Sewerage Sector Guidance (SSG)
A Changed Approach to SuDS Adoption.
On the 1st April 2020, new sewerage adoption arrangements came into effect through the publication of the Sewerage Sector Guidance (SSG), and will apply to all water and sewerage companies in England.
As part of the process to develop the SSG documents, the old industry guidance ‘Sewers for Adoption’ has been replaced by the ‘Design and Construction Guidance (DCG)’, which became mandatory from 01 October 2020. The new rules allow a variety of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) such as detention basins, swales, infiltration basins, soakaways and ponds etc, that are compliant with the DCG, to be officially recognised as ‘sewers’ and can now be adopted by water and sewerage companies under S104 of the Water Industry Act 1991, in a similar manner to pipes, manholes and pumping stations.
While the value of SuDS has long been acknowledged, the most significant barrier to their increased use has been uncertainty about the maintenance responsibility of these assets in the long-term. However, now that a sewerage company will now be able to adopt most SuDS, it is hoped that the new rules will help to remove this barrier and will lead to far wider implementation of SuDS in surface water and flood risk management. The new Code aims to ensure that there is a consistent approach to these adoption agreements in the sector.
The response from water and sewerage companies has been overwhelmingly positive about the new guidance.
Almost all water and sewerage authorities have confirmed that they will conduct in line with the new Sewer Sector Guidance and will review SuDS designs that comply with the CIRIA guidance and DCG, leading to their potential adoption.