Highway Drainage Design (Sustainable Drainage Systems SuDS)

This course is targeted at design engineers and other highway construction professionals to raise their awareness, knowledge and understanding of sustainable highway drainage networks and adaptions that can be implemented to account for climate change.

This course is available as a standalone 1-day course, or as a 2-day course combined with our Highway Drainage Design – Piped Networks course.

Also available as an online training course.

Please note the online version of this training course will be split into modules.


This course has been prepared to provide an understanding of the various aspects of sustainable highway drainage systems and how they can be designed and maintained to drain the road network that they serve.

Aims & Objectives:

The course will enable delegates to develop a deeper understanding of the assessment and design of sustainable highway drainage networks to:

  • Understand the impact of climate change on highway networks
  • Understand the sustainable drainage techniques available
  • Prepare design calculations to assess the size of sustainable drainage features and assess the pollution control offered by them
  • Consider the effect of exceedance storm events
  • Consider practical issues associated with design, construction and maintenance

Course Outline:

The course will include:


Impact of Climate Change on Highway Drainage Systems

  • UK Climate projections
  • Impact on highway drainage systems
  • Potential solutions for highway drainage systems

Sustainable Drainage Systems for Highways

  • The water cycle
  • Effects of urbanisation
  • What are SuDS?
  • SuDS features for highways
  • The SuDS management train
  • SuDS hierarchy

Designing a Swale

  • Formulas and engineering principles
  • Principles parameters for designing swales

Flow Control for Highway Drainage Systems

Simulating Rainfall Events

  • The Wallingford procedure
  • Inclusion of climate change

Design of Storm Water Attenuation within a Swale

Controlling Pollution within a SuDS systems

  • General requirements
  • Factors affecting pollution levels
  • Protecting groundwater
  • Minimum water quality management requirements for discharges to receiving surface waters and groundwater
  • Simple Index Approach

Designing for Exceedance Events

  • Aims and objectives of C635
  • Drainage exceedance
  • Limitation of piped networks
  • Managing exceedance
  • Principles of design

Use of Geotextiles

  • What are geotextile membranes?
  • Permeable geotextile membranes
  • Impermeable geotextile membranes
  • When to use geotextile membranes

Inlets, Outfalls and Erosion

  • Inlets
  • Outfalls
  • Erosion control
  • Factors influencing erosion at surface water outlets

Inspection and Maintenance Regimes for SUDS

  • Asset maintenance process
  • Inspection and maintenance regime
  • Regular (or routine frequent) – monthly to annually
  • Infrequent (or routine infrequent) annually to 25 years
  • Remedial (or reactive)

Mode of Delivery:

  • General introduction followed by assessment of needs and capabilities of delegates
  • Presentation by tutor using PowerPoint, with illustrations, photographs etc.
  • Group and individual exercises
  • Course review and summary

Intended For:

Highway design engineers and highway construction professionals that wish to improve their understanding of sustainable highway drainage systems.

Pre-Course Requirements:

Mathematical bias (GCSE / A level)

Scientific calculator

All our courses can be offered as in-house training