Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) We can help you deliver an effective SuDS solution

ACO has unrivalled experience in designing, creating and advising on fully-integrated and sustainable surface water management systems. Whatever your requirements, we can help you deliver an effective SuDS solution and support you with best practice, relevant information and dedicated resources on an ongoing basis.

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) aim to control surface rainfall run-off by controlling the rate and volume of runoff from site, relieving pressure on sewerage systems and mimicking natural drainage as closely as possible. Used effectively, SuDS can help local authorities, planners, architects and developers deliver greener infrastructure.

ACO believes that the best SuDS will be cost effective to operate and provide efficient drainage throughout their life. Rather than being inherently ‘soft’ or ‘hard’, they will instead include an optimized and integral mix of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ components that will combine to bring out the best in each other.

The SuDS philosophy has 4 key pillars to it; water quality, water quantity, amenity and biodiversity. Water quality is about controlling the quantity of runoff to support the management of flood risk, and maintain and protect the natural water cycle. Water quality is about managing the quality of the runoff to prevent pollution. Amenity refers to creating and sustain better places for people and Biodiversity is about creating and sustain better places for wildlife. ACO have their own Wildlife range that helps protect wildlife habitats around developments.

ACO have developed their own unique model to reflect adoption of SuDS thinking – Collect, Clean, Hold and Release –  which embraces the entire surface water management cycle, from the point where rain lands right through to where it re-enters the natural water environment.

SuDS solutions


Ensuring surface water runoff is managed at source is an important part of SuDS and ACO has a wide range of channels designed to collect and convey water close to the surface efficiently. Consideration of ground conditions, catchment design, rainfall intensity, downstream hydraulic conditions, loading and visual setting are key to correct product selection. 



Protecting the environment from surface water run-off contaminated with hydrocarbons and particulates is a critical process within modern integrated surface water management. Stormwater surges that dislodge and carry high concentrations of pollutants from exposed areas such as car parks must be treated prior to its release. 


The provision of sufficient attenuation volume within the surface water management system ensure it retains its designed collection and release performance under maximum rainfall conditions. High capacity drainage channels and attenuation tanks, such as ACO StormBrixx’s flexible geocellular range, ensure it can be used to achieve the required safe storage capacity. 


Flood risk management requires the accurate control of surface water run-off volumes entering either the mains drainage network or the local natural groundwater or surface water courses. Individually sized flow control devices or infiltration systems can be used to meet any specified discharge rate. 

How we can assist you

The ACO Design Services Team is able to work closely with you through the entire design process in the field of SuDS. We also offer design surface software for you to make your own calculations

ACO offer a comprehensive CPD on SuDS that deals with drivers for change, including climate change and urbanisation, and gives practical case studies of SuDS implementation.

ACO tips

Back to basics: an introduction to geocellular structures

The issue of water attenuation is an increasingly hot topic, with more occurrences of extreme weather patterns being experienced across the UK. This is placing drainage at the heart of construction projects.

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