22May 2017

Strategic retrofitting of SuDS in Manchester

Peter Holt, Arup


Since 2016, the Business in the Community Water Taskforce (funded by Defra and the Environment Agency) has been working on a Water Resilient Cities project testing the concept that implementing SuDS on school sites across Greater Manchester could generate multiple benefits and financial savings for schools, by reducing their hard-standing area and so their Surface Water Drainage Charge.


Business in the Community (BITC) brought together the technical expertise, skills and personnel from organisations including WWT, Arup, MWH Global, Marshalls, United Utilities, Costain and partners GMCA and CLASP. The project team has worked to test the concept, using model the potential benefits to Greater Manchester schools, and the multiple benefits of SuDS across a Greater Manchester wide programme.


Working with two schools in 2016 the project team carried out site audits and potential SuDS components were identified that could divert or slow the flow of water into the sewer system, or reduce the amount of chargeable hard standing area. The modelling found that a business case can be made for a city wide approach to school retrofit SuDS schemes.


The 2017 phase of the project has just been completed. A key part of this latest phase included a more detailed modelling of the multiple benefits of SuDS to schools and communities across Greater Manchester if SuDS were implemented in a range of scenarios. The modelling was carried out using the CIRIA BeST tool. As part of this a report has been produced, further info can also be found on BITC’s Smart Water Knowledge Hub.


The project has been interesting in many ways. In particular it has demonstrated both, a way that immediate financial benefits to schools or other businesses can be obtained using SuDS, and the magnitude of multiple benefits a city wide approach to SuDS can offer, in monetary terms alone.

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