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Aggregate Industries state the case for SuDS

Grassgrid block paving

Company highlights the importance of Sustainable Drainage Systems as flooding crisis deepens

WITH the start of October having brought a spate of flash flooding across the UK and with forecasters predicting a turbulent winter ahead, Aggregate Industries have stated that the case for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) adoption has never been greater.

On 1 October 2019 the Environment Agency issued 70 flood warnings and 181 alerts across England as torrential downpours drenched many parts of the UK, with some areas seeing as much as two weeks’ rain in just one hour. The result was nationwide chaos, with widespread flooding, travel disruption, power cuts and thousands of homes affected.


Looking to the winter ahead, even more profound weather patterns are expected with forecasters predicting that temperatures could dip to as low as –14C in some parts of the UK – reminiscent of the ‘Beast from the East’ that covered the nation in snow in 2018.

For local authorities and developers alike, the result is increased onus on efforts to mitigate the impact of the UK’s increasingly erratic weather – with SuDS being a vital tactic in this.

In pre-empting this growing demand, Aggregate Industries recently launched their newly updated SuDS range offering a full suite of surface options; from aggregates designed to ensure excellent drainage characteristics through to permeable paving allowing water filtration, all of which can be used together or separately as part of a strategic SuDS drainage system.

Paul Wagstaff, head of product management at Aggregate Industries, commented: ‘While the UK’s weather has always been difficult to predict, recent years have seen a shift towards more profound extremes as climate change continues to take its toll.

‘This September, for example, ended with a sudden heatwave, with some areas reaching highs of 25C, only to be followed less than two weeks later with the recent tirade of torrential rain and flooding.

‘The reality is that this type of erratic weather is only going to increase, along with storm intensity and regularity – placing increased onus on flood risk measures. After all, it’s now estimated that 5 million homes are in flood-risk areas and the annual probability that two thirds of these homes will be affected is around 10%.

‘As such, the case for SuDS, whereby the clever use of flood-defence measures that mimic natural processes – such as green roofs and grassland tranches for water capture, through to permeable paving to allow water follow through – can make a huge difference in slowing, if not halting, the flow, should a flood happen.’

Constituting one of the of the widest SuDS ranges in the construction industry, Aggregate Industries’ offer includes various foundation design and surface system options, including SuperFlow aggregates, Hydromedia ready-mixed concrete, Charcon Infilta paving, Grassgrid block paving, Lytag lightweight aggregate, SuperDrainasphalt and SuperSport asphalt.

Each product can be combined to offer a comprehensive and complete sustainable drainage system designed to help reduce flood risk and control and minimize pollution before it enters the watercourse.

Mr Wagstaff added: ‘There is no getting away from the very real flood risk facing many parts of the UK and, as demonstrated by the recent issues, our current defence measures are limited.

‘It is, therefore, imperative that local authorities, developers and all those operating in the construction sector take stock of the SuDS opportunity and the important role it can play in helping us be prepared, whatever the weather.’


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