Let’s make a start…
The introduction of SUDS technology in the UK has often been delayed by uncertainties about which public body will adopt public SUDS features; if the roads authority won’t do SUDS, should the water utility make progress on its own? Can they adopt the sewer network upstream of an unadopted SUDS feature? If a SUDS feature is built in open green space, does the developer have to then allocate additional green space to compensate, on the basis that the “SUDS is drainage”…..? Whilst all this could and should be simple, in many instances the uncertainty over such questions prevents essential sustainable water management being delivered.
But public adoption of SUDS features is not even a consideration for all those private developments whose stormwater drainage is managed on site; everything from schools and hospitals to private houses and individual industrial/commercial units. For all those organisations and companies, progress can be made immediately on their existing sites. Several notable private companies have made a point of using SUDS on their premises – with car parks surfaced in permeable pavement being a notable feature of many Tesco and Dobbies car parks for example, and Ford car show-rooms too.
But permeable pavements are only one type of SUDS option - other water management techniques may be more appropriate in other circumstances, and can offer a wide range of other benefits, which may fit better with the needs or ethos of the land-owner/developer. Anyone involved in designing or building new developments, whether brown or green field, new build or retrofit, has a wide choice of SUDS features that can address stormwater management issues. Whether it’s rain gardens, green roofs or draining driveways across sloping lawns (grass filter strips), using tree planters, or grass swales, there are plenty of choices and opportunities to complement the paved options!
Remember too, that retrofitting SuDS is almost more important than new build, as the current flooding problems in our towns and cities will only continue to get worse unless we start retrofitting, which indeed a number of local authorities are already doing. However, it’s important to remember that we can all play a part in retrofitting – wherever we live or work and regardless of what we do.
A very useful short video advocating such actions has been produced by Illman-Young – see link below – which shows how ‘nibbling’ can help solve the huge inherited backlog of extensive impervious area in our towns and cities. So, in the words of the video film, ‘Let’s get nibbling!’
Watch the SuDS video ‘Lets Get Nibbling’ by clicking here...
Thanks to Sue Illman of Illman Young and congratulations to the Illman-Young team for making an excellent contribution to changing mind sets and making a start to implement the technology now, however individually minor each opportunity may be at the moment. You can also find it on YouTube by searching for Lets get Nibbling.
BJD 29th June 2015