BGS infiltration SuDS map demo

The national BGS infiltration SuDS map provides an assessment of the suitability of the subsurface for the installation of infiltration sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). The map allows users to determine the properties of the subsurface with respect to the:

  • presence of constraints that must be considered prior to planning infiltration SuDS
  • drainage potential of the ground
  • potential for ground instability when water is infiltrated
  • protection of groundwater quality

To demonstrate the type and range of data incorporated into the map, a sample is provided below. The drop-down menu allows you to select a data layer, which can then be interrogated by clicking on the map. To obtain more information about the datasets, click on the dataset name.

BGS infiltration SuDS map presentation

Download the BGS infiltration SuDS map video presentation

Dr Rachel Dearden, explains more about the BGS infiltration SuDS map in a presentation at the Leaping into SuDS conference that took place on the 29th February 2012.

Users, coverage and availability

The BGS infiltration SuDS map is intended for use by planners, water companies and developers, but also for SuDS approval bodies within local authorities, where it could be used to assess incoming SuDS planning applications.

The map has full coverage across Great Britain (excluding the Isle of Man). The map will be available as a licensable dataset in March 2012 and is currently available as an Infiltration to the ground GeoReport.

BGS infiltration SuDS map reviews

Stephen Wielebski, Divisional Development Director on behalf of Miller Homes Limited and the Home Builders Federation (HBF):

'The Home Builders Federation (HBF) and its members have always been advocates for economic, sustainable drainage solutions. Whenever ground conditions and site characteristics have been conducive to infiltration drainage this has often been the preferred surface water drainage strategy. Since the first iteration of the SuDS Standards, the HBF has championed the cause and effectiveness of SuDS Infiltration Mapping. This is an important first step, linked to the desk study process, whereby both the SAB and the developer can draw upon important and highly relevant geological and hydrogeological information to inform the subsequent site evaluation process. The launch of the BGS SuDS Maps in February 2012 is therefore most welcome and fully supported by the HBF and its members. '

Steve Wilson, Technical Director on behalf of the Environmental Protection Group Limited (EPG):

'A useful and easy-to-use tool that will help all those involved in SUDS design and approval make robust assessments about the use of infiltration methods.'

Knowledge exchange

Dr Rachel Dearden, a BGS hydrogeologist, has been awarded a three-year NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship on the topic of sustainable infiltration.

The fellowship aims to enhance the effectiveness of the recent government SuDS legislation (Floods and Water Management Act 2010), by providing support on infiltration SuDS and ground compatibility.

The objectives are to:

  • disseminate information about infiltration SuDS and ground compatibility to the user community
  • enable knowledge gaps identified by end-users, to be communicated to, and resolved by Government, regulators and academia
  • collaborate with end-users of the BGS national SuDS map (described above) to ensure its fitness for purpose
  • provide resources that will lead to better decision making with respect to the installation of infiltration SuDS in appropriate ground conditions


For further information contact Dr Rachel Dearden or the SuDs team