Other guidance

The SuDS Manual (CIRIA publication C753) will guide you through the design process and can be used by those checking designs and calculations to ensure that sustainable drainage principles have been applied. CIRIA's related guidance can be found here.


This website does not provide specific design guidance or tools, however useful information can be obtained from a variety of guidance documents, tools, initiatives and training. A list of national and international information sources is provided below, please let susdrain know if there are other examples.



General overview of SuDS

SuDS sector guidance
Mayor of London, 2021
Sector-specific SuDS guidance has been developed for schools, social housing, parks & green spaces, hospitals, retail and commercial buildings.  These documents explain SuDS, their contribution to climate change adaptation and other benefits.

Sewerage Sector Guidance - approved documents
Water UK, 2020
This provides an opportunity to download all the approved documents assicuated with the sewerage sector guidance and the Design and Construction Guidance the enables WaSCs to adopt some SuDS components that can be classified as sewers.

Simple SuDS for local people - A Guide to sustainable drainage in developments
The guide provides information to help local people:
• Work with developers and the local planning authority as SuDS are built,
• Monitor the ongoing maintenance of SuDS and trouble-shoot potential problems.

Sewerage sector guidance - a changed approach to surface water sewers

Water UK, 2018
The brochure outlines a new approach that allows English WaSCs to adop a wider range of sewer types, including those with more sustainable elements.

SuDS route maps
ICE & ACO, 2018
These route maps provide a process for the delivery of SuDS and signposting of relevant resources.

Water resilient cities - multiple benefits of a strategic retrofit of SuDS in schools across Greater Manchester

BITC, 2017
A report on the multiple benefits of retrofitting SuDS in schools and their associated payback.

How do we increase public understanding of the benefits provided by SuDS?

CREW, 2016
Report of a public outreach initiave to raise awareness about the water cycle, SuDS and related benefits.

Sustainable drainage systems: non-statutory technical standards
Defra, 2015
Non-statutory technical standards for the design, maintenance and operation of sustainable drainage systems to drain surface water.

SUDS Guidance

NHBC, 2011 

This guide introduces the concept of SUDS and the policy context.


A guide to SuDS in the urban landscape

Hydro International, 2011 

This e-guide promotes the use of SuDS in the urban landscape.


Play with rainwater & SuDS 

London Play, 2010 

This guide highlights the many ways of incorporating SuDS schemes in play areas.


SUDS - Do’s and don’ts guide 

SEPA, 2006 

This leaflet provides a quick checklist of DOs and DON’Ts to consider when planning and designing SuDS (in Scotland).


Interim code of practice for SUDS

NSWG, 2004 

This guide facilitates the implementation of sustainable drainage in developments in England and Wales by providing model maintenance agreements and advice on their use.  There are associated model agreements.


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Detailed SuDS design and components

Designing Rain Gardens: A Practical Guide
Urban Design London, 2018
This document provides a practical guide to designing and installing rain gardens in an urban environment.

Guide to Designing Geocellular Drainage Systems to CIRIA Report C737

British Plastics Federation Pipes Group, 2018
It provides practical guidance for designers and specifiers using a step by step theoretical example to explain how to follow through the C737 approach

Code of Practice - Assesment of manufactured treatment devices designed to treat surface water runoff
British Water, 2017
The CoP defines an assessment method which allows the manufacturers of surface water treatment devices to measure the pollutant capture and retention capability of their device and to declare those capabilities as they offer their product for sale on the UK market.

Guide to sustainable drainage products and services

British Water, 2017 

This guidance publication briefly reviews sustainable drainage and outlines many of the issues which impact on surface water drainage. 


SuDS study summary - Interception of 5 mm of rainfall

HR Wallingford and ACO, 2013 

Summary of a study on approaches to deliver interception of 5 mm of rainfall and the development of practical methods to assess achievement of interception.


