A NUMBER of schools Hampshire will receive eco-friendly upgrades over the next few months as part of a joint initiative between the Department of Education and Southern Water. 

The project involves installing Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in school grounds.

SuDS are designed to slow the flow of rainwater runoff from hard surfaces like rooftops and playgrounds.

This reduces the strain on sewer systems, which can overflow during heavy rain events, releasing untreated water into rivers and seas.

READ MORE: Southern Water says new project reduced groundwater flooding

Andover Advertiser: Kimpton Thruxton and Fyfield Church of England Primary School in Andover is one of the many schools in Hampshire getting an SuDSKimpton Thruxton and Fyfield Church of England Primary School in Andover is one of the many schools in Hampshire getting an SuDS (Image: Contributed)

This is the second year of the initiative, following a successful first year that saw more than 40 schools benefit from SuDS installations.

The project is part of Southern Water’s Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force's wider goal of significantly reducing storm overflows across the region.

The benefits of SuDS extend beyond just flood prevention. They can also help improve water quality, create wildlife habitats, and even enhance the aesthetics of school grounds. This project is a collaborative effort involving businesses, schools, councils, and highway teams.

It comes as Southern Water has also announced how it will be tackling storm overflows in the long-term with the launch of its Clean Rivers and Seas Plan, which sets out £1.5bn of investment between 2025-2035 to get to the root cause of storm overflows.

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Nicole McNab, Southern Water’s Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force strategic communications and partnership delivery lead, said: “These schools are playing a big role in our work to reduce storm overflows across our region. Their help is making a real difference in reducing the amount of water entering our network and helps us ensure healthier rivers and seas. We’re looking forward to replicating these fantastic projects in more schools across our region in the coming months.” 

A spokesperson for the Department for Education’s Schools Water Strategy said:  “Not only do SuDS help reduce flood risk, but they also improve the school surroundings and create educational opportunities.  

“Through the installation of SuDS, Southern Water is playing an important role in helping us to make the school estate more sustainable and resilient to the risks of climate change.”