meters
in length, a meter in width, and about a meter deep.
Implementing them on these two side roads would be ideal
because they would easily fit into these specified spaces while
leaving room for footpaths and common transportation/travel.
98
Proposed
Locations of
Soakaways
Mew Way
Hot Spot C
99
Hot Spot C
Existing Physical
Conditions
Current
Interventions

Broken Tap

Tyres

Potential Ponding

Fences

Elevated Road

Raised
Platforms
Existing Social
Conditions
Mew Way

High Tension

Low Awareness

Lack of
Cooperation
100
Proposed Solutions

Soakaways

Infiltration
Trenches
Residents’ Point of View
“When water is
directed outside and
away from houses, it
is okay with all of
the neighbouring
residents involved.”
“We experience a fair
amount of flooding
here, but fortunately,
we only are effected
during heavy rain
storms.”
“Water from different
directions all come
together and form a pool
in my yard.”
“When other
interventions intrude into
neighboring yards,
tension is created.”
101
Existing Physical
Conditions
Broken Tap
On the northwest side of the road, there is a communal
water tap which lacks proper management and is cracked
along the base. This crack results in the excessive release
of both clean tap and dirty grey water along the road and
leads to the pooling of water in front of the toilets and in
the path of neighbouring side roads.
102
Existing Physical
Conditions
Potential Ponding
Due to the varying levels in the road in this area, water flows to specific spots and pools in the lowlying areas. As discussed in the “broken tap” section, water tends to build up along the side roads
and it creates a risk for the people residing beside these areas. When the ground is fully saturated and
unable to take in any more water, it begins to push water outwards, resulting in the water having no
place to go. As the water builds up to an excessive amount, it begins to spread to nearby areas, most
commonly yards and doorways of houses. This results in increased flooding and water damage
within and around multiple houses.
103
Existing Physical
Conditions
Elevated Road
Due to location of this
area, the majority of
houses along the road are
located off of small side
roads. These side roads
are on a downhill slope
from the main road
resulting in the houses
being set at a lower level
than the road. With the
high amount of ponding
that occurs in this area,
these houses are often
inflicted with flooding
from the runoff that
spreads from the pooled
water.
104
Existing Social Conditions
High Tension
After talking with residents in this area, it was
apparent that there was a high amount of tension
between neighbours. One resident explained how
he “cut a hole in his side fence to redirect the
water directly into his neighbour’s yard.”
Attitudes such as this related to stormwater
management result in both isolation and lack of
trust between community members. This resident’s
actions lead to verbal conflict between him and his
neighbour, and it was witnessed that this level of
tension was widespread throughout the entire area
(Level of tension: “8”) . The residents understand
that there are only a limited number of methods
they can implement to solve stormwater problems,
so they feel that by eliminating the techniques that
negatively effect others, they will loose out on
opportunities for themselves.
105
Existing Social Conditions
Low Awareness
The lack of care and understanding of maintaining these
facilities leads to the overflow and pooling of water, which
spreads into neighbouring yards. This lack of maintenance
is caused by the overall low awareness of stormwater
management throughout the area (Level of awareness:
“2”). Residents are not educated enough and do not
possess the knowledge base that allows them to understand
the importance of maintaining water and its effects on
household flooding.
Without having
an in depth
background of the philosophy behind stormwater
management, residents do not see the issue as a top priority
and they are unsure of how to properly approach the
underlying problems. With a dysfunctional tap, water can
easily accumulate and increase the risk of flooding, but it
the knowledge base was present in this area, a simple plan
could be put into place that would help to fix the tap, or at
least minimize the amount of water that leaks out of it.
106
Existing Social Conditions
Lack of Collaboration
As a result of the high levels of tension and the low levels of awareness, it was apparent that people
do not work together in this area. Many interventions are designed on an individual basis, and often
times, they are created to redirect the water away from their house, without thinking about how it
effects the people living around them. One resident stated, “I have put tyres in my front yard and
built a barrier on my side yard, but I still get flooding in the back of my house because my
neighbour gets upset when I try to implement something in that area. She claims that it effects
