Please see below the Environment Agencies’ policy on Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS):

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems - our policy

Our adopted policy is that we ‘will promote SUDS as a technique to manage surface and groundwater regimes sustainably’.

We recognise the potential benefits of the SUDS approach to drainage in:

  • reducing flood risk
  • minimising diffuse pollution
  • maintaining or restoring natural flow regimes
  • improving water resources
  • enhancing amenity.
  • Primary and secondary objectives

Policy key objectives:

  • primary objective: to establish SUDS as normal drainage practice where appropriate for all new developments in England and Wales
  • secondary objective: retrofitting SUDS on those existing surface water drainage systems which have an adverse effect on the environment.

In recognition of the importance of promoting the SUDS approach across a wide spectrum of the Environment Agency’s responsibilities, this policy is sponsored by the Directors of Water Management, Environmental Protection and Operations, and Head of Environmental Quality.

A key action by the Environment Agency in support of this policy has been the establishment of a National SUDS Working Group,which brings together all the principal parties with an interest in SUDS, in order to resolve the obstacles to widespread implementation.

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The full text of the Policy and a supporting Implementation Plan is available as a PDF document.

SEPA has developed a policy for SUDS in Scotland.