The Hopwood Motorway study was carried out for almost a decade, starting from 2000 to 2008. This study mainly focused on SUDS trains that were constructed at the Hopwood Park Motorway Service area in Central England. Motorway service stations form large paved areas to allow the flow of capable polluting substances when undergoing precipitation (Faram, Iwugo & Andoh 2007). These substances include oil and petrol, as well as rubber produced from numerous motor vehicles that come in. These environmental risks have enabled certain systems to be set up.
One of such systems is the Sustainable Drainage System, commonly referred to as SuDs. This is a collective term that combines several technologies that slow down the rate at which water discharges from the surface. The technologies reduce the source pollution and also play a big role in the implementation of the Water framework directive from the European Union. These technologies have both ecological and aesthetic advantages in reducing pollution discharges. A good example of SuDS technologies are ponds and reed beds. They always require large tracts of land for implementation and may pose a great challenge when they are in generation projects in inner cities because of minimum space.
Several assessments have been carried out to maintain the value of the wildlife habitat and protect the quality of water in every management train (Williams, Whitefield & Biggs 2008). This involved a periodic check on the available sediments in SuDS ponds, as well as the composition of sediments in the grass filter strip. The process involved reviewing the procedures of management and maintenance costs.
The SuDS enabled proper maintenance and management of the trains, thereby, ensuring regular treatment of water and the ability to contain any spillage. SuDS technologies have seen a reduction in both production and maintenance costs (Howe & White 2001). The technologies reduced sediments in the ponds and concentrations in contaminants; they also decreased water coming out of the management trains.
Train 2 has been used to study flow attenuation. The rain receives surface run-off from the coach park, the main road, and the fuelling area (Bray & Wallingford 2004). On implementation, the management train experienced a steady reduction in peak flow attenuation. This difference was felt in all the ponds because the general Greenfield flow was contained, and peak flows drastically reduced in subsequent ponds. The ability to contain this flow played a big role in enabling a sustainable environment.
Statistics show that the runoff water collected from the coach park management trains and the car park was not contaminated, as compared to the runoff water collected from the areas where SuDS technology was not operational (Eyles & Smith 1988). The runoff from the coach park management passed through collector trenches that were full of gravel responsible for cleaning the water. This ensured good water management practice, as the uncontaminated water could be recycled and used again in the system.
On the other hand, contaminated runoff water was found to contain high ammoniacal nitrogen. The research showed that track drivers urinated near these vehicles while on duty. Another probable reason was spillage of diesel into the water, as well as wash off of various contaminants in the event of heavy rainfall. The data collected from the ponds where SuDS were in operation showed a reduced amount of contaminant content. The results indicate that the grass filter strips were very effective in maintenance. These filters represented true sustainability in practice, as they do not need extra funds for maintenance (Stovin 2005). Grass filters only require replacement of grass after a period of time.
Generally, the quality of water was improved when passed through the HGV extended park, as well as the coach park management trains (Willingale 2004). This served to emphasize the need to implement more SUDs technological units. Statistics showed that the technology had an almost 90% ability to remove the present toxic metals in the surface runoff water. The ability to remove biodiesels and diesel from the management park recorded positive results, even though it was in various states.
This was proved to be a perfect way for water treatment because water at the Hopwood car park runoff was relatively clean. A better way to ascertain the efficiency of this process was to assess the effluent from the car park with separate water content that meets the set environmental standards. Water collected from several ponds was evaluated along with the other water samples collected from other slightly impaired ponds in the United Kingdom (Ballard, et al 2005). The results showed that water samples collected from the car park management train had little effluent concentrations. This is because the runoff water is much cleaner after passing through the collected trenches full of gravel that are placed at the end.
In conclusion, the decision determining the state of Hopwood SUDs ponds in terms of ecology as well as functionality could not be made. This is because the certifying bodies carried out the research in a mixture of reactions and varying timelines (Jefferies, Napier, Fogg & Nicholson 2008). It was found out that the ponds had naturally grown in that enhanced sustainability with two or three habitats brought in manually from outside by accident. This was possible through the seeds that may pass into the ponds as effluent.
There is still recommendation from the Pond Conservation Trust that clean water should be provided to achieve the required number of less impaired ponds.