“What do you do when you want to disconnect rainwater above ground from your downspout, for example, to channel more rainwater into your garden? And you want to achieve this without causing sewer odor? StadLandWater, in collaboration with Saxion FabLab, has found the ideal solution as a measure against drought and waterlogging due to climate change: The WOP. ‘If this motivates municipalities, housing associations, water boards, and individuals to divert more water above ground and better regulate the groundwater level during times of drought or extreme waterlogging, then the benefits for our immediate environment are enormous. This way, homeowners can contribute to a greener living environment and climate.’
The WOP is an accessory for disconnecting rainwater while keeping the ventilation of the downspout intact. Moreover, the accessory is so easy to install that homeowners can do it themselves! The development of the WOP took several years; the original idea was conceived by Wouter Stadhouders, director of StadLandWater, and was further developed in collaboration with professionals from Saxion FabLab. Multiple adjustments and tests were made during the prototyping phase, leading to the final design as shown below.
Who is StadLandWater?
StadLandWater is an engineering firm active in the (re)design of public spaces. The field of work brings daily new opportunities. Opportunities that we seize with both hands. We broaden our perspective and delve into new solutions and innovative techniques. Where possible, we enter into new collaborations, such as with Saxion Fablab Enschede. We also collaborate with parties that may not have an immediate relationship with the infrastructure sector but bring something valuable to us in terms of functionality, sustainability, practical convenience, and shared interests. This is also the case with this case; ‘the idea for the WOP arose from an additional problem that arises when disconnecting rainwater from homes.’ So when cutting through rain pipes and allowing rainwater to flow towards the garden, as a solution to street waterlogging during heavy rainfall and combating drought and low groundwater levels in the warm summer months. A rain pipe has two functions: draining rainwater and ventilating the house sewer system. When the rain pipe is cut and capped, sinks start bubbling indoors, and drain pits start to smell. Technically minded individuals recognize this problem, and it hinders the ambition of institutions and companies to disconnect rainwater on a large scale. To solve this problem, we looked for a simple solution for placement in the rain pipe that expels all rainwater outside while keeping the ventilation intact.
“From design to product, the path StadLandWater has traveled with Saxion FabLab”
As previously described, ideas sometimes arise from an additional problem, specific needs, or questions from society. What many companies struggle with is the translation from idea to design, to a working prototype. And here is where the role of Saxion FabLab is crucial. At the FabLab and the Saxion lectorate Industrial Design (which includes the FabLab), professionals work who can not only think about the design but can also take on the realization and drawing of a 3D model with the latest software programs such as Autodesk Fusion 360, Solidworks, or even parametric programs like Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. The main design of StadLandWater was a hand sketch, and then FabLab created and optimized the 3D design, and provided 3D printing services. They also offer courses and online workshops for professionals who want to get hands-on with 3D designing and learn to apply it in practice.”
The 3D design printed on Ultimaker 3D printers, using PLA as the material. This filament is globally favored for FDM/FFF 3D printers. Additionally, PLA is produced from biodegradable raw materials, aligning well with the environmentally friendly nature of the final product. StadLandWater designed this product for organizations such as municipalities, water boards, water companies, housing associations, as well as contractors, landscapers, and installation companies with ambitions or assignments for large-scale rainwater disconnecting from homes and commercial buildings. The design work is complete, and the model rights have been granted. Various prototypes were produced from the 3D printer and tested. Together with the company Jarola, the production of the WOP has been initiated and will be available this spring through various sales channels nationwide.
‘The WOP is a unique product that fits perfectly into our Rawinso concept, where smart management of rainwater is central,’ says Gerard Nijlant of Jarola. The WOP will be part of a complete rainwater disconnecting kit, enabling easy, affordable, and trouble-free disconnection.”