Ever wondered where the rain goes?
Drainage systems can contribute to sustainable development and improve urban design, by balancing the different issues that influence the development of communities. Approaches to manage surface water that take account of water quantity (flooding), water quality (pollution) and amenity issues 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 slow water down (attenuate) before it enters streams, rivers and other 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.
Sustainable drainage is moving away from the traditional thinking of designing only for flooding to balancing the impact of urban drainage on flood and water quality management and amenity.
Sustainable drainage is a concept that includes long term environmental and social factors in decisions about drainage. It takes account of the quantity and quality of runoff, and the amenity and aesthetic value of surface water in the urban environment. Many existing urban drainage systems can cause problems of flooding, pollution or damage to the environment and are not proving to be sustainable in the context of wider challenges from climate change and urbanisation.
Recently Peterborough City Councils Drainage Team has developed and launched a website to inform, educate and promote Sustainable Drainage Systems.
The website covers the following topics in a user friendly way:
- Frequently Asked Questions replied by Craig, the longest standing member of the Sustainable Drainage Team.
- Homeowners and Developers SuDS techniques.
- Case studies.
The video below is a short animation about how SuDS manage floods, treat pollution, enhance biodiversity and provide great places for wildlife, people and communities.