Sustainable Drainage in the city

Sustainable Drainage in the city

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) can form an important role in managing rainfall in a sustainable way and reducing flood risk. Find out what SuDS are and where you can find examples in Leicester.

Smarter surface water management

How can we manage surface water in a smarter and more sustainable way? One answer is to use “sustainable drainage systems”, also known as SuDS.


The idea behind SuDS is to slow down, or even prevent the drainage of rainfall to rivers, where it might otherwise cause flooding in extreme weather events. It makes much more sense to use the water, or to encourage it to seep into the ground, where it can be added to the subsurface water stores (“aquifers”). Pictured are rain gardens from the pedestrianised section of Mill Lane, running through De Montfort University’s Leicester campus. This joint development with Leicester City Council allows rainfall to drain from surrounding impermeable surfacing (notice the inlets) to water the gardens, whilst preventing additional drainage to the nearby River Soar.

Such concepts of delaying or using rainfall are not just for public spaces – there are ideas that everyone can apply on even small areas of private land, such as your garden or driveway.  More information and ideas can be found within the Sustainable Drainage Guide which is available to download from within the 'Documents' section.


We will be bringing more examples of Sustainable drainage systems in the near future.

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High water film

You can see a video showing a partnership SuDS scheme which was completed in Leicester here

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Share your thoughts and comments

Please provide your comments and tips for sustainable drainage below, or using the 'Comments and Tips' menu on the right hand side.

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Comments & tips

  • clucky



    Even though you require planning permission to pave more than 5m2, this is not being carried out in reality. Also planning our advising that it is okay to block pave more if they provide drainage. wha...

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