Drainage systems can contribute to sustainable development and improve the places and spaces where we live, work and play by balancing the different opportunities and challenges that influence urban design and the development of communities.
Approaches to manage surface water that take account of water quantity (flooding), water quality (pollution) biodiversity (wildlife and plants) and amenity are collectively referred to as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS).
SuDS mimic nature and typically manage rainfall close to where it falls. SuDS can be designed to transport (convey) surface water, slow runoff down (attenuate) before it enters watercourses,they provide areas to store water in natural contours and can be used to allow water to soak(infiltrate) into the ground or evaporated from surface water and lost or transpired from vegetation (known as evapotranspiration).
SUDS are drainage systems that are considered to be environmentally beneficial, causing minimal or no long-term detrimental damage. They are often regarded as a sequence of management practices, control structures and strategies designed to efficiently and sustainably drain surface water, while minimising pollution and managing the impact on water quality of local water bodies.
SuDS are more sustainable than traditional drainage methods because they: