GeoSmart backs call for government to implement drainage law

Leading environmental consultancy, GeoSmart Information has added its signature to a letter sent to the prime minister this week which called for a law on drainage to be implemented in England. 

The letter, written by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), requested that Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act be actioned by the government to address the growing risk of surface water flooding. 

Implementation of Schedule 3 would require sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to be incorporated into new developments and end the automatic right of contractors to connect household drainage to the nearest sewage system. 

More than a decade has passed since the Flood and Water Management Act was first enacted in 2010 after floods engulfed 55,000 properties and left half a million people without power or running water in 2007.

Terry Fuller, CIWEM’s chief executive, said: “SuDS were recognised as delivering crucial and wide-ranging benefits in new developments all the way back in 2010. 

“Since then, backward thinking and policies have meant more than 1.5 million new homes have been built in a way which doesn’t manage water well. More than a decade on, it’s time the government acknowledged what was known in 2010 and finally brought this piece of law into effect.”

The letter follows a report from the National Infrastructure Commission which revealed over 600,000 UK properties could be at a high risk of surface water flooding if no action is taken. 

The executive agency called for the government to implement Schedule 3 by the end of 2023 and update its technical standards for sustainable drainage systems. 

Paul Ellis, managing director of GeoSmart Information, said: “It is paramount that Schedule 3 is implemented to help protect UK homeowners from the threat of rising surface water flood risks. 

“We have collectively been anticipating the implementation of Schedule 3 for over a decade. The deadly combination of increasing urbanisation and heavy rainfall and storms caused by the climate emergency will endanger the livelihoods of thousands, without adaptive measures like sustainable drainage systems.”

GeoSmart Information is one of the UK’s leading providers of sustainable drainage reports and detailed drainage designs and boasts one of the most concentrated groups of flood and drainage experts in the nation.