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Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS): latest guidance

14 February 2018

Step-by-step route maps for implementing effective surface water management measures in an urban environment.

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS): latest guidance
Latest SuDS guidance: overview of the main stages for delivering SuDS

The ICE SuDS Task Group has produced a set of detailed, easy-to-follow visual route maps, sponsored by surface water drainage experts ACO Technologies.

All plans and designs for new housing or commercial developments should address the issue of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) from the earliest stages. This enables the best SuDS to be delivered to mitigate flooding risk, avoid overloading the drainage network and provide water quality, biodiversity and public amenity benefits.

However, regulations and custom and practice vary across the UK nations and between different local authorities, making the processes of SuDS delivery sometimes confusing.

The purpose of these new route maps is to provide an overview of the main stages of delivering SuDS, with numerous relevant hyperlinks at the appropriate point.

This will help both existing SuDS practitioners and built environment professionals new to SuDS to understand the main processes and available resources.

Although not a fixed legal requirement in England and Northern Ireland, SuDS are a legal obligation in Scotland and soon in Wales.

Water UK, the water industry body, is also developing more rigorous standards.

Who should read the new guidance

The ICE/ACO route maps cover key delivery stages: from pre-planning, design and construction, to adoption and maintenance.

There are also numerous links to further detailed information online.


  • Architects
  • Planners
  • Developers
  • Construction contractors
  • Water engineers
  • Chartered environmentalists

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) – latest guidance

Content type: Best practice

Last updated: 04/07/2022

Author: Anna Plodowski

  • Anna Plodowski, knowledge content producer at ICE