Blog

London, the Supersewer and SuDS – The Great Debate

September 10, 2014

Written By: Phil Collins European Sales Director, Hydro International

Aerial Photo of the River Thames

London’s ‘ Supersewer ’ has provoked much controversy and – whether you are in the Tideway Tunnel ‘yes’ or ‘no’ camp – a compelling debate about the use of Sustainable Drainage Systems in even the most challenging urban settings. A thought-provoking new paper by Prof Richard Ashley – a regular contributor to Engineering Nature’s Way […]

SuDS are Good News for London – says Boris

August 19, 2014

Written By: Phil Collins European Sales Director, Hydro International

PC-Blog-Image3

Surface water drainage and flood risk management have been flagged as key challenges for the UK’s capital city in the Mayor’s London Infrastructure Plan 2050. The drainage network is already over capacity and rainfall of just 2mm already causes combined sewer overflows into the River Thames. Population growth and climate change are only going to […]

Climate Change Won’t Wait for Widespread SuDS

July 29, 2014

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

AGS-climate-blog-5

The Government’s advisory committee on climate change has issued a strong warning that we must do more to improve our flood resilience as changing weather patterns result in rising sea levels, increased flooding and greater swings between storms and droughts. Of all the consequences of changing weather, increased flood risk poses the greatest threat, according […]

Blue Roofs – turning urban water on its head.

June 20, 2014

Written By: Phil Collins European Sales Director, Hydro International

PC-Blog-HB-on-Roof3

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

May 29, 2014

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

Holyhead-blog-image3

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 […]

Somerset Levels – A Future Focus for Flood Alleviation Technology?

February 7, 2014

Written By: Phil Collins European Sales Director, Hydro International

Photo of flooding on Somerset levels (c) Bill Stilling

The suffering and frustration of the residents in the Somerset levels has rightly become a focus of media attention with the wettest January in 250 years testing a community used to flooding almost beyond its limits. In the meantime, with the recent visit of Prince Charles and of Lord Smith today (7 February), the area […]

New British Standard BS8582 May Help Point the Way Forward

January 22, 2014

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, 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?

January 15, 2014

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, 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

December 6, 2013

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, 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 […]

Success, Passion, Commitment and Frustration – SUDS in Scotland

November 12, 2013

Written By: Phil Collins European Sales Director, Hydro International

SUDS in Scotland Round Table

A PANEL of expert professionals involved in the design and delivery of SUDS in Scotland came together for a Round Table debate last week specially arranged by Engineering Nature’s Way and held in association with CIWEM and British Water. They were responding to the results of the SuDS for Scotland – Experience and Opportunity Survey […]

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

October 7, 2013

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, 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?

September 25, 2013

Written By: Phil Collins European Sales Director, 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?

July 18, 2013

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, 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 […]

PAS Feedback Invited

July 16, 2013

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

image004 (3)

A consultation on a PAS for the specification of underground utility detection, verification and location is currently open and comments are invited. Cardno, on behalf of BSI would like to invite you and/or your organization to comment on the following draft.  The closing date for consultation is Friday 26 July 2013. PAS 128, Specification for […]

What does the future of SuDS hold?

July 8, 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

June 18, 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?

June 14, 2013

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, 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. […]

Let’s Talk Treatment ….

April 30, 2013

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

StormTrain treatment devices can be used in combination as part of a treatment train for web

SURFACE water treatment can no longer be the ‘poorer’ relation of the SuDS triangle of quality, quantity and amenity.  True, there are those who believe it would be easier if we could just get on with tackling surface water flooding with SuDS, at least in the short term. But the fact is improving water quality […]

SuDS a Vision for the Future

February 6, 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

February 5, 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

February 5, 2013

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, 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 …

February 4, 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”

November 27, 2012

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, 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

November 22, 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?

November 7, 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 […]

Have We Really Moved on Since Pitt?

November 2, 2012

Written By: Phil Collins European Sales Director, Hydro International

Tewkesbury Abbey

2012 has been another landmark year for flooding across the UK.  Once again we have been reminded of water’s deadly and devastating potential to wreak human misery. Our summer began with widespread fears of severe drought before melting into floods.  After an ‘Olympic’ respite, the floods began again, bringing ever-more dramatic scenes to our TV […]

SuDS – Why We All Have to Get it Right

October 29, 2012

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

Image courtesy of Illman Young Partnership

There’s no doubt that we are making tremendous steps forward on the road to widespread use of SuDS in the UK, but there is still a long road ahead.  That’s why sharing knowledge and best practice is so important. Since its launch in May 2012, there have been nearly 20,000 visits to the Engineering Nature’s […]

European Project Shares Water Knowledge

August 16, 2012

Written By: editor

Step-Wise Logo

Getting scientists, policymakers and industry professionals to talk the same language can be a challenge for water policy development that stands in the way of environmental progress.  In Europe, the challenge is being tackled head-on by the pioneering STEP-WISE initiative. Science and research is crucial role to underpinning water policy formulation and implementation across the […]

The only way is ethics: It’s time for civil engineers to say what they really think….

August 2, 2012

Written By: Prof.Richard Ashley EcoFutures Ltd, Universities of Sheffield, Bradford, UNESCO IHE and Luleå

Philadelphia

With the call by Prince Charles to revisit the definition of civil engineering, it is now timely for professional civil engineers to not be afraid to say what they really think to government, clients and employers. The Profession firstly serves mankind and everything we do needs to take a global perspective. However, personal fears may […]

How can we deliver SuDS in the Public Realm?

July 11, 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 […]