Stabilising Soils in Sustainable Urban Drainage Schemes (SuDS)

Sustainable urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) are an important water runoff management system in all new housing developments. TerrAffix Soil Solutions were brought in to stabilise the bare soils around the balancing ponds within the SuDS system at a housing development in Sussex.

The exceptionally wet and stormy weather has caused problems across the UK, in particular on areas of bare pr exposed soil. Our approach was to stablise the soil using natural materials, that will biodegrade into the site. We stablised the area by using fast growing seed species with a net forming root structure. The soils were anchored using biodegradable blankets which provide shelter for the germinating seeds and will break down adding organic matter to the soils over time.

The main objective is to minimise and trap soil from being displaced by rain impact and then transported within the surface water flow, off sites and into streams and rivers.

Our approach to soil stabilisation works with the soils and plant ecosystem, rather than using harder engineered solutions. SuDS systems copy natural systems, mimicking their behavior so that water is absorbed into the ground, evaporated or used up by plants. SuDS improve water quality downstream and help increase biodiversity.

In our increasingly variable climate, there is an urgent need to manage our areas to intercept water by improving the function of ecosystems and habitats within developments to buffer rain fall whilst providing amazing spaces for people to live. Effective design of SuDS systems can offer a multitude of benefits to the wider environment, socially culturally and economically.

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