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Storm overflows: building back better

Event organised by ICE

25 January 2024
16:15 - 18:00 GMT
BCP Council Civic Centre
Bourne Avenue
Bournemouth, BH2 6DY
United Kingdom

This event has now ended

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Whilst many shout about storm overflow discharges, few discuss their actual environmental impact and even fewer still on how best to address them.

The most traditional solution to insufficient hydraulic capacity in a sewer network has been to provide more attenuation – holding back the contaminated rainwater for later processing.

What if we acknowledged that storm overflows are, at their heart, a rainwater management problem and we started to focus solutions on dealing with this instead?

Chartered civil engineer Matt Wheeldon, director of infrastructure development at Wessex Water, will explore the wider benefits of addressing storm overflows at the root of their cause, and how this will unlock multiple benefits for customers and the environment (i.e. building back better) and avoid the unintended consequences of siloed thinking and building back in the way we have always done.


16:15 - 16:30

Arrival to BCP Civic Centre reception

16:30 - 16:40

Welcome and introductions

16:40 - 17:10

Speaker's presentation

17:10 - 17:30


17:30 - 18:00

Refreshments and networking


Matt Wheeldon

Matt Wheeldon

Wessex Water

director of infrastructure development

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Matt Wheeldon

Matt Wheeldon is a chartered civil engineer who has spent 30 years working in water and wastewater asset planning, regulation, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance.

For the past 24 years he has worked for Wessex Water and is currently director of infrastructure development.

He worked with Government on Defra’s Storm Overflow Taskforce and chaired a review of where legislation could evolve that would encourage greater adherence to the good rainwater management principles.

He is a keen environmentalist and wild swimmer and passionate about holistic solutions to problems. He hates siloed thinking and wet wipes.