‘Guidance for Merchants on Managing Urban Floods in the Future’

Towns and cities are facing increased risks of flooding and watercourse pollution due to urbanisation, population growth, and climate change. To tackle these challenges, the government is implementing Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act, which will become mandatory in 2024. This legislation will require housebuilders and developers to adopt new water management solutions, focusing on sustainable drainage systems (SuDS).

In conventional drainage systems, rainwater runoff is collected in combined sewers, leading to potential flooding issues with new housing developments. SuDS aim to regulate rainfall and reduce the volume of water entering sewers by implementing features like permeable surfaces, rain gardens, and soakaways.

Under Schedule 3, SuDS approval bodies (SABs) will be established to approve developers’ drainage designs and products before construction. Merchants have an opportunity to strengthen relationships with developers by providing education and insight on meeting Schedule 3 criteria and working with suppliers to offer compliant products.

Permeable paving and rain gardens are key solutions promoted by Schedule 3. Permeable paving allows water drainage on-site, reducing flood risk, while rain gardens enhance biodiversity and manage floodwater. Merchants can expect increased demand for these products as Schedule 3 becomes mandatory.

As the legislation comes into effect, merchants can provide ongoing support to developers by offering guidance on water management, organizing CPD workshops, and ensuring a steady supply of compliant products. By positioning themselves as trusted partners in meeting Schedule 3 requirements, merchants can build long-term relationships with developers in the evolving landscape of water management regulations.

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