Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

Surface water drainage methods that take account of water quantity, water quality and amenity issues are collectively referred to as SuDS  


SuDS are a sequence of management practices, control structures and strategies designed to efficiently and sustainably drain surface water, while minimising pollution and managing the impact on water quality of local water bodies. 


These systems are more sustainable than conventional drainage methods because they:

  • Manage runoff volumes and flow rates, reducing the impact of urbanisation on flooding
  • Protect or enhance water quality
  • Are sympathetic to the environmental setting and the needs of the local community
  • Provide a habitat for wildlife in urban watercourses
  • Encourage natural groundwater recharge (where appropriate)


The Flood and Water Management Act introduces a range of responsibilities for Local Authorities around SuDS.  In the future Lead Local Flood Authorities (Unitary and County Councils) will be responsible for SuDS Approval Bodies (SABs) that will evaluate and approve SuDS in all new developments as well as adopt and maintain SuDS serving more than one property.


Susdrain describes itself as an exciting new community that provides a range of resources for those involved in delivering SuDS.


The SuDS Working Group for Wales includes representatives of organisations that encompass all aspects of stormwater management and drainage design.  The group promotes the use of SuDS with a view to providing water quality improvement, water quantity control, amenity provision and enhancement as well as maximising habitat potential.