Urban Drainage Group

Our vision and aims

The CIWEM Urban Drainage Group (UDG) sustains the excellence of people professionally engaged in urban drainage management now and for future generations. It continues the work of WaPUG which was established in 1984.

The aims and objectives of the Urban Drainage Group are aligned with CIWEM’s Royal Charter. They are to:

  • Advance the science and practice of urban drainage management for the public benefit.
  • Promote education, training, study and research in urban drainage management and to publish the results of such research.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate standards of competence for urban drainage management Professionals.

Please contact us at udg@ciwem.org

Download UDG Aims and Objectives

The Urban Drainage Group and its predecessor WaPUG have a long history of providing guidance to assist the industry to follow best practice. Please find some publications below.

  • Code of Practice for the Hydraulic Modelling of Urban Drainage Systems: this best practice guide was updated in 2017 following significant upgrading with engagement with all UK water utility companies. It covers project definition; data collection; model development; verification; model confidence; application of model; documentation and model management.
  • UDG rainfall guide: published in 2016 this guide supplements the main modelling guide and provides background to various options for representing rainfall in modelling and provides guidance. This aspect of modelling is anticipated to change more frequently than other aspects due to improved climate change predictions; developments in telemetry and radar technology and improved technologies of handling and analysing large data sets. Therefore this guide is separate for the main guide to allow more frequent updates.
  • Event duration modelling good practice guide: this guide published in 2021 collates good practice on Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) monitoring.
  • Guide to quality modelling of sewer systems: this guide published in 2006 provides guidance of the production of sewer quality modelling. It supplements the Code of Practice which addresses hydraulic modelling which is the basis of sewer quality models. The modelling of the impact on rivers can be found in the WAPUG River Modelling Guide. Guidance on how these models fit within the framework of Urban Pollution Management can be found in the Urban Pollution Management (UPM) Manual (FWR 1998).
  • Integrated urban drainage modelling guide: published in 2009 this guide outlines the different types of modelling approaches taken to model the urban drainage system and how it interacts with the wider water environment. It follows a similar layout to the Code of Practice covering Project planning; Data collection; Integrated Modelling Methods; Verification; Reporting. This report is currently under review for updating.
  • River data collection guide: published in 1998 this guide outlines the data collection requirements for a UPM study and supplements the River Modelling Guide.
  • River modelling guide: published in 1998 this guide provides guidance of river modelling for use in UPM studies. This report is currently under review for updating.
  • The design of CSO chambers to incorporate screens: latest publication in 2006 this guide sets out current best practice in the design of new CSO chambers to meet aesthetic regulatory requirements using screens. It is aimed primarily at design engineers but it should also prove valuable to environmental regulators, operations personnel, sewer network modellers and drainage area planners.

Here are useful summaries of comment details of how to approach modelling specific more complex elements. These were reviewed and rationalised in 2009. They are generated by the group community and further contributions are welcome, please get in touch with the committee if you wish to add any new ones.

Past Papers from the Urban Drainage Group can be access at the following link: http://ftp2.ciwem.org

If you have any questions please get in touch with Fiona Barbour at Fiona.Barbour@mottmac.com.

UDG community page

Get more involved with the Urban Drainage Group! For the latest announcements and discussions, please visit your UDG community page by logging into your account.

Log in here

UDG New Members Development community page

This is a page for all people working towards becoming a qualified member of CIWEM. We are hoping this would be an opportunity to have discussions on key topics; keep up to date with events and activities relevant to those in training; and ask questions of senior members of the UDG communities.

There is a recognition that many members in the UDG community have the same challenges in completing their competencies, and sharing examples of how these objectives are met can help overcome these hurdles. The value of this page will increase with use, so do contribute.

If you have suggestions on how to improve this page please contact James Hale james.hale@rpsgroup.com or Fiona Barbour fiona.barbour@mottmac.com.

Log in here

Our committee

Diary Dates 2022

UDG Autumn Conference - 8th-10th November 2022

CIWEM’s Urban Drainage Group continues it long traditional of hosting its annual conference in the autumn as the culmination of a year of highly regarded events including our first time hosting our Spring Conference in conjunction with our colleagues at Flood & Coast.

