What are sustainable drainage systems (SUDS)?

Published on: 29 February 2016

Video by Vitek Radim (MSc Water Management, University of Exeter).

SUDS stands for sustainable drainage systems. The SUDS triangle to ensure drainage systems are sustainable are:

  • Water quantity – runoff reduction
  • Water quality – pollution control
  • Amenity - biodiversity enhancement

SUDS mimic natural processes. SUDS are made up of green roofs, soakaways, rain gardens, basins, ponds, swales, wetlands etc. These are combined into the management train of runoff prevention, source control, site control and regional control. SUDS require complex planning and design. Hydroinformatics tools such as long-term simulations for efficient network planning and performance evaluation can allow for the effective implementation of SUDS.

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