Persistent highway flooding solved with multiple dispersed Hydrorock modules

  • 8 Jun 2021

Working with Hydrorock Solutions, Lynas Engineers and contractor BCE Northern were able to design and install a viable Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) for South Tyneside Council to overcome flooding. 

The project, Lizard Lane, is a busy link road connecting the Whitburn and Marsden areas of South Tyneside. Due to frequent heavy rain and infiltration rates, the carriageway often remained flooded for long periods. Hydrorock’s Natural Aquifer Blocks were installed to filter and buffer rainwater and surface runoff, before infiltrating within the restricted confines of the site. 

Lizard Lane, left unmanaged, posed a danger to pedestrians, drivers and other road users. It was especially disruptive on a stretch of the highway passing the golf club and riding school. Surface water would run off the golf course and adjoining horse paddocks and onto the sloping road. This would overwhelm the then inadequate drainage. 

The lack of area space in the verge and complications from other services underground required flexibility in the design, as well as a more effective drainage system.

System design brief

The verges and footpath alongside the road are narrow with several other services, both below and above ground. This mean any excavation and drainage installation had to safely work around the current infrastructure. Ground penetrating radar studies also showed an uneven bedrock requiring changes of level in the installation.


In addition, the drainage scheme also provided flexibility to integrate with improved traffic calming measures on what is a busy link road with frequent incidents between speeding vehicles, pedestrians and horse riders.

Hydrorock solution

To provide a Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) solution that filtered and buffered rainwater and runoff, before infiltrating within the confines of the site, Hydrorock Natural Aquifer Blocks were installed.

Each block is lifted into place and connected to the block behind with a simple push-fit connector. Once a whole width of blocks has been installed, back-filling can begin immediately. In this case, it was with a gravel mesh and shingle, for extra load bearing, prior to the topsoil.

The ends of each block connect to a filter that’s connected to the super gullies. The middle block of three is connected to a breather vent.

As the Hydrorock blocks fill with water, the air is expelled through these breather pipes and as the water is released into the soil at a steady rate, air is drawn back in.

Hydrorock benefits

As a true holistic SuDS solution, Hydrorock Natural Aquifer Blocks relieve the additional load on nearby sewers and other existing infrastructure, improving soil water balance and integrity by keeping water within the confines of the site. This extremely flexible and adaptable modular system unlocks the potential to build on the most challenging of sites.

The Hydrorock System was selected by South Tyneside Council for its many benefits, including:

– Fitting within a narrow site
– Being flexible, to adapting to changing levels and immovable obstacles – removing water from the road surface quickly
– Quick Installation to reduce the cost of road closures
– Minimal maintenance
– Working in harmony with traffic calming measures

For more information on the Hydrorock system, visit www.hydrorocksolutions.com or email [email protected]

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