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Inside SuDS

The government has announced it will amend the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 to make sustainable drainage systems, referred to as SuDS, mandatory on all new housing developments by 2024.

SuDS are required in all new major developments and awareness by practitioners and regulators and their implementation is steadily increasing. Over time, knowledge and experience have improved and it’s important that this good practice is shared to promote improved understanding and high-quality SuDS that deliver multiple benefits.


Here we consider why housing developers and builders should consider proper water management for run-off lakes during the building phase.


What are SuDS?


SuDS aim to control surface rainfall run-off by controlling the rate and volume of run-off from the site, relieving pressure on sewerage systems and mimicking natural drainage as closely as possible. Used effectively, SuDS can help local authorities, planners, architects and developers deliver greener infrastructure.

Although they are often considered in isolation, SuDS should be considered as part of the build.

A water run-off lake outside a new build estate.

Why should SuDS be considered for new build housing developments?


Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) present an opportunity for developers to add value to their scheme and meet local planning requirements around increasing sustainability and managing flood risk.


According to Susdrain, adopting good practice SuDS could:


1.          Speed up the approval process

Embracing a well-designed SuDS scheme encourages a faster approval process and facilitates positive planning outcomes.


2.          Saves money

A Cambridge housing development was reported to be 11 percent cheaper to construct than a comparable traditionally drained site, and another development in Leicestershire was reported to be 16 percent cheaper.


3.          Improved aesthetics of the development

SuDS enrich the aesthetic and recreational value of a development, promote health and well-being and support green infrastructure. Ultimately, making it a more attractive and desirable place to live, work and play.


4.          Makes your investment go further 

Land values and house prices located next to high quality SuDS components, incorporating well maintained open space such as ponds, swales and basins, typically attract as much as a 10 percent premium on the selling price.

5.          Could reduce maintenance costs

Integrating SuDS into the site not only ensures the best use of space but could potentially reduce the costs of maintenance. For example, costs to sustain the SuDS scheme in Lamb Drive in Cambridge were £38/per property per year – four percent cheaper than the average equivalent for a traditionally drained system.


The role of water management for SuDS


There are four pillars to SuDS – water quality, water quantity, amenity and biodiversity. 

Water quality is about controlling the quantity of run-off to support the management of flood risk and maintain and protect the natural water cycle. Water quality is about managing the quality of the run-off to prevent pollution. Amenity refers to creating and sustaining better places for people, and biodiversity is about creating and sustaining better places for wildlife. 

With regulations brokering no option but to consider SuDS, what’s left is how to manage the water when planning or specifying them. Early consideration will help deliver a cost-effective scheme with the best results. Otterbine’s aerators can help with numerous aspects in relation to proper water management, such as: 


·          Water quality 

·          Biodiversity and ecology

·          Groundwater recharge, improved water availability 

·          Rainwater harvesting

·          Health and wellbeing – physical, emotional, and mental health benefits from recreation and aesthetics

·          Attractiveness and desirability of an area 



An Otterbine aerating fountain in a body of water in a housing estate.


Choosing the right system


Cleaning the water is a vital part of SuDS management and that is easily done by installing an Otterbine aerating system. Protecting the environment from surface water run-off contaminated with hydrocarbons and particulates is a critical process in integrated surface water management. Stormwater surges dislodge and carry high concentrations of pollutants from exposed areas. 

Choosing the right system is critical and depends on the amount of aquatic vegetation, the visual effect desired and the available power. When determining aeration vs. aesthetic needs, know that aeration systems should provide a minimum of 2.2lbs. or 1 kg of oxygen per horsepower hour, and produce pumping rates of 400GPM or 86m3/hr per horsepower. 


Recommended sizing is 2HP per surface acre when using these products for water quality management. Otterbine products operate 20 percent more efficiently when compared to competitive brands and are constructed of the highest quality materials that are built to last and ensure years of hassle-free operation.

To learn more about how Reesink Hydro-Scapes and Otterbine can support SuDS, call 01480 226800 or visit reesinkturfcare.co.uk

An Otterbine giant fountain spraying water high in the air above a lake full of swans.