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Soak Up on SuDS and Get Flooded with Good Advice

12 November 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

As the UK moves into winter, potentially a time of greater flood risk as seen during the 2013-2014 winter, CIRIA has launched what it claims to be the most comprehensive industry sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) guidance available in the UK.

This guidance focuses on the cost effective planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of SuDS and recognises the value of rainwater, seeking to capture, use, delay or absorb it, rather than reject it as a nuisance or problem.

Sustainable drainage can result in multiple benefits. As well as delivering high quality drainage while supporting areas to cope better with severe rainfall, SuDS can also improve the quality of life in developments and urban spaces by making them more vibrant, visually attractive, sustainable and resilient to change by improving urban air quality, regulating building temperatures, reducing noise and delivering recreation and education opportunities.

Earlier this year a ministerial statement made by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government made it clear that SuDS must play a greater role in the planning system and to that effect it was made a requirement that sustainable drainage systems will be provided in new major developments wherever appropriate.

CIRIA believes its SuDS Manual (C697), first published in 2007, is the one-stop-shop for delivering SuDS and it is this guidance that has been significantly revised. The updated SuDS Manual (now C753) incorporates the latest research, industry practice and guidance. In delivering SuDS there is a requirement to meet the framework set out by the government’s ‘non statutory technical standards’ and the revised SuDS Manual complements these but goes further to support the cost effective delivery of multiple benefits.

“CIRIA is also developing future work to improve SuDS construction, planning and assessment providing the industry with the competence and confidence to embrace SuDS fully,” explained Paul Shaffer, Associate, CIRIA.

Free to download, it is available from the CIRIA website ( CIRIA also manages the susdrain website ( that provides a range of resources and information for those involved in delivering SuDS.

Picture:    Coping with flooding – by using SuDS, Tower Hamlets in London has used sustainable drainage techniques in Derbyshire Street by connecting the overflow chamber of the attenuating planters to the rain garden via a clay pipe

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 12 November 2015


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