SUDS

Blue Roofs – turning urban water on its head.

20 Jun 2014

Written By: Phil Collins National Sales Manager, Hydro International

Hydro-Brake® Flow Control installed on a roof.

As we enjoy our first taste of summer, 2014’s winter of flooding has all but disappeared from the public consciousness.  At the height of media hype it seemed mainstream journalists left no stone unturned to speculate on new ways to attenuate torrential downpours and mitigate flooding – often to the disdain of engineers! So, after […]

SuDS Implementation Delayed Again

29 May 2014

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

HolyheadDSCF4599-web3

After countless delays, yet another postponement to the target start date for SuDS legislation in England and Wales will hardly raise an eyebrow of surprise. Despite a winter of floods misery and high-profile media attention, measures to bring in compulsory National Standards for Sustainable Drainage Systems have once again been postponed by DEFRA.   Key stakeholders […]

New British Standard BS8582 May Help Point the Way Forward

22 Jan 2014

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

retrofit suds at St Ives for web

As the SuDS community polishes up its new year resolutions, it seems we may still have to wait a little while longer for definitive National Standards for England and Wales at least. In the meantime, a new British Standard, BS8582, has been published giving best practice recommendations on the planning, design, construction and maintenance of […]

SuDS Delays: Have We Lost Sight of our Founding Principles?

15 Jan 2014

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SuDS Delays:  Have We Lost Sight of our Founding Principles? It seems almost unbelievable.  Yet another SuDS delay.   Six years after 2007 floods that prompted ‘urgent action’ and right in the midst of more severe storms and floods, the Government has confirmed it will not meet its target of implementing SuDS regulations in England and […]

The Three Crucial Building Blocks to SuDS Progress in the UK

6 Dec 2013

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

Berewood-SUDS-pond1

Despite all the good work underway to deliver SuDS in the UK at the moment we are still only on the foothills of a very tall mountain.  Welcome legislation has already made SuDS compulsory for new development in Scotland and soon England and Wales will follow suit. But new development is just the start of […]

Are ‘good intentions’ leading us to SuDS heaven or SuDS hell?

7 Oct 2013

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

Pond with Deep Water Sign

DEFRA ‘s good intentions are to make Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) compulsory in England and Wales from April 1 2014 for developments of more than one property.  However, their assurance of providing 6-months notice ahead of ‘D-Day’ has now been withdrawn. Nobody knows, but we could be given as little as three months ‘official warning’ […]

Can we learn from doing SuDS the Scottish Way?

25 Sep 2013

Written By: Phil Collins National Sales Manager, Hydro International

Logo-and-Survey-Title-and-Supporterb

Has legislation put Scotland ahead of the game with SuDS in comparison to the rest of the UK?   If so, there should be some useful lessons to be learned by professionals on both side of the border. To find out, Engineering Nature’s Way, in association with CIWEM, is setting out to survey professionals in Scotland […]

A Step Closer to Clarity on SuDS?

18 Jul 2013

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

Image courtesy of Illman Young Partnership

Important clues to the future of SuDS delivery in England and Wales emerged from the publication of the Water Bill and the commentary that accompanied it. The Government has confirmed its aim to commence Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act in April 2014.  This will make the right to connect surface water […]

What does the future of SuDS hold?

8 Jul 2013

Written By: Owen Davies Sustainability Engineer, Lambeth Council

SCS Rain Garden 8-7-13

Defra have clearly indicated that schedule 3 will be implemented in April 2014 and as promised there will be six months notice. The language initially used was “we will” however the language has started to change to “we aim”. Within the Defra’s response to the EFRA Parliamentary Group the phrase “…” was used six times, […]

Upton Meadows Community SuDS Fair

18 Jun 2013

Written By: Peter Coombs Vice President, Business Development EMEA, Micro Drainage

PCoombsBlogImage1

Saturday’s hugely successful SuDS Fair at Upton Meadows demonstrated the power of community engagement and the true value of SuDS to residents as a public amenity. Congratulations to the Prince’s Foundation and the University of Northampton for hosting an event which put the local people at the heart of the SuDS experience.  With everything from […]

SuDS, WSUD and Blue/Green Infrastructure – What’s the difference?

