The increased amount of surface water drained from developed
areas is having a huge impact on Britain's river catchments. As
developments intensify, less water filters through the soil,
leading to increased flows, risk of flooding, and a threat to water
quality and the environment. This could worsen as the climate
changes and has put drainage and water management firmly under the
legislative spotlight. For example, you now need planning
permission to lay an impermeable driveway or parking area that
measures over five square metres.
The Code for Sustainable Homes also imposes minimum standards
for surface water management.
With a conventional drainage system, rainwater is carried away
as quickly as possible from where it has fallen. This can lead to a
number of problems:
- Water run-off from impermeable paving can cause flooding
- Run-off water rapidly picks up contaminants such as oil,
organic matter and toxins, resulting in poorer water quality in
rivers and groundwater.
- The redirection of rainfall into piped systems means a
reduction in the amount of water seeping directly into the ground
and this results in reduced flows during dry weather periods.
However, there are now more sustainable drainage options
available. By using materials that have less impact on the
environment and by managing surface water run-off more effectively,
you can avoid the problems outlined above.
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
SUDS use a range of techniques to manage water run-off from
These include rainwater harvesting, water permeable paving
surfaces, green roofs, filter drains and strips, soakaways, swales,
basins and ponds. As a rule, there is no one definitive drainage
solution for any particular site; usually a combination of methods
will be utilised.
The advantages of SUDS
By controlling rainwater run-off flow rates, SUDS lessen the
environmental effects of urbanisation. They help maintain or even
improve water quality, and can be integrated into the environmental
setting. They encourage the recharge of natural ground water and
protect wildlife habitats and urban watercourses.
Permeable paving solution?
To avoid the need for planning permission, a new driveway or
parking area should be constructed using permeable surfaces such as
permeable block paving, porous asphalt or gravel.
Permeable paving, when used alongside storm water management,
helps control the flow of water at source.
The blocks let surface water flow through into a special
sub-base material without damaging the structural performance of
- Site flood prevention plans are required for sites with
multiple house builds - check with the planning department.
- Consider water run-off with every new build plan.
- Why not combine a rainwater harvester with a percolation tunnel
for double benefits.
- Protect your home against flood damage.
- Reduce your impact on the UK 's sewerage and drainage
- Permeable driveways prevent puddling and water collection
Jewson has everything you'll need...
- Design Service; With planning and an informed product selection
process, you can protect a property against flood damage and score
Code for Sustainable Homes points.
- Products; We have a large range of sustainable drainage systems
to suit all scales of project including: porous paving, grassguard,
linear drainage, attenuation and soakaways.