‘London’s Lost Rivers’ Competition Winners!

Did you know that the city of London is built on a series of rivers and streams? Can you name all the rivers in London? As London has grown and evolved over the years, endless amounts of concrete have covered up a large amount of waterways originally running through the city and its surrounding land, nevertheless they’re still flowing down there beneath our feet!


At this year’s Ecobuild ACO launched their ‘London’s Lost Rivers’ competition to test visitors knowledge of London’s hidden waterways. We’re thrilled to announce the winners of this competition who will each win a pair of fantastic Hunter wellies to save them from soggy feet;

  • D. McLeish – Mid Kent College
  • L.Sharp – Buckinghamshire County Council
  • G.Young – Party Walls Ltd
  • S.Hunt
  • David Thorne

ACO provides drainage solutions to state-of-the-art Olympics 2012 venues

ACO supported the Olympics build by meeting diverse and complex drainage requirements across six venues and infrastructure improvements. We have been awarded our Licence Agreement as a recognised supplier of the London 2012 Olympic Games recently.

A presentation has been created to demonstrate our active involvement with prestigious Olympics venues and the drainage solutions that have been supplied. In total ACO supplied in excess of 30,000m of channel drainage for diverse and sometimes complex locations, supported by its in depth expertise to various Olympic build projects.

The task set out by the Olympic Delivery Authority was huge. It transformed a run-down area in East London covering parts of Stratford, Bow, Leyton and Hackney Wick with new sports venues, the Olympic Village, the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre. A new shopping centre, Westfield Stratford City was also opened adjacent to the Olympic Park as well as other major works carried out on improved transportation infrastructure and extensive landscaping of areas.

ODA-Park Photos

Olympic Stadium: -

An Olympic track must be precise to ensure any records set during the games are fair. Standing water would also not be acceptable for Olympic conditions and the ACO drainage channel needed to provide guaranteed efficiency as well as fine installation tolerances. Not only did the track need to be up to Olympic standards it also needed to cope with the rigours of the opening and closing ceremonies. In all ACO supplied 850m of Sport Channel Drainage and 2000m of channel drainage systems for areas including the 100m track internal perimeter and warm up tracks.

Aquatics Centre: -

600m of stainless steel drainage channels was supplied for the Aquatics Centre as well as heel-safe gratings for the changing rooms. The drainage was custom built to match the architect’s drawings with complex interlocking channels requiring careful design, expertise and precise installation.

Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre: -

In excess of 800m of drainage channel was provided covering the main shopping concourse, walkways, steps and bridges. Specially designed polymer concrete channels were fitted with discrete Brickslot gratings to meet the specific aesthetic requirements of the project with required hydraulic efficiency.

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA): –

In order to support the increased visitors to the games, significant improvements were also carried out to the surrounding highway infrastructure, town centre, high streets and minor roads – designed to relieve congestion and improve accessibility. ACO RoadDrain and KerbDrain products were used extensively throughout the regeneration project.

Global warming will mean more rain!

A report from Australian scientists declares significant statistical proof that global rainfall is on the increase based on a century of records. The report links global warming with this increase in precipitation and predicts that continued intensification of rainfall events will lead to more frequent flooding throughout the world.

The research, using data from 8,326 observing stations which had collected at least 30 years of record over the period from 1900 and 2009, found the intensity of rainfall was statistically associated with temperature. It showed that increases of between 5.9% and 7.7% in rainfall occurred for each degree of temperature rise.

According to NASA the average temperature has increased by 0.8°C since 1880, with over two-thirds of that rise occurring since 1975. If this trend continues we will see a rise of around 0.15°C per decade.

Picture courtesy of The Independent

Picture courtesy of The Independent

A BBC report in January stated days of particular heavy rainfall in the UK have become more common since 1960, mirroring the increases seen in other parts of the world. It will be no surprise to hear that last year extreme downpours in the UK occurred on average once every 70 compared with the normally expected once every 100 days. If global temperatures continue to rise, however, our air will hold increasing amounts of moisture which statistically means yet more rain and, if we do nothing, the misery of the floods that go with it.

This information only serves to strengthen our viewpoint that the need for sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) is increasingly important. To help in managing more intense rainfall, their implementation must be seriously considered by all local and national governments worldwide. If predictions about our climate are right, then we should maintain the drive for sustainable drainage to help manage the increased rainfall in our built environment. The need to engineer long term solutions that protect environments against the now all too common floods is recognised in the Floods and Water Management Act and we should welcome the careful consideration and subsequent implementation of SuDS in 2014 in England.

The legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games continues…

We are thrilled to announce that we have received our Licence Agreement as a recognised supplier at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

This new scheme – the first of its kind – has given recognition to all those suppliers that have played a vital part in the success of the London 2012 Games.

olympic stadium 172 with ACO truck

ACO supplied the sustainable drainage systems to six of the major Olympic venues, all of which required very specific products and installations. As ACO were involved in the planning stages of each project all the way through to the completion, we were able to meet the high standards that were set out by the British Olympic Association (“BOA”). The Olympic Park has been defined by its ground-breaking engineering and the radical new approach to sustainability.

Last week ACO was awarded the UK Green Building Council Sustainable Stand at Ecobuild 2013, and the Olympic licence has only reaffirmed our credentials as a sustainable business within the business sector.

The Drainage Journal from ACO

Welcome to the ACO Drainage Journal, a new forum for the exploration of drainage, water related issues, and sustainable solutions in rainwater management – the central focus of which is Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS).

This blog is a platform for the discussion of drainage in terms of a broad range of subjects and perspectives. Its key aim is to highlight the exciting new developments taking place in drainage, and to explore the positive impact they will have on our society.

We will examine the issues that are affecting drainage development today, such as changing weather patterns and urbanisation. And we will look at the lessons to be learned from the limitations of traditional drainage systems in coping with these challenges.

The launch of the Drainage Journal comes at an exciting point in the development of standardised sustainable drainage systems and practices in Britain, with the creation of legislation to guide the future deployment of SUDS as a key component of the nation’s water management infrastructure. Through this forum we will monitor and contribute to that important process.

The Drainage Journal is brought to you by ACO, Britain’s leading exponent of SUDS, and the pioneering creators of an integrated proposition for surface water management, with the ability to lead and facilitate the creation and implementation of the emerging legislation on the issue.

ACO’s products are reshaping how developers approach surface water management systems’ design in new building projects, and facilitating retrofitting for the alleviation of the dangers resulting from the inability of established systems to cope with emerging environmental changes http://goo.gl/63oIg.

So, to begin with, let us explore SUDS, gain an understanding of how this new concept in water management is defined, and look at why its development is so relevant to British life today and to the nation’s future wellbeing and prosperity.