Soakaway tank in the desert sand

Posted by Callum Vallance-Poole, on January 23, 2023.

EcoBloc Maxx Soakaway Tank in Kuwait

A million GRAF EcoBloc Maxx crates for the South al-Mutlaa megaproject in Kuwait.

South al-Mutlaa: 400,000 residents, 12 suburbs, 28,363 buildings—by 2023. A whole city and its infrastructure will have emerged out of the desert sands of Kuwait. This is not only the largest construction project for Kuwait, which is a country rich in oil and superlatives, but the largest project for the GRAF Group to date as well. Since the start of construction in 2018, GRAF, the European leader in rainwater management, has delivered over a million EcoBloc Maxx crates. The fifteen infiltration systems, with capacities ranging from 6,000 to 55,000 m3, are capable of controlling the seepage of over 200 million litres of stormwater.

Think big—this is the driving force behind the Kuwaiti megaproject. The city is emerging in the Jahra Governorate, about 40 kilometres from Kuwait City. The housing project aims to reduce waiting times and living costs in response to Kuwait’s national housing shortage crisis.

They planned an urban area covering 104 km2, which is similar to the size of Paris, in record time. South al-Mutlaa will then provide housing for up to 400,000 people in 28,363 buildings. In addition, there will be 156 mosques, 144 public parks, 116 schools, 48 shopping precincts, and 12 public health centres.

Kuwait has a very dry climate with temperatures climbing as high as 47 °C, consisting of 92% desert. With 120 mm of mean annual precipitation, Kuwait ranks among the world’s driest regions. The annual precipitation can fluctuate wildly between 10 and 220 mm.

In recent years, though, there has been a sharp increase in heavy rainfalls. Kuwait’s sewers cannot handle this unexpected volume, leading to flooding and severe damage due to slow drainage in the Gulf.

South al-Mutlaa, located far from the sea, has virtually impermeable soil. This requires infiltration systems to hold one billion litres of precipitation. Most of these have been installed underneath public parks. Due to the size and geological conditions, the project required earth coverings as deep as 6 m, among other measures.

GRAF is the only European manufacturer that the Ministry has commissioned directly to supply the material for the infiltration systems. “The installation depths, the earth coverings, and the ambient temperature demand the highest quality of infiltration crates,” explained Global Sales Director Dieter Kwasny. The plastic’s quality and the system was verified exhaustively. Using documentation, certified in-house inspection standards, external monitoring, and discussed directly in Arabic with the Ministry.

Besides the high product quality, the experience that GRAF has gained over many years in the calculation, planning, and delivery of large-scale projects proved key to being awarded this project. GRAF can plan its shipments on demand thanks to its high and flexible production capacity, coupled with the excellent logistic properties of this modular system. We supplied the EcoBloc crates in a space saving, CO2-optimised form.

The GRAF project team supported its local partners in documentation, system permits, CIRIA standards, site logistics, and the instruction of site personnel. We installed the last of the fifteen infiltration systems in November 2021.

Firstly a geotextile is placed on a layer of round gravel in the mounted base, the crates installed in a block and the whole thing wrapped with geotextile. The easy-to-assemble crates must be connected on a near horizontal plane. Then combined into a highly stable block. Due to their low installation height and modularity, they could utilise the available installation space to optimal effect.

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Marketing Coordinator - Based at our UK HQ in Banbury, Oxfordshire, Callum is responsible for promoting Water Management Systems, Attenuation Tanks, Treatment Plants, Rainwater Harvesting Systems and more!