“State of the Nation” Survey Tests ‘Grass Roots’ Confidence in Future SuDS Delivery

Written by: , 24 Mar 2016

Berewood SuDS during construction with show homes in the background

Engineering Nature’s Way, the knowledge-sharing initiative for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), is launching a national survey of professionals working with SuDS at the ‘grass roots’ to assess confidence levels in progress being made towards best practice implementation across the UK.

Important new regulations and technical guidance has been published during the past 12 months for England, Scotland and Wales. SuDS: The State of the Nation 2016 sets out to investigate whether industry professionals believe current policy and practice is now sufficient to enable them to deliver effective flood risk and surface water management schemes.

The survey seeks opinions on the future prospects for SuDS from a wide range of professional disciplines including consulting engineers, housebuilders, local authority engineers and planners, contractors and environmental agency staff. To take part in the survey visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FFCMQL9.

The Engineering Nature’s Way initiative provides a forum for best practice information and opinions on SuDS policy and practice in the UK, co-ordinated by Hydro International. It is centred on a popular website www.engineeringnaturesway.co.uk and twitter feed @engnaturesway. Alex Stephenson, chair of the British Water Sustainable Water Management Focus Group and Group Market Development Director of Hydro International, said:

“When Engineering Nature’s Way conducted its first SuDS: The State of the Nation Survey in 2012, the results prompted a great deal of industry debate. We want to see if views have changed, broaden access to participation in the survey and encourage as wide a range of professionals as possible to offer their views.

“I think we all want to see Sustainable Drainage Systems become commonplace in our towns and cities, wherever we are in the UK. How will the different regulations and standard technical guidance now published in the devolved regions influence the ability and opportunity of professionals to deliver best practice schemes?

“We want to know whether people are satisfied with current SuDS policy and delivery, and associated technical standards and guidance. We are also particularly interested to know whether people working ‘at the coal face’ of SuDS believe enough has been done to ensure adoption and long-term maintenance.”

The past year has seen a number of new regulations and associated standards and / or guidance documents published, which aim to set the framework for future delivery in the devolved regions. This includes:

  • Changes to English planning regulations and publication of Non-Statutory Technical Standards for sustainable drainage systems in March 2015.
  • Updated planning policy and publication of recommended non-statutory standards for sustainable drainage in Wales in January 2016.
  • Publication of the Water Assessment and Drainage Assessment Guide (WADAG) by the Scottish SUDS Working Party in January 2016.
  • Publication of the updated CIRIA SuDS Manual (C753) in November 2015.

Alex Stephenson continues: “The survey will also seek views on whether the potential of SuDS to help achieve good environmental water quality across the UK has been sufficiently addressed.

“Much of the guidance has indicated the importance of using a wide and mixed toolbox of surface water drainage components to achieve SuDS objectives as part of a surface water management train. We’re interested to hear how professionals view the role of manufactured or proprietary systems in helping to engineer consistently-performing and compliant schemes, and if they can be used to enable more Green Infrastructure.”

A full report of the results of the survey will be published on the Engineering Nature’s Way website. Find out more about the 2012 State of the Nation Survey and the Round Table debate held in London on 21 December 2012.

Take part in the 2016 SuDS The State of the Nation Survey.



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