Cape Town’s Stormwater Ponds: investigating the amenity that they provide




Stormwater ponds are frequently used in urban drainage systems to attenuate flood peaks. However, they additionally have the potential to provide amenities for surrounding communities in lines with current Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) practice. Currently, the City of Cape Town is unaware if, or to what extent, amenity is being provided by their stormwater ponds. Thus, in order to enable insight to this problem, 77 of the 737 located stormwater ponds within Cape Town were individually investigated, i.e. an approximately 10% sample. The ponds included in this 10% sample were chosen based on a variety of characteristics aimed to create a fair reflection of all ponds in Cape Town. Approximately 51% of the investigated ponds were found to have incorporated desirable facilities in addition to their flood control abilities. Unfortunately, litter was found to plague many stormwater ponds, often severely in the less affluent areas of the City. Consequently, this contributed to 51% of the investigated ponds having a low aesthetic value. Thus, many of the ponds in Cape Town do currently provide some amenity yet it could be significantly improved by implementing more innovative SuDS design strategies.


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