I write with regard to the recent article 'The drain brain' by Aidan Millerick (NCE 21 June) and the subsequent letter by Martin Luker of Environment Agency, Thames Region (NCE last week).
First, the Environment Agency has an official policy to support and promote sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), which offer a measure of protection from flooding and pollution by new development.
The views expressed by Martin Luker were his own, and not those of the Agency.
Secondly, from a technical point of view Martin Luker's letter was a misrepresentation.
He states that 'sustainable drainage can never replace adequate and efficient pipework'. Aidan Millerick's article was well reasoned, outlining the benefits of SuDS, but made the point that they are not the answer to everything.
What SuDS do is to compensate for the adverse effects of additional surface water drainage from new development, up to greenfield runoff rates. If that is exceeded then there is no further beneficial effect, but the same applies at a greenfield site when it is saturated, and to pipes when they are full Martin Townsend, Environment Agency technical planning manager, Thames Region, chairman of national SuDS steering group, Kings Meadow House, Kings Meadow Rd, Reading, RG1 8DQ