This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. Drainage Systems - SuDS Making a murky issue crystal clear:

The Flood and Water Management Act and National Standards for SuDS

It has been a long road, but it seems sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are finally gaining ground. With the introduction of the UK Flood and Water Management Act (2010), all new developments will be required to implement SuDS. Reducing run-off rates, mitigating flood risk, recharging stressed water tables, and filtering polluted stormwater are all motivating factors for this change in legislation. Crucially, the Act removes the long-referenced road-block to SuDS – an active adoption body. The Act introduces the SuDs Approval Body (SAB), a role to be taken up by county and unitary authorities, who will be responsible for approving and in some cases, adopting and maintaining new SuDS schemes.

SuDS have the potential to become an integral part of the urban landscape. But they come with a health warning; if they aren’t given the care of design and maintenance that we would expect for any other part of the public realm, they won’t deliver the benefits. It seems obvious, but good design that successfully integrates water management with the urban world still seems to be a challenge.

Draft National Standards for Sustainable Drainage Systems were released in December 2011 and outline how Defra expects SuDS to be designed and adopted. No doubt the draft proposals will be finessed to provide consistent expectations and guidance for

David Levin, Sustainability Consultant, Europe, AECOM

+44 (0)20 3009 2156

design, but crucially the National Standards remain focussed on functionality and leave the broader design considerations surrounding place-making, design quality, ecological value, and contextual response to be set out through local plans. This leaves the SAB and local authorities with a challenge – if they want to approve and adopt SuDS that respond to the local agenda and maximise value to communities, they need to embed that vision through local standards and skills.

Embracing a changing landscape

As with the introduction of many new policies, the draft National Standards and the proposed approval and adoption processes raise as many questions as they answer. Many

authorities taking on the SAB role are uncertain how it will dovetail with existing processes and roles and are raising a number of questions: How will the SAB interact with the Local Planning Authority to ensure applications are assessed efficiently? Who will be included in the SAB, and when will it start operating? Where will funding for the SAB and SuDS maintenance be sourced in the long- term? How will all the various people involved in the process be trained in time? As it stands, the SuDS approval and adoption requirements could come into place as soon as October 2012, though Defra is considering an extension into 2013. Whatever the date, the coordination required means that both county and local authorities and their partners need to start testing local issues now while Defra refines the national guidance.

Cambridgeshire County Council has been one of the early movers, deciding that a pro-active approach is the only option. Cambridgeshire believes it can make the journey considerably easier by having the awareness, coordination and a clear vision established locally in advance.

“Given the uncertain timescales of the SAB commencement and the level of development that's planned in Cambridgeshire, the County Council decided to take a proactive approach to SuDS. Working in partnership with key stakeholders including the Environment Agency and District Councils, the County Council is developing a handbook to promote the use of SuDS in new developments, and to provide support to local planning authorities before the SAB commencement.

Polypipe unveils new concept in rainwater harvesting systems

with optional built-in anti-microbial technology Polypipe, the UK’s leading manufacturer of plastic sustainable drainage and water management products, is responding to the growing need for sustainable rainwater re-use systems through the launch of its Rainstream RXL.

Rainstream RXL high volume water storage tanks are available with an optional anti- bacterial lining and have been expertly engineered using the same technology as Polypipe’s popular Ridgistorm-XL large diameter pipes.

The Rainstream RXL tank’s modular design allows any storage capacity to be created and features an integral pre- storage filter - eliminating the need to make connections between the chamber and the tank.

Exceptionally strong, Rainstream RXL offers all the functionality of large-scale GRP sub surface tanking and in most cases can be installed using a single sized granular backfill, as opposed to a more costly concrete support structure. And with no need to fill the tanks


with water during installation, tens of thousands of litres of water can be saved. Polypipe’s in-house manufacturing facilities can produce bespoke tank wall strengths to suit specific project requirements and burial depths, without costly over engineering.

“Although high volume below ground tanks offer enormous flexibility in the planning and provision of water storage for large scale projects, they present big challenges in transport and installation” comments Darren Crane, National Sales Manager Rainwater Harvesting at Polypipe.

“Rainstream RXL has been designed and developed to help specifiers, engineers and contractors overcome these challenges and achieve significant cost and environmental savings too. The fact we are able to manufacture the tank to any stiffness classification allows for a broad range of installations, be it below the water table or in heavily

trafficked areas.”

The modular construction of the Rainstream RXL allows for easier on- site handling, off-loading and positioning. While assembly is straight forward with Polypipe’s unique Electro-Fusion jointing technology.

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