Component: Rain gardens



Rain gardens are relatively small depressions in the ground that can act as infiltration points for roof water and other ‘clean’ surface water – i.e. water that is low in contamination levels.


Rain gardens are most likely to be implemented on private property close to buildings. In order for roof water to reach a rain garden, property downpipes are often disconnected from the drainage system and redirected.


Rain gardens should be planted up with native vegetation that is happy with occasional inundations.


Advantages & disadvantages



  • Easy to retrofit

  • Small, so minimal land take

  • Attractive features that can help to improve open space                 

  • Can be planned as landscaping features

  • Can reduce rate of run off and some volume reduction

  • Flexible layout to fit into landscape

  • Can be installed in impervious areas if designed correctly

  • Easy to maintain

  • As they are often small, their impact on volume reduction can be limited

  • Requires landscaping and management

  • Susceptible to clogging if surrounding landscape is not managed

  • Not suitable for areas with steep slopes










Where component can be used SuDS rain garden

Residential:  Yes

Commercial/industrial:  Yes

High density:  Yes

Retrofit:  Yes

Contaminated sites:  No

Sites above vulnerable groundwater: No



Peak flow reduction:  Good

Volume reduction:  Medium

Water quality treatment: Medium

Amenity potential:  Good

Ecology potential:  Good



  • Litter/trash removal

  • Inlet/outlet cleaning

  • Vegetation management



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