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New geological survey map launched for sustainable drainage systems

The British Geological Survey (BGS) has released a new digital map which it claims will help planners, developers and local authorities reduce urban flooding through appropriate use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (Suds).

The map shows areas where Suds could be used successfully to filter surface water into the ground using systems such as soakaways, infiltration basins and permeable pavements to reduce pressure on the sewer network.

According to the BGS, the need for the Infiltration Suds Map was highlighted by the draft National Standards for Sustainable Drainage, which has been released in response to the Floods and Water Management Act 2010. The standards prioritise the use of infiltration over other sustainable and piped drainage systems, so the BGS believes that such a map is essential to goo decision-making as the design of infiltration Suds is highly dependent on the properties of the ground.

The BGS has said that it believes the ground data contained within the Infiltration Suds Map will be of great interest to planners, developers and the Suds Approval Body (SAB) within local authorities who will need to assess incoming SuDS planning proposals.

“ This is an important first step, linked to the desk study process, whereby both the SAB and the developer can draw upon important and highly relevant geological and hydrogeological information to inform the subsequent site evaluation process,” said House Builders Federation member Stephen Wiebeldski. “The launch of the BGS Suds Maps is welcomed and fully supported by the HBF and its members.”

A demo version of the map is available from the BGS website.

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