Code of practice released for sustainable drainage systems

The very first code of practice for the water industry in the United Kingdom (UK) has been published in order to provide a guideline for assessment of surface water treatment technologies. Supported by the Environment Agency and various producers of surface water technologies, the document was devised over a period of two years

Polypipe and Hydro International, members of British Water, teamed up with the Environment Agency to back an in-depth research study on rainfall in the UK by HR Wallingford, a research consultancy. The data and information gleaned from the study was instrumental in the development of a tough, vigorous product-testing protocol.

“Standards are necessary to demonstrate how well propriety devices used in sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) treat run-off and remove heavy metals from the water cycle. Until now, there was no standard for testing in the UK,” Technical Director of British Water, Marta Perez, said in an interview with British Water. “Conducting tests overseas creates a heavy cost burden which was prohibitive for smaller UK manufacturers looking to sell at home. This code of practice defines the process necessary to measure the pollutant capture and retention capability of any devise entering the UK market.”

The code of practice will enable water professionals transporting SuDS to use a risk-based method to reduce the environmental repercussions of the contaminants from the runoff. Authenticating the ability of multiple devises in capturing and retaining various contaminants will give the designers, regulators, and local jurisdiction the material they need to pinpoint the most suitable technology in any given situation.

The proven equipment will be frequently used to treat the runoff from residential and urban hard surfaces like car parks and roads. Thus, a part of the code of practice is geared toward ascertaining the three functional requirements of treatment: Effectiveness in catching common, sub-annual rainfall, Ability to retain sediment for the rainfall cases that may cause washout; and lastly, the capacity of the filter to retain dissolved contaminants when loaded with de-icing salt.

“The tests can be completed by the manufacturer or at a commercial test facility but must be witnessed by an approved independent United Kingdom Accredited Service (UKAS)-accredited third party. British Water is now seeking a partner in the position to install and run testing equipment,” Ms. Perez continued.

Deputy Director of the Environment Agency, Helen Wakeham, said, “At the Environment Agency we encourage the use of SuDS, and recognise that the right operational guidance is important. We have been pleased to work with the industry in creating its own code of practice. I am delighted to see the results, which will further support the implementation of SuDS in England.”

When their equipment have been approved of and certified by the Code of Practice: Assessment of manufactured Devices Designed to Treat Water Runoff, manufacturers and producers will be able to show that the capture and retention abilities of their devices have been proven. 

Source: British Water