19 January 2009

Environment Agency - Home

Sustainable Drainage Systems - techniques

The SUDS approach to drainage incorporates a wide variety of techniques.

As a result, there is no one correct drainage solution for a site. In most cases, a combination of techniques, using the Management Train principle, will be required.

The elements of the Management Train are outlined in the following pages. For more detail, refer to our publication 'Sustainable Drainage Systems – an introduction'.

Follow the links below to read more about:


Prevention plays an essential part in the Management Train. This includes both the prevention of run-off and the prevention of pollution.

The prevention of run-off requires careful consideration of the need to pave a surface – a gravel surface for a car park may be an acceptable alternative – and the disposal of roofwater. For example, it may be possible to discharge roofwater onto a lawn, where it can soak into the ground.

The prevention of pollution includes a wide range of measures designed to tackle urban diffuse pollution. These include:

  • safe oil and chemical storage at industrial sites
  • safe disposal of waste oil and chemicals from domestic and industrial premises
  • minimal use of herbicides or the use of alternative techniques for weed control in public areas
  • proper disposal of wash water from cleaning activities to the foul sewer
  • steps to prevent the illegal connection of foul sewage flows to surface water sewers
  • a dog litter policy

We provide a range of Pollution Prevention Guidance (PPG) notes.