SuDS Drainage – What is it?

When researching different driveway surfacing materials, including Resin Bound gravel, you will probably stumble across the term SuDS drainage. But what does it mean and why is it so important?

What does SuDS mean?

SuDS stands for Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems. They are drainage systems that direct water away from conventional, non-permeable pipe and sewer drainage channels, in favour of more natural drainage courses where water is absorbed back into the ground.

Why is SuDS important?

Global warming is no secret. We are living in an age where more and more people are trying to “do their bit” for the environment – whether that’s cutting out plastic, planting wild flowers for bees, or looking at how they can reduce their impact on flash flooding caused by increased rainfall.

SuDS Flooding

Flash Flooding is an ever-increasing issue and, in 2007, it caused an estimated £3bn worth of damage. If improper drainage is in place, rainwater often carries pollutants from driveways and other surfaces into streams and rivers, affecting wildlife and natural eco-systems.

That’s not the only problem – without SuDS, excess water diverts through conventional drainage channels leading to sewage treatment works. This can pose a serious health risk as it increases the potential for overflow and contamination of the environment around us.

In other words, our obsession with paving and concrete jungles has dramatically reduced the number of areas where water naturally absorbs back into the earth. If used properly, SuDS can be highly effective in encouraging a green-focused infrastructure.

What are the benefits of SuDS drainage systems?

  • Flood risk management
  • Reduces the amount of waste water in treatment works
  • Naturally filters pollutants entering surrounding the eco systems
  • Encourages biodiversity and ecology
  • Enhances urban areas
  • Improves aesthetic desirability of an area
  • Increases property saleability
  • Reduced surface maintenance costs
  • Improves air quality

SuDS Benefits

What does the law say about SuDS?

In response to the recent higher volumes of rainwater and flash flooding, the government changed household development rights in 2008. Now, you do not need to obtain planning permission if you intend to pave a front garden with SUDS compliant material. Read more here.

Are Resin Bound materials SuDS compliant?

SuDS permeable resin bound

Yes, they are SuDS compliant! The Resin Bound system has a matrix of small holes throughout the surface, allowing water to drain through. When laid with a permeable sub base – such as open graded porous tarmac over MOT type 3 – surface water will drain straight through the resin materials into the substrate without the need for installing extra drainage.

If you lay Resin Bound gravel over a non-permeable base, such as concrete, then you will need to have lay the base to falls and install appropriate drainage.

At Resin Bonded Ltd, our BoundWorx Resin Bound materials have been specially formulated to maximise permeability. We can supply our permeable resin bound paving in a wide variety of natural colours and finishes, see our standard aggregate range here. If you’re looking for an installer, we have a network of trained contractors who can provide quotes for installation of our porous resin bound gravel.

Are Resin Bonded materials SuDS compliant?

No, they aren’t SuDS compliant. The base layer of resin below the stones is impermeable and does not let water through. The Resin Bonded system must be laid to falls with appropriate drainage channels in place. Read more about the Resin Bonded system here.


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