her house and increases the amount of flooding that she endures.” Attitudes like this are very
common throughout this section of the road and it leads to the lack of trust between residents, as
well as the lack of interest to implement a community wide intervention. Unfortunately, an
intervention that was implemented on a more collaborative level would be benefit to residents living
in this area, because it would provide the entire region with some type of preventative measure (even
if it was minimal). When asked if such an intervention would be possible and accepted by the
residents in this area, residents claimed that “Every man is for himself. People do not work
together here, and they have decided that working alone is more beneficial than working with
other people.”
107
Current Interventions
Tyres
Residents often use tires in this area to prevent
water from entering their yards and houses. There
are numerous ways in which interventions are
designed using tyres. Some residents fill them with
sand to create a strong, reliable barrier around
their yards that help to stabilize the sand during a
rainstorm (southeast side of the road). Other
residents strategically stack the tyres on top of one
another to form a wall that acts as a barricade
against standing water and water that has begun to
pool as a result of the uneven road surface
(northwest side).
Existing Locations
of Tyres
Mew Way
108
Current Interventions
Raised Platforms
In this area, a few houses were built on a
raised platform so that the base of their
house is approximately 30 centimeters
above ground level. This solution works
very well because it allows the water to
travel underneath the house in a natural
pattern and prevents the house from
receiving a large amount of flooding,
specifically from standing and pooled
water.
Existing Location of
Raised Platform
Mew Way
109
Current Interventions
Fences
There are a variety of fences found within
this area of the C-section road. The materials
used for each fence are very different from the
other fences found within this region, but the
residents all have different reasons for why
they built their fence they way they did. One
resident used metal siding to create a wall
around the perimeter of his yard, and he cut a
hole in the corner of it to help redirect the
water away from his house. Another resident
used tyres to create a fence, which also served
to stabilize the sand surrounding his house.
No matter what material or design the fence
is made from, they all work to serve the same
purpose, create a blockade against the
rainwater runoff and to prevent household
flooding.
Existing Locations
of Fences
Mew Way
Metal Siding Fence
110
Stacked Tyre Fence
Current Interventions
Vegetation
As in other areas of the C-section road, small
patches of grass are found throughout the
road and alongside adjacent yards. In this
region, vegetation is found mainly on the
southeast portion of the road, and it is
incorporated with a minor build up of sand,
to form a small water barrier. Implemented in
a continuous strip along the church yard, the
grass helps to both soak up extra water and
defer it towards the main road, so that it does
not enter the church yard. Vegetation is also
found faintly along the northwest side of the
road. In collaboration with stacked tires and
large rocks, these small patches of grass help
to reinforce the barriers that these other
interventions create.
Existing Locations
of Vegetation
Mew Way
111
Proposed Solutions
Soakaways
Proposed Locations
of Soakaways
Along both the northwest region
and southeast region of the main
road, the implementation of
soakaways would be ideal. In
these two locations, slightly
northeast (closer to Mew Way) of
the communal tap, and further
down the road near the church
(southeast side), are both fairly flat,
and they are areas of high-flooding
and water accumulation.
The
soakaways would work to capture
the water that flows through these
areas and direct it into the ground,
eliminating the potential for it to
spread into nearby houses.
Mew Way
112
Proposed Solutions
Infiltration Trenches
Due to the high amount of grey and black
water around the tap and toilets, an
intervention that can assist in cleansing this
material would be very beneficial in this area.
When the sewer drains near the toilets reach
capacity, they begin to overflow and leak,
resulting in the pooling of black water along
the length of the toilets. This situation
(standing black water) is unsanitary, and very
unhealthy for people to be living near. An
infiltration placed along the front perimeter of
the toilets would serve to gather this water
and filter it. While filtering the water, the
trench would also assist in directing the water
(the clean, filtered water) to a more
appropriate, remote area where large amounts
of water can be contained.
Proposed Location of
Infiltration Trench
Mew Way
113
Hot Spot D
114
Hot Spot D
Mew Way
Existing Physical
Conditions
Current
Interventions

Downhill slopes

Vegetation

Uneven ground

Culverts

Potential Ponding

Tires

Highly Vegetated

Plastic
Existing Social
Conditions
Mew Way

Verbal Conflict

Varied Tension

Resident Involvement
115
Proposed Solutions

Swales

Soakaways

Trenches

Wetland
Residents’ Point of View
“We like each other here,
so we just do things
together”
“Water comes straight down
and just stays in the road. It
would be helpful to make
new, smaller roads to help
disperse the water.”
“People won’t do
anything to stop
development.”
“Most of the
people living
around me
experience a
problem with
rain.”
“I raised my house
up and put plastic
between my house
and the sand, but
the plastic is starting
to break. I also tried
to redirect the water
around my house
using a mat.”
116
Existing Physical
Conditions
Downhill Slopes
Perpendicular to the road, on the northwest side, the topography of this area is mildly varied. There is
a steep slope, forming approximately a 30˚ angle with the ground that is aimed toward the main road.
This natural landscape encourages water to flow from the hill onto the southeast side of the road,
increasing the amount of flooding seen by the people who reside there. Due to the road being lowlying, gravity directs the water to this area where it spreads across the entire lower section with no
barrier to control or stop it.
117
Existing Physical
Conditions
Uneven Surface
The composition of the road in this area is
very uneven. Due to its make up of primarily
sand and loose rocks, divots are very prevalent
and some sections are raised up as a result of
the sand moving around during rain and wind
storms. When rainwater falls, it soaks into
the ground and encourages the sand to shift in
the direction of the water flow.
Some
residents have placed rocks in the road to
prevent this, but this results in an even greater
uneven surface, because the rocks are not
distributed equally throughout the road, and
some stick up while others are buried a few
inches into the ground.
118
Existing Physical
Conditions
Potential Ponding
Due to the topography of this area, the risk for
ponding in the road is very high. The natural
flow of water from the hill on the northwest
increases the amount of water found in the
road, especially after a storm, and this excess
of water does not have a place to disperse.
Once the ground and the sand in the road are
fully saturated, they will soak up any extra
water which leads to standing water, known as
ponding. The composition of the road also
factors into the ponding of water, as the divots
throughout the road provide space for the
water to pool and collect.
119
Existing Physical
Conditions
Vegetation
This area of Monwabisi Park is located
very closely to the Wolfgat Nature
Reserve. The houses in this section
therefore have more vegetation in their
yards than houses in other sections of the
settlement.
Alongside the southeast
portion of the road, there is a small
amount of vegetation which acts as a
border between the road and the
residents’ yards. This layer of vegetation
can be very helpful in capturing rainwater
and preventing it from accumulating and
pooling in the road.
120
Existing Social Conditions
Verbal Conflict
Varied Tension
After speaking with residents in this
area, it was apparent that some
neighbours did not get along or agree
on issues caused by stormwater. Some
residents would implement a local
solution, but “it would redirect the
water directly into the neighbouring
yard”, increasing the amount of
flooding and damage encountered by
that resident. Between the lack of
communication and understanding
between the neighbouring residents,
these issues would result in verbal
conflicts (Level of tension: “3”). One
resident said, “We try to work it out,
but others don’t listen”, referring to
conflicts arising from stormwater issues
between multiple neighbours.
Through multiple interviews, it was determined that
the residents in this section are broken into smaller
groups. Within these groups, the level of tension
varies greatly. Between the neighbours in the lowlying area behind the houses on the Southeast side
of the road, they do not currently work together.
One resident said, “People will fight, but they will
work together”, when asked about the
implementation of a new community-wide, solution
(Level of tension: “7”).
In contrast, another
resident, from a different area within the hot spot,
responded with, “People like development, and
they are constantly looking for it. They wouldn’t
do anything to stop it” (Level of tension: “2”).
Even though these residents live relatively close to
one another, the group that they are part of defines
how they work together, and what the overall level
of tension is in that specified area.
121
Existing Social Conditions
Resident Involvement
Within the small groups that the residents formed within this
section, the level of involvement from residents was much
higher than in other areas. Specifically in the area where there
was low tension, people were currently working together to help
keep their yards and neighbouring yards clean and well kept.
Multiple residents said, “the vegetated ditch found alongside
the road was a result of everyone pitching in and working
together.” One resident, a spaza shop owner, explained how he
“asked residents to help remove the rubbish near the toilets,
and they worked together to get rid of it in a timely fashion.”
This involvement will be crucial in the implementation of a
community-wide stormwater solution. Residents also expressed
how they liked each other; “We like each other here, so we
just do things together”, which supported the idea that the
amount of involvement in this area was high, and that the
people realize that the power to change is in their hands.
122
Vegetated ditch along SE side of the road
Current Interventions
Vegetation
Numerous residents in this area take advantage of the
vegetation that grows extensively around their houses. People
have worked together to create a vegetated ditch along the
southeast border of the road to help prevent water from
spreading into their yards. They have also used hedges
supported by fences to create barriers against the water in
hopes of minimizing and eliminating the flooding that they
acquire within their houses.
123
Mew Way
Location of Existing
Vegetation
Current Interventions
Culverts/Holes
Aside from creating a community-wide ditch to help redirect the water to
the end of the road, many community members in this area have dug
small ditches and channels in their yards, both in front of their doors and
alongside their houses, to assist the flow of water away from their
residence. Specifically, the people on the southeast side of the road have
dug channels in between their yards to redirect the water to the grass
covered valley behind their houses.
Location of Existing
Culverts
Mew Way
124
Current Interventions
Tyres
In this area, some residents have used tyres stacked on top of one another to
form a wall-like structure. After discussing this design with the residents
who built it, it was determined that it served multiple purposes; it helped to
block water from entering their yard and it acted like a fence to separate
their yards from their neighbours’ yards.
Another resident buried tyres in the sand along the perimeter of his yard to
stabilize the sand and to prevent it from creating a path leading into his
house, water redirection, (this path would allow the water to flow directly
into his doorway).
Location of
Existing Tyres
Mew Way
125
Current Interventions
Plastic
To assist in stabilizing the sand during rainstorms, one
resident explained how she incorporated a piece of
plastic between the foundation of her house and the
sand surrounding it to help prevent the sand beneath
the house from becoming saturated and moving
around. When the ground underneath the houses
soaks up a large amount of water, it becomes uneven,
and the houses begin to slope to one side, making
them unstable and unsafe to live in. Other residents
have used plastic in similar ways, and after speaking
with them, it was determined that the type of plastic
used is crucial to the success of this preventative
technique. The plastic used between the house and
the sand was very thin, similar to the consistency of a
plastic garbage bag, and over time, it began to break
down and disintegrate.
Location of Existing
Plastic
Mew Way
126
Proposed Solutions
Artificial Swales
Swales can be implemented along the southeast side of the road to help
direct the water behind the houses located on that side. They can be
designed to help the water flow toward and/or into soakaways also located
on the side of the road and in between the shacks.
Proposed Location of
Artificial Swales
Mew Way
127
Proposed Solutions
Soakaways
Soakaways can be used either alongside the southeast side of the
road, or in between the shacks on that side. If they were to be
located alongside the road, their main purpose would be to capture
the water runoff from various sources within the settlement,
including rainwater and tap water, and they would be used to filter
and keep the water from spreading into yards and shacks,
ultimately minimizing the amount of residential flooding. If the
soakaways are located between the shacks, they would be used in
conjunction with artificial swales. The flow of the water runoff
produced by the swales would be directed towards the soakaways,
allowing them to capture the water and disperse it into the ground.
This water, the filtered water, could even be integrated into a
unique soakaway design that directs it into a larger area of land,
often referred to as a wetland.