SuDS: maximising the potential for people and wildlife

RSPB & WWT, 2013

A guide for developers and local authorities on delivering sustainable drainage systems that benefit local wildlife.


Rainfall runoff management for developments 

Environment Agency, 2013

This guide provides advice on sizing of storage elements for the control and treatment of stormwater runoff.


Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems 

Environment Agency, 2012 

This guidance provides an overview of the suitability and practicalities of using SuDS components to manage rural surface water runoff.


Use of SUDS in high density developments - guidance manual 

HR Wallingford, 2005 

This guide has been developed to assist achieving drainage best practice on all new developments, with specific support on SuDS for high density sites.


Irish SuDS: Guidance on applying the GDSDS surface water drainage criteria 

GDSDS, 2005 

This guidance has been drawn up to assist with the application of surface water drainage criteria in line with the GDSDS New Developments policy document.


SuDS increased liability for the water industry – Phase 2 

UKWIR, 2006 

This report investigates the liability risks associated with ownership of SuDS.


SUDS advice note - brownfield sites 

SEPA, 2003 

This guidance note aims to provide extra information with regard to the implementation of SUDS in brownfield sites.


Whole life costing for sustainable drainage 

HR Wallingford, 2004 

This guide provides advice on the assessment of whole life costs for SuDS.


Performance and whole life costs of best management practices and sustainable urban drainage systems 

UKWIR, 2005 

This report provides guidance on the selection, whole-life costing and design & maintenance of BMPs and SUDS.


Maximising the ecological benefits of Sustainable Drainage Schemes 

HR Wallingford, 2003 

This report reviews and provides guidance on the ecological benefits of SuDS compared to traditional systems. It also suggests designs and maintenance that maximises ecological performance.


The operation and maintenance of sustainable drainage infrastructure 

HR Wallingford, 2004 

This report describes a management strategy for the day to day care of SuDS, and applies current landscape maintenance practice managing surface drainage infrastructure.


Ponds, pools, lochans 

SEPA et al, 2000 

This guide provides best practice guidance on the management of ponds, pools and lochans in Scotland.


Guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens 

DCLG, 2008 

This document explains the different approaches to constructing a driveway or other paved area that manages surface water runoff.


Guidance on green roofs/living roofs


This website provides information on green roofs, the types and benefits as well as access to guidance on domestic green roofs.


Planning with Paving 

Interpave, 2012 

This document explores the latest approaches to planning, urban design and 'place shaping', in the context of the 2012 National Planning Policy Framework.


Understanding permeable paving: Guidance for designers, developers, planners and local authorities. Edition 4  

Interpave, 2012 

This guide discusses the continuing need for sustainable drainage and emphasises the role of permeable paving


Permeable paving for adoption   

Interpave, 2008 

This guidance highlights the advantages of using permeable paving.


Rain garden guide 

Raingardens.info, 2012 

This guide provides on the benefits, design, construction and maintenance of rain gardens.


Green roof toolkit 

Environment Agency, 2009 


Reclaimed water systems. Information about installing, modifying or maintaining reclaimed water systems 

WRAS, 1999 

This guide sets out to encourage the development of good practice through practical experience with reclaimed water systems.


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Free SuDS web design and costing tools

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea SuDS for small developments tool

RBKC, 2013

This website provides an opportunity to assess the impact of development on surface water runoff and explore potential SuDS options. The website will ask for some site details, it's not necessary to enter any information. 

UK SuDS guidance and tools 

HR Wallingford, 2012 

A website that provides tools for the management surface water from developments.


Irish SuDS guidance and tools 

GDSDS, 2012 

A website to facilitate the implementation of the GDSDS policies and the use of SuDS.

SCOTS Whole Life Cost and Whole Life Costing tool

SCOTS, 2012
Complementing the SuDS for Roads guidance this toolkist can be used as part of the process of designing and selecting SuDS components by providing evidence to support their use in different developments.  



