Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) are much talked about these days, but what are they and what is the point of them?
Sustainable drainage mimics natural processes and reduces flooding by managing rainfall close to its source and wherever possible at, or near the surface. By building in permeable paving, channels, green roofs, swales, soakaways or ponds, sustainable drainage becomes a “city circulatory system”, slowing, storing and treating water that could cause damage. Well-designed SuDS should incorporate the four elements of water quantity, water quality, amenity and biodiversity wherever possible. They are fundamentally a way of slowing and reducing surface runoff in order to reduce flood risk, whilst at the same time improving the look of the urban environment.
Now CIWEM (Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) recently published a very well-researched and informative study on the subject which supports their wider implementation:
Incorporating SuDS into developments can maintain local water balances and treat water pollution, whilst also supporting wildlife and delivering attractive community spaces
It’s well worth a read, so here’s a link to a copy for you to download.