14 Jun 2013

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

WSUD-image-crop

Across the globe approaches to sustainable water management are getting more sophisticated as we recognise just how closely intertwined our urban lives are with the water cycle. Historically, we separated out the way we think about water:  waste water; drinking water; stormwater; rivers and coastal waters – we have compartmentalised, industrialised and managed each separately. […]

SuDS a Vision for the Future

6 Feb 2013

Written By: Alastair Moseley Honorary Vice President, CIWEM

Alastair photo for blog

SuDS: The State of the Nation is a much-needed initiative to highlight current thinking and concerns about the implementation of Sustainable Drainage.  I was pleased to chair a Round Table debate on the current up-take of SuDS and the challenges we face in managing both floods and water stress in the UK. SuDS is not just […]

We Need Leadership to Make SuDS Happen

5 Feb 2013

Written By: Sue Illman Managing Director, Illman Young

Sue Illman photo for blog

Participating in the Engineering Nature’s Way ‘State of the Nation Debate’ recently was in retrospect both useful and encouraging, but equally frustrating. Encouraging to find a commonality of views regarding the need for integrated water management and the implementation of SuDS across a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds, and frustrating that there is no […]

Delivering Sustainable Drainage – Let’s Get Practical

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

Alex photo for blog

We all want to achieve our goal of widespread use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) as quickly as possible – to get there, I believe, requires us to combine our vision with some healthy pragmatism. The House of Commons environmental select committee (EFRA) have reinforced the need for urgency in implementing SuDS measures in its […]

SuDS, It can’t be done because …

4 Feb 2013

Written By: Owen Davies Sustainability Engineer, Lambeth Council

Owen Davies photo for blog

Since I have entered the world of SuDS I have heard the same expression on numerous occasions whether it is a discussion over a couple of beers with colleagues, or in meetings with designers, or negotiating S38 agreements with developers. I listen to snippets of conversations or am told of conversations that at times are […]

Floods Crisis: Government Indecision and Delay “Must Stop Now”

27 Nov 2012

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

Flood image for web

As Britain is gripped by a floods crisis, Government indecision and inertia is seriously delaying vital work to protect thousands of homes and properties in the UK. Devastating flooding could cause £millions of damage in scenes reminiscent of the 2007 floods which prompted a groundbreaking Government review by Sir Michael Pitt.  Yet how much real […]

SuDS and the Floods and Water Supply Nexus

22 Nov 2012

Written By: Alastair Moseley Honorary Vice President, CIWEM

SuDS: The State of the Nation

Alastair Moseley, Honorary Vice President of the CIWEM and Director of H2O WEM Ltd  announces the launch of a survey and round table debate on the current up-take of SuDS and the challenges we face in managing floods whilst providing water resources in areas of water stress in the UK. This year has seen the […]

SuDS Design Standards – Where do we go from here?

7 Nov 2012

Written By: Alan Corner Associate Director, Hydro Consultancy

Image of Downstream Defender protecting wetland

When the news quietly trickled through, local authority SuDS approving teams could not have been surprised to learn that they will not be commencing their new roles in April 2013.  A further delay had come to seem inevitable. The question is, what should the preparing SABs do now?  Those who are farthest ahead could follow […]

How can we deliver SuDS in the Public Realm?

11 Jul 2012

Written By: Owen Davies Sustainability Engineer, Lambeth Council

Photograph of a highway

At the London retrofit launch event in April part of my presentation touched on how traffic calming contributed to poor drainage design and an approach or attitude that drainage is an expensive burden and distraction. I mentioned that the previous Government set a clear ten year target to reduce road accidents by what was considered […]

Retrofit Vision Must Drive Industry Thinking

29 Jun 2012

Written By: Phil Collins National Sales Manager, Hydro International

Retrofit SuDS guidance for web

At the launch of CIRIA’s seminal guidance on Retrofitting for Surface Water Management, I was struck most by what a visionary piece of work this is. Every speaker seemed infected by the same passion for change, just as much as that passion is evident between almost every line of this ground-breaking 272-page document. There’s no […]

