Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a collection of categorised commonly asked questions click on the title for the answer, if you cannot find an answer to your question feel free to contact us.

6. General

Why have you spelled colour the American way?

Well, when the the business was started many moons ago and the name was picked the logo had the Colordrives name sitting inside the roof of a house, except it wouldn’t fit properly so we dropped the “u”, and that was that.

What is SUDS

The idea behind SUDS is to try to replicate natural systems that use cost effective solutions with low environmental impact to drain away dirty and surface water run-off through collection, storage, and cleaning before allowing it to be released slowly back into the environment, such as into water courses. This is to counter the effects of conventional drainage systems that often allow for flooding, pollution of the environment – with the resultant harm to wildlife – and contamination of groundwater sources used to provide drinking water. The paradigm of SUDS solutions should be that of a system that is easy to manage, requiring little or no energy input (except from environmental sources such as sunlight, etc.), resilient to use, and being environmentally as well as aesthetically attractive. Examples of this type of system are reed beds and other wetland habitats that collect, store, and filter dirty water along with providing a habitat for wildlife.

Originally the term SUDS described the UK approach to sustainable urban drainage systems. These developments may not necessarily be in “urban” areas, and thus the “urban” part of SUDS is now usually dropped to reduce confusion. Other countries have similar approaches in place using a different terminology such as best management practice (BMP) and low-impact development in the United States, and water-sensitive urban design in Australia .

SuDS use the following techniques:

  • source control
  • permeable paving such as pervious concrete
  • storm water detention
  • storm water infiltration
  • evapo-transpiration (e.g. from a green roof)

A common misconception of SUDS systems is that they reduce flooding on the development site. In fact the SUDS system is designed to reduce the impact that the surface water drainage system of one site has on other sites. For instance, sewer flooding is a problem in many places. This happens when flows entering a sewer exceed its capacity and it overflows. The SUDS system aims to minimise or eliminate discharges from the site, thus reducing the impact, the idea being that if all development sites incorporated SUDS then urban sewer flooding would be less of a problem. Unlike traditional urban storm water drainage systems, SUDS can also help to protect and enhance ground water quality.

Do I need planning permission?

From 1st October 2008, a submission for Planning Permission may be required for impermeable surfaces like Tarmac, Concrete, and Block Paving.

The purpose of this new regulation is to prevent stormwater drains, and eventually the rivers, from being unnecessarily overfilled during periods of heavy rainfall due to overdevelopment.

These regulations apply to the area between the front of the house and the road if the area is over 5 square metres.

We will try and satisfy the requirements of our customers and local council by using various drainage systems where the rainwater can be drained into the surrounding areas, i.e. using Aco drains, Soak-aways, French drains or simply by creating falls allowing water to drain towards planters.

On particularly poor drainage properties, or where Soak-aways are too close to the property, we are permitted to use storm drains.

Providing we make our best effort to drain driveway accumulated rainwater into the sub-soils below, THEN YOU WILL NOT REQUIRE PLANNING PERMISSION.

Our trained site surveyor will look at all options in order that all requirements are met.