SuDS performance & monitoring

The SuDS philosophy is to mimic natural drainage that occurs prior to development and manage the water as close to its source as possible, providing opportunities to manage flood risk, water quality and improve amenity and enhance biodiversity. The multiple benefits provided by SuDS are dependent on having the right design team engaged at the right time to work with the opportunities and constraints of a site.


The case studies provide a number of examples where benefits have been realised. The Lamb Drove case study, has been monitored and evaluated and still provides the best evidence of a complete scheme providing performance information on water quality and flood risk management as well as assessments on amenity and ecology.

Research into the benefits of SuDS components and schemes has been undertaken for a number of years in America and Europe. While there may be some differences in geography, urban design etc some parallels can be applied to the UK situation. Within the UK independent and objective research into the performance of SuDS components (both hard engineered and soft landscaped) components is relatively patchy. While there is information on the broader benefits of SuDS, there is still a need for specific information and details on the performance of components, particularly with regards to water quality.


The references below provide a good summary of performance for components:


    1. Lampe L, Barrett M, Woods Ballard B, Kellagher R, Martin P, Jefferies C, Hollon M (2005).   Post Project Monitoring of BMPs/SuDS to Determine Performance and Whole Life Costs: Phase 2.  UKWIR/WERF, AwaaRF. 

    2. SNIFFER (2008). Source Control of Pollution in Sustainable Drainage (UEUW01). 

    3. Kellagher R, Woods Ballard B, Bamford S (2006). SuDS – Increased Liability for the Water Industry – Phase 2 UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), London


In 2009 CIRIA also worked with HR Wallingford, MWH, Pennine Water Group and WRc to collate information on the performance of SuDS components. Further information can be found by clicking here. There is also further information and evidence on SuDS performance here.


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