New Training and Guidance Meets SuDS Approving Body (SAB) Concerns

27 Jun 2012

Written By: Alan Corner Associate Director, Hydro Consultancy

A SAB training session underway

Local authority delegates attending the first of our new training sessions for SABS have welcomed the guidance and support it has provided against a background of continuing uncertainty. The training, organised by Hydro International, Arup and Micro Drainage Ltd is dedicated to providing practical and pragmatic advice to SABS on how to interpret Government guidance […]

The Top 7 Unanswered Questions on SuDS Standards

26 Jun 2012

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

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With one voice, a cry for ‘clarity, clarity, clarity’ has gone out to Government in response to the National SuDS Standards consultation.  There are strong indications that both local government and industry believe the standards, as they currently stand, are not yet fit for purpose. The devil is definitely in the detail as far as […]

Community Outreach for Surface Water Management

25 May 2012

Written By: David Schofield Associate Director, Hydro Consultancy

image courtesy of Paul Cone, Bureau of Transportation, City of Portland

The US is providing excellent examples of community engagement in SuDS projects or ‘outreach’ as the term is widely referred to there, from which we in the UK have much to learn. I was asked by Paul Shaffer of CIRIA if I would capture the essence of surface water management community outreach for a CIRIA […]

The Beauty of a Vortex….

16 May 2012

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

vortex for web

Admiring the beauty and elegance of natural patterns and processes is something that I believe all us engineers do.  The vortex is a particular object of fascination for water and drainage engineers because of its simplicity and power. Yet, as Leonardo Da Vinci once said: “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – and simplicity can take […]

Soft options for WFD – guidance for roads, and industrial estates best practice

2 May 2012

Written By: Brian D’Arcy Independent environmental consultant

Trading Estates Blog

Measures to control diffuse pollution, as required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD), are often described as ranging from “hard regulation” to “softer” approaches, such as technical manuals and codes of practice; educational initiatives involving sector engagement. For urban diffuse sources, new initiatives to develop best practice guidance can have a role to play for […]

When will we have a truly sustainable drainage infrastructure?

14 Mar 2012

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

A46 Widmerpool SuDS ponds were protected with Hydro Brakesl

As Defra’s consultation on National Standards for SuDS came to a close, I was prompted to ask the question: how long will it be before they have a measurable impact on our surface water management infrastructure in the UK? The answer is, surely not for many years.   Set to become law in Autumn 2012 at […]

Do water and sewerage companies wave goodbye to surface water?

2 Feb 2012

Written By: Simon Bunn Sustainable Drainage Engineer, Cambridge City Council

ENWgraphic only

One of the most interesting parts of the National SuDS Standard consultation is not what is in it but what is in the consultation on the automatic adoption of new gravity foul sewers and lateral drains. This implements a change in the Water Industry Act that was proposed in the Flood and Water Management Act. […]

SuDS maintenance funding arrangements could be a ‘logistical nightmare’

30 Jan 2012

Written By: Gordon Hunt County Drainage Engineer, Oxfordshire County Council

for Gordon Hunt blog

Local authorities still have some big questions over the funding of SuDS schemes as we move towards full implementation of the Flood and Water Management Act. I was attending a Flood Management Conference just before Christmas and was sat listening to a senior official from DEFRA explaining how the funding would be provided to maintain […]

Back in the USA – Part 2!

16 Jan 2012

Written By: David Schofield Associate Director, Hydro Consultancy

Photograph of the pioneering Portlander Tom Liptan (2011), where it all started with Siskiyou Street's 2003 stormwater planters.

How sustainable is sustainable drainage?   That was the question I wanted to ask when I went ‘back to the USA’ to visit the successful sustainable drainage implementation programmes in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. My follow-up USA blog has taken longer than planned, but that’s because since my last posting, I’ve become an employee of […]

At Last we have National SuDS Standards…

12 Jan 2012

Written By: Alex Stephenson Director, UK Stormwater Division, Hydro International

Photo Courtesy of Cole Easdon

DEFRA served up an extra treat for us to digest over the Christmas holidays.  The National Standards for SuDS were published for consultation on December 20.  For the complete industry reaction, I suspect we’ll need to wait until the New Year is well underway. The National Standards are designed to provide a structure for the […]