As global climates become increasingly unpredictable, authorities are turning to smart urban stormwater management solutions to better anticipate and manage the risk of flooding and untreated water discharge. SUEZ’s innovative AQUADVANCED® Urban Drainage technology is leading the charge.

The port city of Bordeaux’s hydrographic situation makes it particularly susceptible to flooding. Built on a bend of the Garonne River in France’s southwest, it is vulnerable both to the river’s recurrent water level rises and a local climate highly conducive to storms. In rainy seasons, the volume and quality of water discharged into the local environment can have a devastating impact on infrastructure and on the public health and safety of the city’s 200,000 inhabitants.

Rainy period urban discharge quality has been directly linked to negative environmental impacts in the region since the late 1990’s. A volume of 11.2 million cubic metres had been discharged into the receiving environment as recently as 2012, and the looming threat placed regional water policy at the fore for Bordeaux Métropole. The solution lay in AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage, a technologically advanced sewer and stormwater management solution developed by SUEZ.

“AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage offers an integrated solution to monitoring, predicting and ultimately managing stormwater networks in real time,” General Manager Business Development for SUEZ, Stuart Gowans, explained.

“From this detailed monitoring comes a unique ability to anticipate flood risks both accurately and well in advance, preventing overflows into streets, rivers or harbours. It also allows us to analyse water quality at outlets such as rivers and oceans to avert potential environmental harm.”

SUEZ worked with the municipality to map the deployment of AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage across its assets, including 3000km of rain and wastewater mains. Working with Bordeaux’s existing assets, SUEZ adapted equipment designed to combat flooding to build-in capacity to minimise pollution, manage 260 devices and 11,000 settings, and monitor 41 rainfall recorders with 211 levels and 22 flow rates.

Bordeaux’s AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage system was fully operational in December 2012. Within one year of operation, the city experienced an impressive 30 per cent reduction in discharge volume.

“This meant that Bordeaux could respond to the July 2013 forecasts for heavy rain, emptying the system in anticipation of the volumes it would need to absorb and managing controlled structures in real time,” Stuart said.

“Today, Bordeaux’s system functions at near to full capacity in wet weather. Optimised storage in retention structures and better management of treatment facilities has also saved the city €30 million.”

AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage is a powerful tool for water utilities here in Australia to enhance operational efficiency, public safety and environmental protection in stormwater and wastewater networks.

“SUEZ has put a great deal of research and development into creating smart digital solutions that protect cities and the environment,” Stuart said.

“AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage is a significant part of our investment in transforming the water management sector across the globe.” 

This partner content is brought to you by SUEZ. For more information, visit

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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