What is stormwater and why do you need to manage it? 

Stormwater is water that originates from precipitation and melting snow. Stormwater contributes to surface runoff and may carry contaminants from widely distributed diffuse sources. These pollutants include nutrients, heavy metals, plastics in their micro- and macroforms, water-soluble and colloid organic compounds and particles. Currently, the problem of non-point sources of pollution is often overlooked and requires solutions.

Construction and demolition waste

About one and half million tonnes of construction and demolition waste (CDW) is produced annually in Finland alone. CDW is difficult to recycle and most often ends up in landfills. In order to use CDW (e.g. concrete, brics, wood, mineral wool and mixtures) as stormwater filtering material, we need to study the characteristics of CDW and the parameters required for effective filtration process. The research aims at solving two problems: protection of water bodies and utilization of CDW as a cost-effective, environmentally safe action.

Project steps

  • Assessment of potential CDW-based raw materials and stormwater amount and quality
  • Design, manufacturing and testing of the CDW stormwater biofilter system
  • After-life of used biofilters and sustainability assessment of concept(s)
    • Evaluation of business potential and identification of best practices in stormwater purification

    Target groups

    Municipalities and local public authorities will benefit from the project as they will gain a new, sustainable solution for stormwater management.
    The infrastructure actors who construct stormwater treatment areas will benefit from new knowledge and biofilter design. Public service providers who handle CDW will get more options for utilizing and recycling waste, which also creates new business opportunities.
    The piloted stormwater biofilter creates business ideas for SMEs locally, regionally and across borders. SMEs will be invited to workshops where new business models and also ways of utilising the once used filtering aid are innovated.