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British Water - solving the flooding crisis in the UK

British Water is drawing attention to the complexity of issues behind attempts to solve flooding problems in the UK and will be speaking at our next Forum on 6th March at the IET in London.

David Smoker, Business Development Director at ACO Technologies PLC and Vice-Chair of the British Water Surface Water Management Focus Group, says a lot of focus is given to flood damage from rising water levels in seas and rivers, but the drainage of surface water in cities is a poor cousin.

'There is a tension over who covers the cost of SuDS or Sustainable Drainage Systems. House builders do not always want to include these as they will deplete their profits and councils will sometimes turn a blind eye to the absence of SuDS in new estates. This isn't helped by the confusion between government departments - DEFRA and DCLG as to who takes lead responsibility for surface water management', says David.

David has worked on the supply chain side of the water industry for over 30 years and has contributed to the new SuDS Guide, the forthcoming Treatment Device Testing Code of Practice and the Geocellular systems in Highways Guide.

He chairs the Institution of Civil Engineers SuDS Task Group, is past Chairman and a director of Future Water Association - formerly SBWWI (Society of British Water and Wastewater Industries)

David sits on various EN and BSI standards workgroups and is chair of PRI088/1/P2 (Underground infiltration, attenuation and storage systems). He is Trustee Director of USIT (Utility Services Industry Training) – a charity providing grants and bursaries for education and training for individuals in the utilities industries.

He has a BSc Hons in Chemistry; MSc in Polymer technology; PhD in Polymer Rheology and in 2004 gained an MBA, and was awarded lifetime membership of the International Honors Society, Beta Gamma Sigma.

About ACO (

Since 1946, ACO has been at the forefront of developing new drainage and storm water management solutions to help protect the environments we live and work in. From their origins in linear drainage, they have been dedicated to delivering surface water management systems for changing legislative drivers and that focus on higher performance standards.

ACO Technologies plc is the UK division of the ACO Group. Established in 1984, ACO Technologies plc is based in both Shefford and Bedford. Manufacturing is carried out with a diverse range of materials including polymer concrete, iron, steel and plastic. The award winning products complete management of surface water from system design through to collection/conveyance, cleaning, storage and on-site source control allowing the safe release of run-off back to natural watercourses.

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