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Photograph - Wet swale with reed bed, Hamilton 
North, Leicester

Design of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS)

Full range of SUDS techniques

We have the capability to design the full range of SUDS measures for new developments including:

  • Source control. Using such components as soakaways, rainwater harvesting systems, green roofs, filter strips, pervious pavements, filter drains and infiltration trenches.
  • Site control. These measures include ponds, detention basins,
    wetlands and infiltration basins.
  • Conveyance Systems including pipe networks, swales and open

These would be incorporated as appropriate to form a 'SUDS management train' to incrementally reduce the surface water peak runoff flow, volume and pollution. SUDS are best incorporated into a site's design right from the early stages so that the best use is made of the available space to ensure that an overall cost effective site layout is arrived at.


SUDS techniques aim to mimic the natural drainage of a catchment by reducing and slowing down the surface water run-off from a site. Many of the features used treat the problem of surface water run-off at source, so reducing costs of pipework, manholes and other ancillaries.

Non-statutory technical standards for SUDS

The government has decided that the application of SUDS to development sites will be implemented through the planning system in England and the 'Non-statutory technical standards for sustainable drainage systems' were published in March 2015. These standards came into force in April 2015 and will be applied to sites of 10 or more houses and similar sized commercial or mixed developments.

The consultation on the 'Interim non-statutory standards for SUDS', for use in Wales, closed at the end of April 2015 and it is anticipated that these will be introduced in due course.

The English technical standards are very brief so it is likely that the CIRIA document C697, 'The SUDS Manual' will continue to be an important source document.


Morton-Roberts has the capability to design the full range of SUDS measures, please contact us for more details.

Lined open channel conveyance system and reed bed, Hamilton North, Leicester.


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