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SuDS guidance produced by local authorities and sewerage undertakers


Non-statutory SuDS Standards Practice Guidance

LASOO, September 2015

A steering group developed guidance specifically on meeting the (English) non-statutory SuDS standards produced by government in April 2015.

Sustainable Drainage: Guide to Design, Adoption and Maintenance
Birmingham City Council/Arup, April 2015
Guidance on on the design, construction, operation and future maintenance of SuDS components within the Birmingham City jurisdiction.

Bristol SuDS guidance
Bristol City Council/Arup, March 2015
Bristol City Council and its partners have put together a range of guidance documents for developers and case studies to support SuDS delivery.

North Yorkshire County Council SuDS Design Guidance
North Yorkshire County Council, March 2015
The guidance note provides direction to relevant design guidance for the implementation of SuDS and is the basis on which planning consultations will be assessed.

Leicester City Council Sustainable Drainage Guide
Leciester City Council, February 2015
The guidance has been produced for developers, consultants and anyone developing land. It provides illustrations of SuDS components and discusses local requirements.

Peterborough SuDS resources
Peterborough City Council has put together a website with local SuDS resources.

Central Bedfordshire Sustainable Drainage Guidance

Central Bedfordshire/AECOM, April 2014

This Supplementary Planning Documents provides an overview of SuDS with reference to local and national requirements.


A guide for master planning sustainable drainage into developments
South East 7/AECOM, September 2013
Developed in partnership with Lead Local Flood Authorities of the South East of England this guide outlines the process for integrating sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) into the master planning of large and small developments.

Interim SuDS policy and Drainage design guide

Cornwall Council, 2012 & February 2013

This is an interim policy covering the scope and context for the Adoption of SuDS providing further clarity on the Council’s position on SuDS pending Schedule 3 of the FWMA 2010. There is also additional Council guidance on their preferred approach to drainage.


Interim SuDS Policy Statement

Hertfordshire County Council, 2012

This document sets out how the Council’s SAB will evaluate drainage schemes in accordance with the National Standards and the Flood and Water Management Act.


Peterborough Flood and Water Management – Supplementary Planning Document

Peterborough City Council 2012

This supplementary planning document (SPD) focuses on managing flood risk and the water environment in and around new developments.


Essex County Council: SuDS - Design and adoption guide

Essex County Council, 2012

This guide is for the planning, design, construction and adoption of SuDS


SuDS adoption manual  

Anglian Water, 2011 

This guide is for the design, construction and adoption of SuDS.  


SuDS guidance  

Anglian Water, 2011 

This guide is intended to help those involved in planning and implementing new development to provide background around SuDS.


Surface Water Management: Interim guidance for developers 

Shropshire Council, 2011 

This document outlines the requirements for the management of surface water for all planning applications made to Shropshire Council.


Islington – SuDS guide  

Islington Council, 2010 

This guide provides information and ideas for decision makers & designers to support the application of SUDS.


Ashford Borough Council - Sustainable drainage supplementary planning document 

Ashford Borough Council, 2010 

This supplementary planning document provides guidance on the measures and opportunities for sustainable drainage.


Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council – Sustainable Drainage Systems 

Tonbridge & Malling BC, 2010 

This leaflet sets out advice for households and businesses on the SuDS.


Lancashire County Council – Creating civilised streets 

Lancashire County Council, 2010 

This guide focuses on the design of new residential streets and changes to existing street environments.


Wychavon District Council -  Water management Supplementary Planning Document 

Wychavon District Council, 2009 

This supplementary planning document is to set out the Council’s commitment to minimising flood risk, managing surface water and achieving SuDS.


Cambridge City – SuDS design and adoption guide  

Cambridge City Council, 2009 

This guide is primarily aimed toward developers and their consultants seeking adoption of SUDS under the remit of Cambridge City Council.


Southampton City Council - Guide to Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) 

Southampton City, Council, 2009 

This guidance document assists developers in the delivering SuDS.


