Changes ahead: UK Governments eyes managing rainwater locally in new SUDs rules
After a comprehensive review, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs have published a new report detailing their plans for the future of sustainable drainage systems, by implementing Schedule 3 of the Flood Act. Recommendations set out in the report will make sustainable drainage systems mandatory in new developments in England, bringing us up to date with Wales, where Schedule 3 is already in force.
The report which can be found here, aims to reduce new connections to existing drainage networks by driving construction contractors and developers to manage rainwater locally in all newly constructed buildings. New developments without effective sustainable drainage systems can increase localised flood risk.
Not only is the new approach designed to alleviate flood risks, but it will also reduce pressure on ageing drainage systems and reduce pollution. In the changes, a range of new features have been proposed including, increased natural grass areas, soakaways, and water reuse.
With 56.3 million people living in urban areas in the UK, water reuse is also considered in the report as a way of reducing pressures on our precious water supplies. Systems such as greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting will need to be considered if we are to manage our supplies more effectively. The report proposes that rainwater reuse should be a first consideration in managing stormwater along with natural infiltration and only where this cannot be implemented should water be channelled to the nearest water course.
Rainwater Harvesting Systems are proven to reduce pressure on existing drainage networks by capturing, storing and reusing rainwater run off from roof areas. Find out more here.
Changes are expected to take hold in 2024 under Schedule 3 of the Flood Water Management Act 2010. Keep up to date with Stormsaver channels for updates.