Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are drainage solutions that provide an alternative to the direct channelling of surface water through networks of pipes and sewers to nearby watercourses. They work by slowing and holding back the water that runs off from a site, allowing natural processes to break down pollutants.

Therefore water pollution is prevented, while flood risks are reduced on site and in sewers during heavy rain.

EcoGrid - Scottish SuDS Blog


EcoGrid, our world renowned plastic porous paving system, is ideal for SuDS applications. After all, minimising the quantity of surface water run-off and improving quality of water is the purpose of such applications and EcoGrid plays a large role in achieving just that.

A few examples: our free draining Gravel filled parking system, Grass filled parking system, and Bloxx system.

Both the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and the Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH) address the benefits of porous paving for SuDS and award credits accordingly.

SuDS already form part of the government planning policy across the UK. However, Scottish legislation in particular has kept ahead of its English, Welsh and Northern Irish counterparts for close to a decade.

A new blog from Engineering Nature’s Way names Scotland as the only area of the UK where implementing water quality measures for surface water pollution control is compulsory for new developments, reflecting the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive. It outlines how new guidance this year by the SuDS Working Party in Scotland means that the country is once again setting high standards.

“Scotland has led the way in the design and implementation of SuDS. With the publication of new guidance by the SuDS Working Party in Scotland, the Scots are once again setting high standards for best practice in water and drainage infrastructure development.

The Water Assessment and Drainage Assessment Guide is a clear and helpful document for consulting engineers, developers, planning officers and other professionals that takes the reader through the steps for successful design, obtaining regulatory permissions, building and maintenance of drainage systems.

Because SuDS implementation has been encouraged through legislation, Scotland has valuable experience to contribute to knowledge and best practice for the whole of the UK – if not further abroad.”

A recent survey highlighted issues around adoption and maintenance of SuDS schemes, leaving them ‘orphaned’ or having to be privately funded by homeowners and businesses.

As maintenance arrangements are fundamental to the success of SuDS implementation and best practice, the new Scottish guidance sees planning applications now requiring to include consideration of long-term maintenance and operation drainage schemes. It also makes clear the community understanding of the nature and purpose of SuDS to ensure they are well cared for.

EcoGrid - Scottish SuDS Blog

– the SuDS compliant, natural and environmentally neutral method of reducing surface water run-off, minimising the need for more expensive infiltration and attenuation schemes.

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