UDG AUTUMN CONFERENCE 2022 will be taking place at HILTON BIRMINGHAM METROPOLE from 8th -10th November.

With Urban Drainage making headlines in the popular press and generating emotive debate in the House of Commons it has never been more timely for us to return to an in-person event and come together to continue to share best practice, emerging techniques and technologies, and debate how to address numerous fast approaching challenges.

In confronting these challenges this year we will focus on 3 main themes:

  • Delivering on societies expectations for overflow spill reductions and mitigating wider environmental impact – including, and spanning well beyond, the modelling implications of achieving both interim reductions in frequency and ultimately 10 spills per annum whilst maintaining the serviceability of the network
  • Sewerage Planning - with the Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans coming to a conclusion and the Periodic Review for England and Wales in full swing numerous aspects of our evolving approaches to managing risk, asset health, and future change will be considered against the backdrop of stakeholder engagement
  • Partnership Outcomes - Recognising that concrete alone can not offer viable solutions to all flooding and overflow reduction ambitions the importance and benefit of partnership working is ever increasingly. With schemes now successfully operating it is opportune to reflect on both successes and lessons learnt.

To support these themes, we are delighted to be welcoming a number of guest speakers from across the spectrum of opinion and continuing to build on recent successes will be hosting a series of round tables to explore viewpoints, test the status quo, and provide direction to our Urban Drainage community to tackle the upcoming significant changes.

The event offers a range of formal papers and workshops spread across 3 days, an expected 200 plus delegates, an exhibition space, and the Conference dinner.


We are inviting our community to come forward with their ideas for content or to express an interest in speaking during the event by the 8th August 2022. Papers are invited on the following topics related to urban drainage management:

  • Overflows – tackling societies expectations, including the differing approaches in England, Scotland, Wales
  • NIDWMPs and PR24 – what do we know and what have we learnt
  • Blue green and partnership with a focus on completed schemes and how they work in reality

Please submit your ideas here.


UDG Spring Conference 2022 - 8 June 2022

CIWEM Urban Drainage Group is thrilled to be hosting our Spring Conference within the CIWEM Flood and Coast Conference at Telford on the 8th June 2022. We are particularly excited as it is our first time at Flood and Coast and our first physical event in nearly 2.5 years.

As an event within an event we expect to benefit from additional delegates to join our sessions from Flood and Coast and our delegates and speakers will have access to the complete Flood and Coast experience. As such, this spring, our event draws on the synergies between Flood and Coast and urban drainage themes to bring together professionals from across the urban drainage management and flood risk communities to share best practice, innovation, and particularly collaborative experiences.

The range of topics covered by urban drainage group events is broad. This ‘call for papers’ is your opportunity to get involved and to help CIWEM develop a compelling and diverse programme. We are especially interested in how you have demonstrated innovation, out-performed expectations, worked successfully with partners or overcome technical challenges.

Here are some ideas to spark your imagination:

  • Drainage and wastewater Management Plans – as we rush to the end of the first pass what are your reflections on successes, thoughts on lessons learnt and how can we build on the benefits of working with stakeholders?
  • Storm overflows – a perennial topic – concepts and practical experience of how can we balance the public’s expectation with responsible stewardship of our urban environment and management of flood risk?
  • Surface Water management – do you have practical examples of linking the solutions to multiple challenges and delivering partnership and innovative outcomes beyond simple grey solutions and increased conveyance?
  • Living with extremes – building from our Training day and including reflection from it – how do we maintain and improve community flood risk management? From prediction, mitigation to permanent solution - as the extremes of rainfall we experience continue to grow.
  • Are there lessons from Europe, North America or Asia that can help us?

Abstracts should be no more than one side of A4 and take the following format:

1. Paper / presentation title

2. Presenter(s) and affiliation (maximum 2)

3. Any other authors and affiliation

4. Contact details for corresponding author

5. Paper outline - be concise and clearly state any novelty or innovation and who will be interested in the paper and why.

Email your abstract(s) to jonathan.cutting@wsp.com before 5:00 pm on Friday 11th March 2022.

Successful contributors will receive a complimentary day delegate ticket to Flood and Coast.


With thanks to our event sponsors:

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