Environmentally Sensitive Drainage Solutions

Low Impact Developments (LIDs) reduce inundation of traditional stormwater drainage networks and help mitigate flood risks. They also improve water quality, amenity and biodiversity, can reduce potable water usage, and positively affect air quality and temperature

The Challenge

Protecting Communities by Managing Flood Risk

Sustainable drainage systems help prevent flooding by lengthening the time it takes stormwater to reach traditional drainage or river channels. By retaining water and encouraging infiltration, environmentally sensitive drainage structures can prevent pollutants entering watercourses and help improve water quality.

Flooding in an urban environment
Sustainable drainage including green roofs

Environmentally Sensitive Drainage Solutions

By mimicking the natural way that land and plants hold back water, Low Impact Developments (LIDs) reduce inundation of traditional stormwater drainage networks. They also can help mitigate flood risks. In addition to reducing the amount of surface water entering drainage networks, they improve water quality, amenity and biodiversity, can reduce potable water usage, and have positive effects on air quality and temperature.


Viewing and designing sustainable drainage systems as part of the wider water management system opens up possibilities.

Drainage Strategy ManagerUK Water Utility

The Solution

  • Create Sustainable Drainage Designs That Work

    Sustainable drainage design solutions from Innovyze give you the confidence that your designs can handle different rainfall events successfully, without harming the environment. Innovyze’s drainage design software has helped pioneer the take up of sustainable drainage by providing the accurate hydraulic modelling and storage calculations needed to ensure success.

    Different standards and calculations apply in different countries. Innovyze has tailored solutions that deliver robust, proven designs in all of them. Around the world, Innovyze software is used to design all the components of sustainable stormwater projects to meet your requirements – from deluge 2D analysis to connected stormwater controls. It’s trusted for a good reason – it performs!

    Sustainable / Low Impact Drainage in a residential street
  • Communicate Designs and Intentions Clearly

    Sustainable drainage sets out to achieve many admirable objectives. The trouble is, not everybody understands it. That is especially the case where communities are undergoing retrofit projects, but it’s true of new developments as well. That’s why it’s important to clearly communicate your designs to all kinds of people, from the authorizing bodies, to the builders who will construct them, to the communities who will live with them. Outputting your designs as graphics makes it easier for people to understand, review and build your sustainable drainage designs. GIS and CAD integration within Innovyze’s drainage design tools makes it easy to pull design and layout information from AutoCAD, Civil 3D® or your preferred GIS platform. Modifications can be pushed between the software packages at the click of a button. And, by comparing pre- and post- development mitigation scenarios, Innovyze’s drainage design solutions help you show the impact your designs will have. All this helps you improve engagement with the community and builds your reputation among the reviewing/approving authorities.

    Screenshot showing 3D drainage design software
  • Strong, Competent Design Makes Adoption and Maintenance Easier

    One of the biggest barriers to implementing green infrastructure has been the question of who will adopt and maintain low impact developments (LIDs) on public land. Should they be part of a holistic drainage system and adopted by water and sewerage companies? Should the utility only be responsible for adopting and maintaining below-ground drainage? Is it the responsibility of the developer or community in the case of retrofit systems? Design and use of green infrastructure – like ponds, swales, and porous pavements – for managing stormwater is increasingly important. The Best Management Practices (BMPs) laid out by the EPA stress the importance of taking a holistic approach to managing your system. With Innovyze software, you can evaluate the cost, confidently design, and track the performance of your green infrastructure. You can design and analyze your system with more than just a single LID control analysis in mind, but rather look at the effectiveness of multiple LID components working together

    Strong, Competent Design Makes Adoption and Maintenance Easier
  • Green Infrastructure to Reduce Pollutants and Protect Water Systems

    Innovyze drainage design software incorporates best practices for designing green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff. By taking a “treatment train” approach, stormwater controls in XPDrainage combine with traditional drainage approaches in the same tool.

    You can effectively design and evaluate the performance of swales, filter strips, trenches, raingardens, ponds permeable pavements, and more. XPDrainage helps you design the most ecologically sound method for preventing flooding as well as deterring pollutant wash off from entering your drainage network, and ultimately the surrounding river systems.

    Dog playing in a puddle
  • Protect Receiving Water Systems

    Innovyze’s drainage design solutions help you determine the impact of infiltration and inflow (I&I) by providing an opportunity to control site runoff using green infrastructure. You can calculate the pollutant loads associated with stormwater runoff and evaluate sustainable drainage best practices for reducing wet weather pollutants.

    Sustainable drainage structure

What to look for in a solution to design and manage environmentally sensitive drainage

  • It integrates sustainable drainage design into your development projects
  • You can match drainage designs to your project site, budget and timeline
  • It enables you to fully comply with local planning requirements 
  • It produces easy to understand designs and reports to improve communication and make reviews straightforward
  • It enables collaborative working 
  • It gives you confidence that your drainage systems are safe, sustainable and meet environmental regulations

Discover more about the software solutions available from Innovyze