Greater London Authority - Living roofs and walls

Greater London Authority

This technical report supports the London Plan olicy and provides technical detail on green roofs and walls.


Nottingham City Council -Sustainable Drainage Systems and green roofs 

Nottingham City Council, 2008 

Proposes the adoption of planning guidance to encourage the provision of SuDS.


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Surface water management


BS 8582:2013 - Code of practice for surface water management for development sites

BSI, November 2013

BS 8582 gives recommendations on the planning, design, construction and maintenance of surface water management systems for new developments and redevelopment sites.


Surface water management planning guidance

Scottish Government, 2013

Guidance to assist responsible authorities in the preparation of Surface Water Management Plans to help manage surface water flooding as required  under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009.


Surface water management plan technical guidance 

Defra, 2010 

The guidance provides a framework for partnership working, joint understanding and management of surface water flooding.


Integrated urban drainage pilot summary report 

Defra, 2008 

This report provides a summary of the 15 integrated urban drainage pilots run through the Making Space for Water project.


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General water management


Planning advice for integrated water management 

University of Cambridge, 2014 

This advice note provides a one-stop-shop to de-mystify water management and demonstrate the benefits of building it into plans and planning decisions.

Living with rainwater

London Wildlife Trust, 2014 

This guide shows how residents of towns and cities can reduce local flood risk, whilst also creating natural spaces that can benefit people and wildlife.

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Green infrastructure

Sustainable drainage can make an important contribution to green infrastructure and within the UK many local authorities have or are developing green infrastructure strategies. The role of green infrastructure was stressed in the UK governments Natural Environment White Paper. Some other initiatives and resources can be found here.

The GRO Green Roof Code
Green Roof Organisation, 2014
This code will help anyone who is designing, specifying, installing or maintaining a green roof.

Trees in hard landscapes: A guide for delivery
TDAG, 2014
This guidance is the companion document to Trees in the townscape: A guide for decision makers, 2012

Natural England green infrastructure guidance 

Natural England, 2011 

This guidance articulates Natural England’s position in relation to green infrastructure planning and delivery.


Valuing ecosystem services 

Defra, 2007 

This guide provides an introduction to the valuation of ecosystem services.


Green infrastructure South West 

Green Infrastructure South West, 2012 

A website providing resources on green infrastructure delivery in the South West


The green infrastructure valuation toolkit user guide 

Green Infrastructure North West, 2011 

This toolkit user guide provides a very helpful introduction to the evidence demonstrating the benefits of green infrastructure interventions.


Green infrastructure North West 

Green Infrastructure North West, 2012 

A website providing resources on green infrastructure delivery in the North West.


GRaBS project

University of Manchester 2012

Development of a toolkit and user guidance to support the delivery of climate change adaptation through blue and green infrastructure.


Red Rose Forest 

Red Rose Forest, 2012 

A Community Forest for central and western Manchester working to develop well-wooded and multifunctional landscapes.


The Mersey Forest 

The Mersey Forest, 2012 

A growing network of woodlands and green spaces across Cheshire and Merseyside


Grey to green 

CABE, 2011 

Archived website on CABEs campaign to embrace more green infrastructure.


Trees in the townscape - A guide for decision makers

TDAG, 2012 

This guide provides best practice principles on delivering trees in urban areas.


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Overseas green infrastructure

US EPA - Planning and modelling green infrastructure for combined sewer overflow (CSO) control

US EPA, 2014

This technical resource is intended to assist communitites in developing and evaluating Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) control alternatives that include green infrastructure.

US EPA green infrastructure 

US EPA, 2012 

A website that provides an overview of using green infrastructure for surface water management including research and case studies.


New York City green infrastructure plan 

NYC, 2012 

This plan provides details about NYC’s ambitious plans to use green infrastructure to improve water quality.


NYC Green Infrastructure Plan: 2011 Preliminary Pilot Monitoring Results

NYC 2012

Further to the plan above, this report provides summarises the initial monitoring results and preliminary observations made in 2011 for a number of individual source controls.


