Adoption is related to someone or an organisation taking responsibility for management and maintenance of the SuDS components. Adoption should not be seen as a barrier to SuDS delivery, and should instead be seen as an opportunity to ensure that SuDS continue to deliver their benefits. To ensure this happens, adoption should be discussed early in the development process.


There are examples where local authorities, water companies, private companies and other organisations have adopted SuDS. Potential mechanisms to achieve this include the use of legal/model agreements together with commuted sums (this could be used in lieu of the implementation of Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act. Approaches have included:


  • Using a model agreementand commuted sum, Section 106 agreements from the Town and Country Planning Act, 1990

  • Using a model agreementand commuted sum, Section 38 from the Highways Act 1980

  • Using private management companies that are funded through a commuted sum or service charge and pay an assurance bond.

Adoption of specific components

In order for adoption to take place, it is likely that certain drainage requirements will need to be met. The drainage performance of many SuDS components are outlined in the SuDS Manual, although note that the specific drainage requirements for each site will be different depending on site characteristics.


Adoption and source control components
Source control SuDS components within private property is the responsibility of the landowner or property manager. There should be information on how these components function and to reduce the risk of unintentional damage (through alterations to the property or DIY).


Adoption of site and regional control SuDS components
The adoption of SuDS components within the public realm, which is likely to include site and regional control SuDS components, may be adopted by a number of different stakeholders. In England and Wales, the SAB may end up adopting features in open public space, and other alternatives include water companies, private companies and other interested organisations.


To aid the adoption of SuDS, some local authorities like Cambridge City and the London Borough of Islington have already begun to provide guidance to developers on the delivery of SuDS to meet their specific local requirements and aspirations.


Verification of construction

Before adoption can be completed, construction of the SuDS scheme should be verified by an appropriately qualified individual. The verification process is likely to take the form of developer supplied documentation and inspections during constructions.


This verification process should ensure that the adopted SuDS are built in accordance with the previously agreed design and specifications.


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