Sustainable urban drainage system

‘Urban creep’ or loss of green space, climate change and population growth all put pressure on the sewerage network. There is no single solution to address this and different circumstances require different approaches.

We recognise that we need to manage the amount of surface water entering our sewers, as well as building more capacity where it is needed. We have therefore been working to develop alternative approaches to flood alleviation, using green infrastructure such as rain gardens permeable paving and water butts, to either return rainwater to the ground, or to slow it down before it enters our sewers.

Sustainable Urban Drainage System

An example of a Sustainable Urban Drainage System.

We have started work on a pilot trial in West London called ‘Greenstreets’ and are looking to increase the amount of vegetation and other sustainable drainage measures to reduce surface water run-off. Read more about Counter’s Creek. As well as testing their effectiveness, the trials will also identify the challenges involved in delivering Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) and the attitudes of the public and other stakeholders towards them. Because the SuDS will be highly visible at properties, the support of our customers is essential to the project. The community will be involved in all stages of the design and selection of the systems installed.

We expect SuDs will prove beneficial for improvement of the quality of surface water run off, biodiversity and local amenity, and seek the opportunity to further review how effective they are for environmental improvement as well as reduced flooding.

Read more about what we’re doing to tackle sewer flooding

Thames Water is also working in partnership with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and the Environment Agency to build SuDS in school grounds within the Pymmes Brook catchment area.