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Sustainable Drainage Systems

What are Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS)

Suds drainage systems reduce the impact of new and existing developments with respect to water in both rural and urban areas by replicated natural systems. In theory, they’re more cost effective and have a very low environmental impact to collect, store, and/or clean water before it’s released back into the environment at a more controlled flow rate. This mimics the flow profile that occurred prior to development.

This is important because sustainable drainage is more about long-term effects of development. It considers social factors around drainage. It does not just look at the quantity of water that needs to be removed from an area, but also the quality and how it may then be used to enhance an area, potentially improving the aesthetics of an urban environment.


It considers the wider challenges of climate change and urbanisation, creating a long-term solution to water drainage, pollution, and environmental damage.


This can be seen by the “four pillars of Suds” as set out in environmental guidance.


These are:


1. Water Quantity - Controlling the quantity of runoff to support the management of flood risk and maintain and protect
the natural water cycle.

2. Water Quality - Managing the quality of the runoff to prevent pollution.
3. Amenity - Creating and sustaining better places for people.
4. Biodiversity - Creating and sustaining better places for nature.

What are the different types of Suds and their uses?

There are a variety of different Suds options that are available to developers which all have different uses, as well as different locations in relation to the development or typical rainfall landing area.

There are three main distinctions for the types of Suds available.

These are -at source, site control, and regional control.

At source Suds control water run-off at, or next to, where the rainfall lands on a surface. These are more likely what you will be looking at if you’re building houses.


They include:

Site controlled Suds cover the entire development site and tend to include larger scale methods mixed with the smaller scale products.

• Detention basins – A depression covered with vegetation to hold rainfall and slowly drain it.
• Retention ponds – A larger depression which stores water, even during dry conditions.
• Wetlands – A vegetative area with shallow ponds and marshland.
• Swale
• Permeable paving
• Filter drains

Regional controlled Suds can cover multiple developments within an area and tend to be on a much larger scale, draining to a particular body of water. They are:

• Detention basins
• Retention pond
• Wetlands

Assessment and quotation

Our assessments include but are not limited to;

  •  Vegetation species identification

  •  Measures of Control/Eradication of all invasive species

  • Area's enclosure e.g. by knee rail fencing

  •  Hand Rails on headwall

  •  Health & Safety Signage

  • Maintenance Requirements

  • Schedule of Maintenance Visits

  •  Grey Water and debris

  •  Aprons, Headwall and Inlets

Hosta Groundcare ltd are fully trained and equipped to maintain, manage Suds, Swales and Retention basins please get in touch to book in a site survey.

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