About susdrain

What is susdrain?

susdrain is a community that provides a range of resources for those involved in delivering sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). SuDS help to manage flood risk and water quality and also improve biodiversity and amenity as well as a host of other benefits to create great places to live, work and play.

With the need for SuDS greater than ever before, www.susdrain.org provides up-to-date guidance, information, case studies, videos, and  photos that help to underpin the planning, design, approval, construction and maintenance of SuDS. The community of support is for flood risk managers, drainage and highways engineers, planners, urban designers, landscape architects, land or housing developers, drainage consultant or suppliers, biodiversity/environment managers and members of the general public (pretty much everyone working in the private or public sector) to increase knowledge, confidence and the delivery of SuDS. 


Created by CIRIA, www.susdrain.org is the independent and authoritative platform for those involved in delivering sustainable drainage. To watch Paul discuss susdrain, click here. For further details contact Louise Walker.


Getting involved!

There are several ways you can get involved in susdrain. Most importantly as a user, to explore the site, network with other practitioners, comment on news items, case studies and blogs, download the numerous SuDS resources (including guidance) and attend our events. You can also get involved as a partner or supporter giving you the opportunity to direct the scope of the project, have a greater profile on the susdrain website. For more information about the project please see the proposal here.

If you have any comments or queries please contact Louise, louise.walker@ciria.org or anyone at CIRIA.


What is CIRIA?

CIRIA is the construction industry research and information association. Operating across market sectors and disciplines CIRIA deliver a programme of business improvement services and research activities for our members and those engaged with the delivery and operation of the built environment. CIRIA is an independent member based, not-for-profit association. For more information visit www.ciria.org


What are SuDS?

SuDS (or Sustainable Drainage Systems) are an approach to managing rainfall in development that replicates natural drainage. Where possible managing rainfall close to where it falls and on, or near the surface . In natural environments, rain falls on permeable surfaces and soaks into the ground; a process called infiltration. In urbanised areas where many surfaces are sealed by buildings and paving, natural infiltration is limited. Instead, drainage networks consisting of pipes and culverts, divert surface water to local watercourses. In some cases, this has resulted in downstream flooding and deterioration in river water quality caused by diffuse pollution or when combined sewers (which collect surface water runoff and foul waste) are overwhelmed by surface water leading to a release of polluted water into rivers.


How do we maintain independence?

A Project Steering Group (PSG) that includes the project partners and supporters work under a fixed Terms of Reference and is independently chaired by Graham Fairhurst. Wherever possible CIRIA and susdrain tries to remain independent and objective providing opportunities for review of information through the PSG, peer review process or commenting on either the blog or forum.

All fact sheets and briefings will undertake a peer review process by three or more of the peer review panel. Full case studies received after May 2014 are also be peer reviewed, and 'light' case studies are reviewed by CIRIA staff. The peer review panel comprises:

Richard Ashley - University of Sheffield

Bridget Woods-Ballard - HR Wallingford 

Simon Boots - CampbellReith (s)

Simon Bunn - Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium

Owen Davies - Royal Borough of Greenwich

Phil Gelder - Richard Allitt Associates (s)

Gary Grant - Independent consultant (ecologist)

Peter Holt - Arup (s)
Sue Illman - Illman & Young (s)

Peter Martin - Black & Veatch (s)

David Singleton - DSA Environment + Design Ltd

Steve Wilson - The Environmental Protection Group (s)

Roger Nowell - Sheffield City Council

Anthony McCloy - McCloy Consulting 

Chris Newton - Deeproot (s)
Kevin Barton - Robert Bray Associates
Chris Patmore - WSP
Zorica Todorovic - Atkins (s)

(s) project partner/supporter



The project team would like to express their thanks to the organisations that provided financial support to enable susdrain to be developed. For more information about the Partners and Supporters of the susdrain project visit the directory.


Photo acknowledgments

Wherever possible we have tried to identify the source of images where it's not from CIRIA staff or a CIRIA publication. However, a number of the banners images and other images have been provided by Simon Bunn.


Our Partners
Our Supporters