There has been growing interest in the promotion of sustainable development amongst governments and local municipalities throughout the world – and this includes the control of stormwater runoff. Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) offer an alternative approach to conventional drainage practices by attempting to manage surface water drainage systems holistically in line with the ideals of sustainable development. They achieve this by mimicking the natural hydrological cycle, often through a number of sequential interventions in the form of a ‘treatment train’. The key objectives of the SuDS approach are the effective management of stormwater runoff quantity, quality and the associated amenity and biodiversity of the urban drainage system.
Prior to the design of any stormwater system there are a number of important considerations including:
- Variations in the hydrological cycle and associated systems;
- Varying geological formations and associated systems;
- Differences in the rational approach to urban drainage within professional teams;
- The different challenges of development on green-field versus brown-field / retro-fitted sites;
- The impact of different types of settlement and social inequality in particular; and
- The influence of any existing laws, ordinances or bylaws.
Whilst each of these will be mentioned in these guidelines they are largely outside the scope of the document which is focused more on the available technology options. Section 1 introduces the notion of sustainable drainage and describes important design and management concepts associated with SuDS.
Further topics of Interest