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High groundwater: Homeowners are fighting alone against the flooded lawns

Glassy lawns, fields, and roads that are under water, is not a rarity around the country. Especially after heavy rains.

the Phenomenon is due to Denmark in recent years has been unusually much rain. According to the Danish Meteorological Institute was 2017 the 10. wettest year since the institute began measuring in 1874, and the years before also featured on the record number of days with water from above. And in 2019 was holds the record as the wettest year just about to be beaten.


In this video gives Tue Patursson, expert in the subject of Organic Bolius, good advice as to how you can grundvandssikre your house and your reason.


The large amount of rain has been the groundwater to rise, so the water table in many places in the country are so high that there is no space for more water in the soil. Some places have dropped so much rain that the water table is increased by one to two meters.

the Area around Herning in Jutland is one of the places that are hardest hit. There are places in the municipality, where you only need to dig 10 to 20 centimeters down before you hit groundwater.

Several citizens in the municipality of experience, therefore problems with water in the garden, to which they have become acquainted with in the past. But as things look now, it is the home owner himself, who stands alone with the responsibility for solving the flood problems.

Unfortunately, the rising groundwater, many of the most common klimasikringstiltag out of the game, and therefore, choosing some homeowners for example to pump rain water from the lawn and down into the sewer, even though they will not be allowed.

Drainage of stormwater and prevention of flooding

Particularly vulnerable are homeowners who live on low-lying land or have the land down to the river, lake or rivers

city dwellers can also get problems, since recent urban development in some extent, have neglected the possible consequences of rising groundwater

In the cities are planned afløbssystemerne out from the overfladeregn that fall ifm. short-term severe. However, rising groundwater can afløbssystemerne be challenged

Herning Water and other of the country's water companies, which takes care of the sewage, would like to help the homeowners who are plagued by swampy lawns, where rainwater does not drain away, before the rain falls again.

But according to the law must vandselskaberne not help. The act on payment rules defines, namely the services, as spildevandsselskaber may levy funds, and it is a paradox, if you ask vandselskaberne.

- It is quite obvious that vandselskaberne helps. We have the necessary knowledge and infrastructure, " says Benny Nielsen, head of department in Herning Water.

- When we take wires and therefore still digs our system up to renovate, it is obvious that we also think the problems with the groundwater into. But we cannot, as the law is now, " continues Benny Nielsen.

Benny Nielsen points out that the Netherlands, who face many of the same climate problems as Denmark, already have opened for that vandselskaberne can help. The Dutch government changed in 2010 the legislation so that the country's spildevandsselskaber was allowed to take care of among other things, problems with rising groundwater.

in Addition to the Herning Water has also Aarhus Water to Organic Bolius declared themselves willing to help to solve the problems.

How to avoid a flooded lawn

Benny Nielsen is backed up by professor Jørgen E. Olesen from the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University.

Jørgen E. Olesen believes that the increasing problem with groundwater is one of the most overlooked climate change in Denmark, especially compared with e.g. the rising sea.

He explains that we indeed will have major challenges with havspejlsstigningen in the future, but the rising rainfall is a problem here and now.

- Perhaps we have turned a blind eye to this problem, because we have focused on the rise in sea levels and torrential rain, says Jørgen E. Olesen.

A flooded lawn in Taarnby. Not caused by the torrential rain, but regular rain. The home owner has fascine with triple the capacity, but it doesn't work pga. elevated water table. Photo: Carsten Iversen

Hans Jørgen Henriksen is senior advisor at GEUS, which among other things, researcher in water resources. He agrees that the current legislation stands in the way of grundvandsproblemerne can be solved.

For homeowners, it is so hard to do something by rising groundwater. And it is unclear who should take responsibility. So someone should get to the task to solve the problem, and it could easily be vandselskaberne in cooperation with the municipalities, says Hans Jørgen Henriksen to Organic Bolius.

He manes, however, at the same time for moderation. Denmark has had a wet period, and the water is high, but it is not certain that the trend continues, he points out.

- this is The case, which has received much attention, because we've got so much water. But it can change again, so the groundwater suddenly is low. Therefore, we need to think holistic.

- If you solve a problem locally, it can be difficult to say what the consequences are for a unified water system, and at the same time, it must be a system which does not collapse if we suddenly get drought. It is a complicated and expensive challenge to resolve, " says Hans Jørgen Henriksen.

in General depends on the possible solutions much of the land, that is, whether the dwelling is high or low, and what there is of the other options to lead the water away

A fascine, which lets water seep slowly into the ground, is not to help, if the soil is saturated by water

the Hollows or regnbede can be for some homeowners solve the problem

the Insurance covers in most cases not possible. damage occurs if your property is flooded by water from the lawn

How to avoid flood in the garden

Before vandselskaberne can be allowed to bid on the task to help homeowners with their water problems, must betalingsloven be changed.

But that needs more knowledge on the table, before political intervention might come, saith the klimaordfører and former minister for the environment Ida Auken (R).

- It is an underexposed issue. There should be a mapping of the problem, so we can clarify, how big a role climate change plays in the case. With more knowledge, I would be willing to change betalingsloven, says Ida Auken.

A good guess as to where the new knowledge must come from an EU-project, led by the Region of Midtjylland, where the hard-pressed Herning Municipality is located. With the project try bl.a. research and konsulentinstitutioner from a number of countries, including the Netherlands and Denmark, to look at the issue of high groundwater.

With this grundvandskort you can get an overview of how much or little groundwater will increase after various udregningsmodeller, even though the results must be taken with a grain of salt.

- If you can see that the groundwater is 5 or 10 meters below ground, making it not so much that it increases a meter.

- But if it is only 1 or 2 meters below, it may in a future climate have great importance, e.g. if it is a house you are considering buying, explains Hans Jørgen Henriksen.

: High ground water: Homeowners are inundated remains in place in many municipalities

Organic Bolius is owned by Realdania.


Organic Bolius is non-commercial and sells neither products nor services.

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