Dr Lai Sai
Dr Md Hazi
Zorkeflee Abu Hasan
The traditional approach in stormwater management shifted during the 1970s
to a storage approach with a focus on detention, retention and recharge.
Later on, during the 1980s and 1990s stormwater came to be considered as a
significant source of pollution, and the main goal of stormwater management
shifted to protection of the natural water cycle and ecological system by
the introduction of local source control, flow attenuation and treatment in
natural or mostly constructed biological systems, such as ponds, wetlands
and treatment facilities. It is generally accepted that stormwater should be
These comprehensive Best Management Practices (BMPs) for stormwater
management are becoming very popular topics for development of urban
drainage in developed countries. Stormwater BMPs are widely used in drainage
planning in the United Kingdom , United States , Germany ,
Australia , and Japan . BMPs can be defined as a multi-disciplinary
approach in applying appropriate technology to preserve the natural
environment, enhance living standards and improving the quality of life.
The implementation of integrated measures of Stormwater BMPs in Malaysia is
still in an early stage. Conventional stormwater drainage systems,
consisting of a concrete drainage system had been widely practiced in
Malaysia, but unfortunately this practice has a significant impact on the
environment as a whole. The conventional drainage system has not been proven
to solve the existing flood problem in Malaysia. It can be clearly seen from
the annual budget spent by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID)
Malaysia that flood mitigation cost have increased every year. Therefore
there is a need to seek a holistic and sustainable solution, not only to
mitigate existing flood problems but also to prevent the occurrence of such
problems in new area to be developed .
In order to solve the current problem DID is embarking on a new approach of
managing stormwater runoff called "control at source". Sustainable urban
drainage is a concept that includes long-term environmental and social
factors in the planning and design of drainage systems. This approach takes
into account the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff, and the amenity
value of surface water in the urban environment. The Department of
Irrigation and Drainage is producing a new urban drainage manual, known as
Manual Saliran Mesra Alam or MSMA, which has been effectively used since 1st
January 2001. Thereafter, approval for all federal, state and private
development will depend on compliance with new guidelines. These new
guidelines require the developers to apply BMPs to control stormwater
quantity and quality to achieve Zero Development Impact Contribution.
Realizing that the new stormwater BMPs approach should be introduced in
Malaysia, the University Science Malaysia, in collaboration with the
Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia, have constructed the
Bio-Ecological Drainage Systems (BIOECODS) at the Engineering Campus [1, 2,
9], in Nibong Tebal, Penang. It is hoped that this BIOECODS will be an
example of BMP in stormwater management, mainly in Malaysia and the general
South Asia Region. BIOECODS represents an alternative to the traditional
hard engineering-based drainage system with the application of swales,
subsurface modules, dry ponds, wet pond, detention pond, and constructed
wetland. The construction of BIOECODS covers an area of 300 acres and was
completed in December 2002. His Excellency the Governor of Penang launched
BIOECODS at the national level on 4th February 2003.
In conjunction with the effort of University Science Malaysia to promote the
BMP in stormwater management, this study which emphasized on both the
modeling simulation and practical effectiveness is expected to be able to
further promote the use of MSMA concepts for Urban Stormwater Management,
particularly for flood control and water quality improvement. Therefore,
two on going urban stormwater management projects have been selected to
study the use of the Manual Saliran Mesra Alam (MSMA) concepts for Urban
Stormwater management. These projects are: (1) Rekabentuk Terperinci Sistem
Saliran Maktab Perguruan Perempuan Melayu Melaka - Taman Peringgit Jaya by
The Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), Malaysia and (2)
Rehabilitation of Ex-Mining Pond and Existing Wetland for Integrated
Stormwater Facilities, Ipoh by DID, Malaysia.
This study aims in exploring the potential of MSMA concepts for
Urban Stormwater Management, through field study and hydrologic modeling (InfoWorks
CS). The detailed objectives of this study include:
1. To evaluate the effectiveness of traditional drainage system in
carrying urban stormwater.
2. To evaluate the best management or control at sources practices (BMP)
proposed by MSMA in urban stormwater management and flood prevention in
terms of quantity and quality.
To promote the use of cost effective, environmental friendly methods
and products for sustainable urban stormwater management and flood
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