Philadelphia – Green City, Clean Water 

Philadelphia City, 2012 

Provides an overview of Philadelphia’s 25 year plan to protect and enhance catchments with green infrastructure.


Rooftops to rivers

NRDC, 2011 

This report explores how American cities are incorporating green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff. The report provides 14 case studies.


After the storm

NRDC, 2011

This report explores the role of using green infrastructure to manage surface water runoff from highways and roads reducing costs and delivering benefits.

The value of green infrastructure 

CNT, 2010 

This American guide provides key considerations involved in assessing the economic merits of green infrastructure practices.


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Water which runs off roads can potentially have an impact on the quality of receiving surface waters and groundwater and/or influence the occurrence of local flooding. Local authority highway guidance.


SuDS for roads  

SSWP, 2010 

This document provides guidance on the design of roads incorporating SUDS.


Highways Agency - design manual for roads and bridges: Volume 4  

Highways Agency, 1996 

The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) is a series of 15 volumes that provide official standards, advice notes and other documents relating to the design, assessment and operation of trunk roads in the UK.


Manual for streets 

DfT, 2007 

The manual provides guidance on intelligent street design, giving priority to pedestrians and those using public transport. Designing streets Scottish Gov’t, 2010 Provides guidance on improve street design as part of overall place making.


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Overseas highways


Portland green streets programme Portland

BES, 2012 

A website providing resources on Portland’s green street programme.


Seattle streetscape design guidance 

Seattle.gov, 2012 

A website providing guidance on green stormwater infrastructure as part of right of way improvements.


Right-of-Way Improvements Manual 

Seattle Seattle.gov, 2011 

The Right-of-Way Improvements Manual is an on-line resource developed by the City of Seattle helping those involved with the design, permitting, and construction of improvements to Seattle’s street right-of-way.


New York City Department of Transportation - Street design manual

NYC, 2009 

The Street Design Manual provides policies and design guidelines for the improvement of streets and sidewalks throughout New York City.


Managing wet weather with green infrastructure municipal handbook 

CED Engineering, 2008 

This American handbook introduces the concept of Green Streets and how they can achieve multiple benefits.


Streetscape scale applications of Water Sensitive Urban Design - Recent examples from Australian cities 

AILA, 2008 

This Australian overview identifies the scope of emerging practices applying Water Sensitive Urban Design measures at the streetscape level.


The Chicago Green Alley handbook 


This handbook illustrates the BMP techniques the City will use in green alley designs, and provides sample layouts


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International initiatives

A number of different countries have embraced sustainable drainage, either on its own or as part of a broader approach to managing the water cycle. In America SuDS is often referred to as Best Management Practices (BMPs), or Low Impact Developments (LIDs). In Australia a sustainable drainage approach is often incorporated in Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), and in New Zealand they are beginning to use Low Impact Urban Development)


Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) 

WERF, 2012 

The website for America’s leading independent  research organisation dedicated to stormwater issues.


US EPA Stormwater programme 

US EPA, 2012 

A website containing technical and regulatory information about the EPA’s stormwater water programme.


Centre for Watershed Protection 

CWP, 2012 

A website providing information about integrated watershed management.


Low Impact Development Center 

LID Center, 2012 

A website providing information on protecting the environment and water resources through better development design and replicating nature.


Portland Bureau of Environmental Services 

Portland BES, 2012  

A website providing information on their approach to stormwater management in Portland


Centre for Water Sensitive Cities

CWSC, 2012

An Australian website and initiative exploring many approaches and research themes related to delivering better water management and Water Sensitive Urban Design


Water for Liveability 

CWSC, 2012 

An Australian website for the Centre for Water Sensitive Cities which is championing better water management and Water Sensitive Urban Design.




A website that provides support to Australian council to improve urban water management.




An Australian capacity building programme to support ecological sustainable water management.



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