Sewage spills reveal urgent need for SuDS, says ACO

Credit: ACO
Credit: ACO

ACO Building Drainage is recommending local authorities consider Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) following the revelation that there were 3.6 million hours of sewage spills into UK rivers and seas in 2023.

At the end of March, the Environment Agency published the findings that sewage spills last year increased 54% compared to 2022. This is in part due to increased rain in 2023 overwhelming sewerage system’s capacities.

The data also showed that over 86% of monitored stormwater overflows spilled during 2023, with 60% spilling more than ten times.

Kevin Bohea, managing director at ACO Building Drainage, is now recommending that local authorities ensure SuDS are properly implemented, especially in dense urban environments with combined sewer systems.

He said: “It is upsetting to once again see news that sewage systems are consistently overflowing. The impact on the environment and the potential flood damage to property is a real worry, one that the principles of SuDS can have a huge positive impact on. These principles see rainwater being contained safely before it’s slow release, lowering the pressure on sewage systems and reducing the likelihood of overflows, especially during storms.”

Kevin continued: “There is a common misconception in the industry that drainage discharge flow rates cannot be lower than two litres per second. While that’s true in some cases, many developments could accommodate SuDs components with lower flow rates which would benefit inner city combined sewers, thereby reduce flooding and protecting the environment. Local authorities can set planning conditions to avoid flooding and help the environment and we urge them to prescribe sustainable drainage systems for their schemes.”

No posts to display