ISWIM – Innovative stormwater impact mitigation - Sweden Water Research

ISWIM – Innovative stormwater impact mitigation

With urbanization and more intense rainfall the demands on the systems that manage stormwater increases. Additionally, stormwater contains various pollutants. Today, stormwater is often discharged into lakes, rivers, and the sea with little or inadequate treatment. Treatment technologies need to be developed to meet the current and future requirements for stormwater quality, resource management, and the potential for on-site stormwater use in properties.

About the project

Today, stormwater ponds and wetlands are the dominant purification techniques. These will continue to play a crucial role in the future. However, these facilities require a significant amount of space and are, therefore, not feasible everywhere, especially in urban areas. Furthermore, ponds cannot purify all types of pollutants. Therefore, there is a need for space-efficient purification systems that can provide more comprehensive purification. These systems could be used independently or to enhance purification after a stormwater pond as a supplementary treatment step.

In parallel with the challenge of managing and purifying increasingly heavy rains, there is the issue of longer periods of drought, declining groundwater levels, and increased competition for drinking water. If we can manage, purify, and use rainwater directly on the property, we gain dual benefits – reduced drinking water consumption and less stormwater to be discharged. There is significant interest within the real estate sector in developing innovative products for rainwater utilization.

The project will explore purification techniques for larger volumes of stormwater in the Värpinge wetland in Lund and in direct connection to properties in locations like Sege Park in Malmö. In the latter case, the water will partially replace drinking water.

The project addresses two challenges:

  1. Space-efficient, resource-efficient yet comprehensive purification of large flows of stormwater from urban environments
  2. Property-adjacent stormwater purification for direct use of stormwater within the property


Social Sciences and Design Sprint

A social sciences component of the project will focus on creating interest and lowering barriers for the widespread adoption and use of these technologies within society. To promote innovation in the project, a Design Sprint method will serve as a creative and strategic process. It will help develop prototypes that not only meet challenges related to stringent technical emission requirements but are also related to practical usability, economics, space constraints, and public acceptance.

Project funding is provided by Blue Innovation – Implementation Projects.


The overarching goal of this project is to develop and demonstrate innovative practices for stormwater treatment, in particular:

  • advanced stormwater treatment before discharge to river/lake/sea
  • reuse of stormwater at properties