SUDS Monitoring Programme

August 2001

Executive Summary

A three year research programme monitoring the performance of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) has been undertaken by a number of Scottish Universities in collaboration with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The principal funders of the programme were SNIFFER, SEPA, the Scottish Water Authorities, The Carnegie Trust and the Environment Agency (EA). The monitoring programme reports formally to SUDSWP (Sustainable Urban Drainage Scotland Working Party) via the programme managers, Mr Brian D'Arcy and Dr Chris Jefferies.

SUDS systems in Scotland developed in an ad hoc manner following the introduction of a SUDS policy by SEPA. A full range of systems are to be found in Scotland including ponds and wetlands, detention basins, roadside swales and pervious pavements. This report presents the results of eighteen separate studies of these systems and draws as many general conclusions as are appropriate at this time. The studies have included hydraulic and water quality investigations, amenity issues and public perception.

It has been found that the CIRIA design manual for Scotland & Northern Ireland has contributed to the formalisation and encouragement of SUDS systems, but it provides very little detailed guidance and hardly any which is based on UK practice. The prime objective of the research programme is to provide data and analysis to rectify this gap in knowledge. It will also progress the dissemination of good drainage practice using SUDS systems.

A range of outputs has been delivered by the programme in addition to this report. Outputs include two seminar proceedings, a number of training courses, contributions to a training video and a support CD. In future it is anticipated that the programme will deliver a comprehensive report, analysing SUDS systems for use in a future revision of the CIRIA SUDS manual, together with an outline of the revised manual.

Copies of this report are available from the Foundation, price 35.00, less 20% to FWR members