New guidance points the way to sustainable drainage

New guidance from the water industry should help planners, builders and contractors through the maze of sustainable drainage systems, and find the right solutions for particular sites.

The guidance document from British Water, the water and wastewater industry association, splits the problem of choosing a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) into four areas – infiltration, flow control, storage and attenuation and treatment. It lists the products on the market, and assesses their performance in a range of conditions.

Sustainable drainage is becoming an increasingly topical subject as Britain suffers increasingly from drought and floods, said British Water director Ian Pallett.

“The effect of drainage on the environment only becomes of major interest when the systems don’t work. We’re beginning to see the problems that droughts, floods and other extreme weather can cause, and the indications are that it’s going to get worse,” he said.

The new guidance document looks at the reliability and adaptability of different types of SUDS systems and sets these in a legislative context, giving a summary of relevant regulations.

” It’s vital that anyone who’s involved in development in any way makes sure they know what the options are and this document, which is free to download, will help them. There’s already quite a lot of advice available for on soft SUDS solutions, such as swales, ponds and infiltration trenches, but we wanted to help people find the most appropriate equipment when they need proprietary SUDS.”

“We need to be sure that anyone working on drainage for any kind of development, large or small, is aware of the need to consider the local environment,” Ian Pallett said.

“The equipment that’s right for a small suburban housing estate is unlikely to suit a large rural industrial development. Alongside the information that’s already available, this document should help people reach the right decision.”

The guidance document – Guidance to proprietary drainage systems and components – is available to download here.

Goska Romanowicz

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