SuDS banner
CIRIA logo




Follow sudsulike on Twitter



SuDS-related links

Keeping ahead
with SuDS

Attend SuDS training to keep ahead of the competition and to deliver innovative solutions in line with recognised good practice.

click here


home > using suds > design guidance

Design guidance

SuDS have been successfully designed and incorporated into an increasing number of developments from residential schemes  and schools to motorway service areas and commercial properties. There are a range of design manuals to help ensure that designs are fit for purpose and that the SuDS Management Train principles are applied, ie source control, site control and finally regional control. The SuDS Manual (CIRIA publication C697) will guide you through the design process and can be referred to by those checking designs and calculations to ensure that sustainable drainage principles have been applied.

This website does not give specific design guidance, however useful information can be obtained from a variety of initiatives guidance documents, tools and training.  A list of national and international information sources is provided below, please let CIRIA know if there are other examples.


General overview of SuDS


Detailed SuDS design


SuDS web design tools

SuDS guidance produced by local authorities

SuDS guidance produced by sewerage undertakers


Surface water management

Following Making Space for Water a number of Integrated Urban Drainage Pilots were commissioned which lead to the development of guidance on surface water management planning. Key resources include:


Green infrastructure

Sustainable drainage can make an important contribution to green infrastructure and within the UK many local authorities have or are developing green infrastructure strategies. The role of green infrastructure was stressed in the UK governments Natural Environment White Paper . Some other initiatives and resources can be found here.





Water which runs off roads can potentially have an impact on the quality of receiving surface waters and groundwater and/or influence the occurrence of local flooding. Local authority highway guidance.


LA highway guidance making reference to SuDS



International initiatives

A number of different countries have embraced sustainable drainage, either on its own or as part of a broader approach to managing the water cycle. In America SuDS is often referred to as Best Management Practices (BMPs), or Low Impact Developments (LIDs). In Australia a sustainable drainage approach is often incorporated in Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), and in New Zealand they are beginning to use Low Impact Urban Development)


U.S. Stormwater management


Australia Water Sensitive Urban Design


Other countries

South African Water Research Commission