A water company is leading by example in its bid to help people across the North East become more resilient to flooding.


Rain garden planters have been installed around Northumbrian Water’s head office in Pity Me, County Durham, as part of its Rainwise initiative.


The planters, which were created onsite by the company’s Maintenance team, capture and store rainfall from the roof of the building.


The rainwater is diverted into the planter from the downpipe and then absorbed by the soil and plants. Each planter can hold around 260 litres of water within the soil, equivalent to around four bathtubs full.


This will help to reduce the risk of flooding by reducing the amount of water directly entering the sewer network, as well as slowing the amount of water that does.


Across the region, the sewer network is being put under increasing pressure due to heavier rainfall and less green space to soak up rainwater naturally.


Rainwise aims to spread the word about how managing rainfall better can help increase capacity in the network and encourages residents to make small changes around their homes and gardens.


Richard Warneford, Wastewater Director, said: “These planters don’t just brighten up our building, they’re functioning and alleviate some of the pressure on our sewer network, as well as helping to build awareness of small-scale surface water management.


“Encouraging our customers to implement green solutions like this is pivotal to our Rainwise initiative as they complement our traditional infrastructure and can help communities build resilience against flooding in future.


“They might not seem like they store a huge volume of water on their own, but if we all were to add something similar to our home, just think how this would add up across the region.”


For more information on Rainwise, visit www.nwl.co.uk/rainwise