What impact will SuDS have on disease vectors?
12 April 2022
One of the questions those working in water management are asking is What impact will SuDS have on disease vectors?
A disease vector is a living organism that can transmit infection to a succession of hosts. Most disease vectors are insects, for example the mosquito which is responsible for causing the most human illnesses in the world. Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) can have a significant impact on disease vectors by mitigating the risks associated with stagnant water and promoting healthier urban environments. SuDS are designed to manage surface water runoff by mimicking natural drainage processes, such as infiltration, filtration, and storage. By incorporating features like permeable surfaces, green roofs, rain gardens, and retention ponds, SuDS help to reduce the accumulation of standing water that can serve as breeding grounds for disease vectors such as mosquitoes.
The UK has both native and non-native vectors that are distributed across the country. There are many different vectors capable of spreading disease, however ticks and mosquitoes are the vectors of most concern in the UK.
With the promotion of open green structures to convey and attenuate water, this increases the potential of breeding grounds for disease vectors. This article, explores the impact that SuDS will have on disease vectors, the effects that climate change will surely have on them and the role that Sustainable Drainage Design plays in disease vector control.