SUDS Systems

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 downstream.
  • 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 developed areas.

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 the driveway.


Trade Tips

  • 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.

Homeowner Benefits

  • Protect your home against flood damage.
  • Reduce your impact on the UK 's sewerage and drainage system.
  • Permeable driveways prevent puddling and water collection points

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.