Proposed
Locations of
Soakaways
Mew Way
128
Proposed Solutions
Infiltration Trenches
Infiltration trenches can be used along the southeast side of the road. They
will serve to capture runoff both from rainwater and from tap water, and they
will help to cleanse the water, specifically the tap water, so that it can be
emptied into a larger holding area, such as a wetland, behind the houses on
the South East side of the road.
Proposed Location of an
Infiltration Trench
Mew Way
129
Proposed Solutions
Wetlands
A wetland would be used to collect the excess water found within
the roads of Monwabisi Park. In collaboration with other
proposed interventions, a wetland would take the water from
either a swale, soakaway, or infiltration trench and allow it to
form a small pool in a maintained environment. A wetland
would be incorporated behind the shacks on the southeast side of
the road in a low-lying area that is currently covered in grass and
rubbish. This would encourage the growth of a biodiverse
environment within the settlement and would help to diminish
the amount of residential flooding.
Proposed Location
of a Wetland
Mew Way
130
Bibliography
AHT Khayelitsha Consortium. VPUU - Programme Summary: Annex 5 VPUU five short description
Approach and methodology. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.vpuu.org/page.php?page=2
Butler, Owen, Elwell, Meghan, LeFevre, Ryan, McMenamy, Kelsey. (2009). Monwabisi Park, Khayelitsha Initial Study: An Urban
Framework. Retrieved from http://wpi-capetown.org/wp-content/uploads/Monwabisi%20Park%20Urban%20Framework%20Final.pdf
City of Cape Town, Environmental Planning. (2003). Biodiversity strategy Cape Town, SA: Retrieved from
http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/EnvironmentalResourceManagement/publications/Documents/Biodiversity_Strategy.pdf
City of Cape Town, & Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood Development. (2009). Monwabisi Park In-situ Upgrade Baseline Survey (Baseline
Survey). Cape Town: City of Cape Town.
Community participation. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.vpuu.org/page.php?page=8
Micou, A.P. (2006). Feasibility of installing sustainable urban drainage systems in already urbanized areas of the calderdale district, west
yorkshire. england. Retrieved from
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:FL4tnRXk9YQJ:icaci.org/documents/ICC_proceedings/ICC2007/documents
/doc/THEME%252026/poster/Feasibility%2520of%2520installing%2520Sustainable%2520Urban%2520Drainage%2520Systems.doc+s
ustainable+urban+drainage+systems+low+income&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a
Sharp, J., Broadbridge, H., & Badstuebner, J. (1999). Occasional Paper N.7: Land invasion and informal settlement, A case study of Monwabisi
Park, Khayletisha No. 7). Cape Town: Legal Resources Center.
Sustainable Urban Drainage System: Background. (2005) Retrieved 09/08, 2010, from http://www.ciria.org.uk/suds/background.htm
131
Proposed Cost Analysis
Swales and Soakaways
Material
Cost per Unit
Number of Units
Total cost
Total Including Total (using
Tax of 14% exchange rate of
$6.88)
(where
applicable)
Swales (10 metre length)
Buffalo Grass Sod (per cubic metre)
R
32.00
10 R
320.00 R
364.80 $
53.02
Soil
Digging Tools
R
12.50
15 R
FYI: SPADES R135; PICK AXE R220
187.50 R
213.75 $
31.07
Black Building Stone (per cubic metre)
R
293.86
3R
881.58 R
2,680.00 $
389.53
Truck Delivery of Stone
R
360.00
1R
360.00 R
1,080.00 $
156.98
Buffalo Grass Sod (per cubic metre)
R
10 R
320.00 R
364.80 $
53.02
Soil
Digging Tools
R
12.50
15 R
FYI: SPADES R135; PICK AXE R220
187.50 R
213.75 $
31.07
Soakaways (10 metre length)
32.00
132
Proposed Cost Analysis
Infiltration Trenches and Wetlands
Material
Infiltration Trenches (10 metre length)
Black Building Stone (per cubic metre)
Truck Delivery of Stone
Pebbles (per cubic metre)
Truck Delivery of Pebbles
Large Rocks (per cubic metre)
Truck Delivery of Large Rocks
Soil
Digging Tools
Cost per Unit
Number of Units
Total cost
Total Including Tax Total (using
of 14% (where exchange rate of
$6.88)
applicable)
R
293.86
3R
R
360.00
1R
R
65.00
2R
R
360.00
1R
R
350.00
2R
R
360.00
1R
R
12.50
15 R
FYI: SPADES R135; PICK AXE R220
881.58
360.00
130.00
360.00
700.00
360.00
187.50
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
2,680.00
1,080.00
148.20
410.40
798.00
410.40
213.75
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
389.53
156.98
21.54
59.65
115.99
59.65
31.07
R
R
R
R
R
320.00
350.00
400.00
187.50
120.00
$
$
$
$
$
364.80
399.00
456.00
213.75
136.80
$
$
$
$
$
53.02
57.99
66.28
31.07
19.88
Wetland (15 metre diameter)
Plants
Indigenous Thatching Grass
Lilies
Agapanthus
Soil
Digging Tools (Back-ho)
32.00
35.00
40.00
12.50
120.00
10 $
10 $
10 $
15 $
1$
133
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