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Sustainable drainage regime takes shape

Words: Roger Milne

The Welsh Government has begun consulting on interim non-statutory standards for sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in Wales.

These standards will cover the design, construction, operation and maintenance of surface water drainage systems.

SuDS provide an alternative to conventional, piped drainage, typically using combinations of installations such as permeable paving, soakaways, green roofs, swales and ponds and can be used in both rural and urban areas to support new development.

This approach can slow the flow of water, which contributes to a reduction in flood risk and protects water quality.

The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (Schedule 3), which has not been brought into operation yet, requires new developments to include SuDS features that comply with national standards.

The government is proposing to publish interim national standards on an advisory basis until such time as it determines the most effective way of embedding SuDs principles in new developments in the longer term.

Piloting the interim standards will provide an opportunity to iron out any difficulties before the standards are placed on a statutory footing.