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Should SUDS be compulsory in England like they’re in Wales?

20/11/2019

What actually is a SUDS? Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) are a variety of water collection management processes, that aim for modern drainage systems to be parallel with natural water processes. This revolutionary drainage solution is particularly useful in built-up places where water cannot filter into the soil easily enough.

What is the law in Wales? The Welsh Government have introduced a new law that states that all new developments over 100m2 have to have sustainable drainage system implemented. SUDS prevent damage to the environment from steep runoffs and impermeable ground which can cause flooding. This has caused debates in the environmental industry through England, asking should we implement sustainable drainage systems throughout the country on new developments?

Benefits of SUDS Rainwater Demand Rainfall is collected and harvested in water buts. This collected water can then be used for gardening and for other uses. This reduces the strain on the water supplies and can help when there is a drought.

Flood Risk Management SUDS are an effective technique in reducing the risk of floods and slowing the flow of water, with it being collected in water buts for other uses. This reduces the surface run-off and the amount of water ending up in other water sources and minimises the risk of flooded communities. The effective drainage systems can save flood-prone areas and allows them to revive their town/ village after a flood and move forward.

Positively Impacts Aquatic Eco-System The drainage system filters debris from the flow of water coming into the system which reduces the water pollution. This could produce a large variety of wildlife and increase the biodiversity of the environment. While providing a more attractive habitat for the local wildlife.

The Drawbacks of SUDS It can be expensive to first construct the SUDS; however, they will be cost-effective over time. The construction of SUDS can have a negative impact on highway maintenance systems. There could be a safety risk because of the increased number of ponds and wetlands. So should England follow suit? If England follows suit and implements this new law, developers will have to work with the architects, planners and infrastructure developers to ensure that all planning development incorporates efficient Sustainable Drainage Systems. This is important for reducing the loss of land in development and consistently keeping the business viability of the project. Before a SUDS scheme can be constructed it must go through a local authority.

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