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Schools SUDS 2017 - Potential to Reduce Surface Water Charges

Since 2016, working with partners from The Water Taskforce (and funded by Defra and the Environment Agency) BITC and CLASP have been testing the concept that implementing SuDS on a school site could generate savings for a school, by reducing their hard-standing area and so their Surface Water Drainage Charge. 


Local businesses including WWT, Arup, Costain, MWH Global, Marshalls, United Utilities and partners GMCA and CLASP have brought together the technical expertise, skills and personnel to test the concept, model the potential benefits to Greater Manchester schools, and the multiple benefits of a Greater Manchester wide programme.


Working with two schools in 2016 the project team carried out detailed audits and SuDS interventions were identified that could divert or slow the flow of water into the sewer system, or reduce the amount of chargeable hard standing area. Using this information, a trial version of a simple, user-friendly "Ready Reckoner" tool was developed to help schools identify if there may be a cost effective way to drop a chargeable surface water band.


In 2017 more detailed modeling was done of the benefits of SUDS to schools and communities across Greater Manchester, and schools were invited to give their views on SUDS, funding and opportunities for implementation.


The initial phase of this project is now complete, and the following resources are available to schools and local authorities who attended an information workshop on 28th April 2017.  The Ready Reckoner and Audit Guide resources below are beta/trial versions and must be taken in context.  We would appreciate feedback at this stage, which can be sent to



Presentations from 28th April 2017


Surface Water Charging, How It Works - United Utilities


Introduction to Sustainable Drainage – ARUP


SUDS in Schools - WWT


Greater Manchester Schools and SUDS - CLASP


Multiple Benefits of SUDS - WWT & MHW


Next Steps for the Project - BITC



Trial Resources for Schools


Trial SUDS Audit Guide - 2016 version (this will receive minor updates in May 2017, and the document on this link will be replaced)


Trial Ready Reckoner for Schools - 2017 version



Case Studies


Schools SUDS Audit Case Study – Chorlton High School


Schools SUDS Audit Case Study – Burnage Academy for Boys




Other Materials


2017 Report on the Multiple Benefits of SUDS in Greater Manchester


Video - Ever Wondered Where The Rain Goes?


Video about Water Sensitive Urban Design