Sustainable urban drainage systems best practise, standards and principles
What to consider to meet SuDS standards?
All of those involved in the built environment hold responsibility to ensure future developments are sustainable and do not increase flood risk to sites. Now more than ever with the positive impacts on the environment that follow the pandemic, we need to embrace sustainable systems in every aspect of construction – with sustainable drainage systems standards being top on the agenda.
Driven by local authorities and developers, we are all increasingly required to use sustainable drainage systems to effectively manage water. This is something that our team at Hydrorock are very excited about – that the importance of sustainably and effectively managing water is getting the recognition that it is in desperate need of.
We need to continue to set the standards for high-quality and effective SuDS. So what are key considerations for high-quality and leading sustainable drainage systems?
The SuDS triangle
The SuDS triangle is best known for encouraging us to equally consider the following when managing water:
Water quality – does your SuDS system filter out pollutants?
Water quantity – does your SuDS system treat water a precious resource, using it to its full potential?
Amenity/ biodiversity – does your SuDS system improve soil conditions, help habitats to thrive?
According to the SuDS triangle, if these three things are equally considered, our systems will be designed to replicate the natural water cycle (if not improve it!), better soil conditions and surrounding habitats, reduce water pollution and reduce the risk of flooding. Importantly, these three elements need to be considered at the design stage, with all parties involved including planners, engineers and architects.
So, what are the SuDS principles according to Susdrain (the community for sustainable drainage)?
A truly green and sustainable SuDS system should carry out the following:
Storing runoff and releasing it slowly (attenuation)
Harvesting and using the rain close to where it falls
Allowing water to soak into the ground (infiltration)
Slowly transporting water on the surface
Filtering out pollutants
Allowing sediments to settle out by controlling the flow of the water
The more we experience the impacts of climate change, the more we are learning that surface water is a valuable resource. With this in mind, we should treat it as such and this should be reflected in how it is managed.
But being sustainable and green doesn’t have to come at a cost, when the right SuDS system is designed and installed this can be more cost effective than ordinary drainage systems. And the positive impact it has on the environment is priceless.
Think big – the bigger picture
Our last tip is not to think of SuDS as an isolated system within a build, it be can be the cornerstone of a much broader onsite SuDS solution. Including things like green roofing, permeable paving, reedbeds, ponds and more. All of which is based upon rebuilding and maintaining the natural water cycle.
These key elements, along with other features are the reasons why our Natural Aquifer SuDS System was born and why it is so effective, cost-competitive and completely sustainable. We hope that you have a better understanding of what to consider to meet sustainable drainage system standards when designing, installing and specifying SuDS systems – but if you have any questions or want to learn more about our unique system, get in touch!