This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. Storm Water Management

Happy Valley Racecourse, Hong Kong stormwater drainage project wins international innovation award for flood alleviation


Black & Veatch and the Drainage Services Department of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (DSD) received the 2012 Planning Award for IWA’s East Asia region for the Happy Valley project. The award was presented to the team at an IWA Gala Dinner in Singapore on 3 July 2012. As a regional winner, the award is also put forward to win the Global Grand Prize, which will be announced at the 2012 IWA World Water Congress in Busan, Korea later this month. (September)


the Happy Valley Underground Stormwater Storage Scheme (HVUSSS), is an example of how cities around the world are rethinking the way they plan and manage intense rainfall in crowded urban spaces.


Extensive flooding has been a problem for Happy Valley and the surrounding area, with major flooding events occuring in August 2000, April 2006 and June 2008.



The objective of the scheme is to provide off- line flood retention in the Happy Valley catchment during a 1-in-50 year rainstorm event.


With climate uncertainties and urban densities, it was decided that simply throwing wider and deeper drains at the problem would not be a feasible long term solution and that a rethink of flood mitigation would be required for the complex challenge.

The solution adopts the latest technology as well as taking into consideration future climatic change. Another important consideration for the team was how this project could affect the community and every endeavor was taken to minimize the environmental and social impacts.

Lying below the famous Happy Valley Racecourse and sports facilities, DSD is consulting closely with the local sports clubs and community throughout the process. The planned works include the reprovisioning of sports pitches with a state-of-the-art turfing surface as well as developing other community amenities aimed to enhance quality of living.

The major components of the project include an inlet structure, twin cells diversion box culvert with overflow side weir system, an underground storage tank of 60,000m3 and a pump house with a pumping rate of 5,400 m3/hr.

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During heavy rainstorms, excess runoff in the diversion box culvert will enter the storage tank via the overflow weir system. After rainstorms the storage tank will be emptied to prepare for upcoming rainstorm events.

At the heart of the innovation is a movable crest weir system together with Supervisory and Data Acquisition (SCADA) real-time monitoring of water and tidal levels. With intelligent data feedback, the volume of water within the storage tank can be monitored and adjusted to prevent either pre-mature or late overspill of stormwater.

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