Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Construction phase SuDS

Construction phase SuDS 

Construction phase SuDS are used to control and remove silt from the runoff while construction work is ongoing.

When planning your site and the phases of work, make sure that you include enough land to be used for construction phase SuDS. This land needs to be chosen to make sure that there is enough capacity for dealing with potentially silt laden runoff, and is in a suitable location.

Your SuDS should be:

  • Situated away from flood plains
  • Large enough to deal with the volume of runoff that can be expected from the area of your site
  • Constructed away from any areas likely to become flooded by any means.

Avoid stripping large areas of your site and minimise the areas of exposed soil. Keep soil exposed for as short a time as possible. This will minimise the amount of silt laden run-off.  Less silt laden water will reduce the risk of water pollution. 

Use cut off ditches to redirect clean run-off water away from working area to avoid overwhelming the SuDS treatment system with ‘clean’ water.

You should avoid using final phase SUDS during the construction phase. They are likely to receive a lot of sediment and silt and this would prevent them operating effectively once the construction is completed.

If they have to be used, for example because of limited space, make sure that remediation work is carried out to return them to good condition once construction work is completed. This could mean removing silt build up in swales and retention ponds or replacing or cleaning gravel in filter drains.


Further information


CIRIA: Guidance on the construction of SUDS (C768)

SEPA: Construction site licences webpage

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