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Recommended non-statutory standards for sustainable drainage (SuDS) in Wales

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These standards were developed over a two year period, during which we engaged extensively with stakeholders, and undertook a public consultation.

The SuDS approach to surface water drainage contributes to the realisation of the well-being goals within the framework of the Future Generations (Wales) Act, particularly:

  • a prosperous Wales,
  • a resilient Wales,
  • a healthier Wales,
  • a Wales of cohesive communities,
  • a globally responsible Wales.

It does this by reducing the volume and flow of water contaminated with sewage that is pumped for treatment, thereby using less energy for pumping and treatment, freeing up capacity in the sewerage network to allow for new developments without the need for installing expensive new infrastructure, and reducing  the risk of overflows and flooding.

This cuts the carbon footprint of sewerage undertakers, and reduces the costs of energy, and investment and maintenance in expensive traditional engineering solutions, savings which can be passed on to water bill payers. The more natural SuDS systems such as wetlands, swales and vegetation can provide biodiversity, a more pleasant environment for local people, and encourage them to make use of the green spaces for recreational and sporting purposes.

Our next steps will be to work with stakeholders to determine how best  take forward the SuDS agenda, as set out in our Water Strategy for Wales. This will include looking considering whether to commence the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (Schedule 3) which requires new developments to include SuDS features that comply with national standards, and provides for their adoption and maintenance, and how to ensure that all SuDS infrastructure is adopted and maintained.    

In the meantime these recommended standards will enable designers, property developers, local authorities and other interested parties to both demonstrate that they have taken account of the Welsh Government’s planning advice on Development and Flood Risk and to pilot the standards.

Consultation:  Implementation of sustainable drainage systems on new developments

We want your views on our proposed approach to sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) on new developments.

Sustainable Drainage Systems on new developments - Analysis of evidence including costs and benefits of SuDS construction and adoption

In order to inform our policy on sustainable drainage (SuDS) for new developments, we commissioned Environmental Policy Consulting to carry out a review and analysis of costs and benefits of using the SuDS approach in new developments. We have published both an Executive summary and the full report, which will be taken into account as we develop our policy.