Sustainable Urban Highway Drainage Systems for Scotland

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Sustainable Urban Highway Drainage Training


The traditional purpose of providing drainage for roads is to convey water as quickly as possible from the running surface, thus ensuring a clear safe path for road traffic, and to prevent water ingress to the road pavement structure thereby avoiding potential damage to the structure of the road; traditional road surface water drainage techniques involved collecting run-off in roadside gullies, drainage kerbs or other collection devices which convey run-off to underground closed pipe systems. However, conventional systems alter natural flow patterns leading to potential problems elsewhere and are directly linked to pipe capacities which were not designed to cope with extreme rainfall events. Historically, surface water drainage systems have not been designed with sustainability in mind with little regard for water quality, catchment flooding, water resources, site amenity or potential for habitat enhancement. This course introduces the concepts of SUDS in order to redress the balance and better manage surface water run-off within the urban environment in a fashion that minimizes the impacts of highway infrastructure development on the quality and quantity of road run-off, whilst maximizing amenity and biodiversity opportunities.

Course Objectives:

The course will provide delegates with an overview and detailed insight into the principles and techniques of SUDS and its implications for highway engineers. Course participants will be able to understand what SUDS is, how it works, why it is often the best solution, and why it is often required.

Course Outline:

Day 1:

Session 1 – What is Sustainability?

Session 2 – Background – The Pitt Review

Session 3 – Scottish Water, Integrated Drainage & SUDS

Session 4 – Historical context of road drainage designs

Session 5 – Concept of SUDS and its relationship with road pavement construction

Session 6 – SEPA & Surface water management

Session 7 – Hydrological criteria for road design

Day 2:

Session 8 – Run-Off & Climate Change

Session 9 – Pre-treatment, Source Control, Site Control & Regional Control

Session 10 – Amenity and ecological performance

Session 11 – Construction, operation and maintenance of road SUDS

Session 12 – Management, maintenance, aftercare and adoption

Session 13 – Legislation and Statutory Obligations

Session 14 – Case Study

Intended for

The nature of the course is such that construction professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and experience can be accommodated.


Professor Robert Jackson CEng FICE CWEM FCIWEM

Chair of the Environment & Sustainability Special Interest Group ICE (NW)

Former Mouchel Professor of Sustainable Engineering Technologies at the University of Salford

Cost: £650 + VAT

Duration: 2 Days


Recent Course Feedback Comments:

  • The Trainer was very engaging & had us participating throughout the 2 days. What could have been a fairly dry subject was delivered in an interesting and enjoyable way.
  • It was not what I expected but was much better! I learned a great deal and the trainer was a very engaging educator.
  • Greatly increased my knowledge and appreciation on the subject.


Sustainable Urban Highway Drainage Training Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dunfermline and other sites throughout the UK including onsite closed company courses are available.

Sustainable Urban Highway Drainage Training in Ghana, Nigeria and Qatar is also available.

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