Sustainable Development

Appropriately designed, constructed and maintained SuDS support the ideal of sustainable development. SuDS are more sustainable than conventional surface water drainage methods as they can mitigate many of the adverse effects that storm-water runoff has on the environment. This can be achieved by:

  • reducing runoff rates, thereby lessening the risk of flooding downstream;
  • minimising additional runoff emanating from urban development, which could exacerbate the risk of flooding and impair water quality;
  • encouraging natural groundwater recharge (as appropriate) and so reduce the impact on aquifers and rivers;
  • reducing pollution risks associated with development;
  • contributing to and enhancing the amenity and landscape of an area, thereby promoting community involvement, enjoyment & recreational opportunities; and
  • providing habitats for wildlife and opportunities for biodiversity enrichment.

SuDS are now the preferred method for managing surface water runoff from a development area. In order to imitate the natural drainage of a site, a series of drainage techniques (the ‘management train’) should be employed. These will reduce flow rates and volumes, minimise pollution and so reduce the impact of the quantity and quality of water emanating from a development. These techniques need to be applied progressively, from prevention, source control and site control to regional control.

For more information on the elements of the SuDS management train, refer to Section 1.3 of The SuDS Manual C753 (CIRIA, 2015)

Page updated: 17/02/2020

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