Geosynthetics Used in Urban Sustainable Drainage Systems


REDSUDS is a network of collaborators (universities, town halls and companies) united to promote a change in urban drainage systems in Spain. The most important thing in this project is the collaboration and information on Urban Sustainable Drainage Systems. This initiative seeks to promote research and development of new solutions that facilitate and improve the drainage process in urban areas.


Urban Sustainable Drainage Systems
Urban Sustainable Drainage Systems

Cities have to drain the water coming from the rains. When you start building in an area that was undeveloped, the first thing you do is waterproof it. This has a direct effect on the natural water cycle, and when it rains, the water cannot infiltrate the soil and cannot return to the aquifers. Therefore, the water “left over” must be channeled to return to the places where it should be. This is what Urban Sustainable Drainage Systems consist of.

The Suds (Urban Sustainable Drainage Systems) prevent cities from flooding due to torrential rains. On the other hand, rain drags pollutants from the air that become part of the water that falls in cities. These systems help to decontaminate water from contaminated particles.


Until now, it was thought that it was best to build elements that would help to evacuate water from cities as quickly as possible. Today, there are more options available and beneficial to our cities that can be used. With the current drainage systems, the aim is to collect, transport, decontaminate and infiltrate the water, seeking a sustainable and beneficial result for urban areas.


Vegetable roofs: they are a drainage system that provides many advantages in cities. They help to collect part of the rain, so they reduce the volume of water that flows through the surface, reduce pollutants, act as insulators of buildings and avoid the “heat island” effect that occurs in cities.

roof garden

Some of the materials that can be used to build these green roofs are: Non Woven Geotextile,HDPE Geomembrane,Drainage Board or Drainage Cell.

Permeable surfaces: they are extensions where pedestrians can pass, and that, in addition, are prepared for water to infiltrate vertically. Thus, as in the previous solution, the volume of runoff is reduced. Broadly speaking these are the materials that would be used: GTM Geotextile Non Woven.

Rain gardens: thanks to its design flexibility, they are systems that can be installed anywhere in the city. They reduce the volume of water on the surface thanks to vertical infiltration and evapotranspiration. These materials could be used for these types of gardens: GTM Non Woven Geotextile

Filter strips: these are solutions that are usually created in medium-sized roads and in areas that are not very urbanized. They can also be built next to large waterproof areas.

pavement urface drainage system

They reduce drastically the speed of the water, which favors its infiltration and the separation of contaminants. Some of the materials to build these filter strips are: (* I would need to know what types of geotextiles can be used: depending on the case, an individual recommendation should be made, but above all they would be GTM PP staple Fiber Non Woven Geotextile

Infiltration wells: they are shallow wells that are coated with draining materials (drainage geosynthetics). The objective of this type of wells is to bring water from nearby waterproof surfaces to them. They are used to infiltrate water faster and is less expensive than other systems.

Green gutters: just like filter strips are surfaces that are created near impervious surfaces. They are smaller, but the same effect is sought. Let the water seep slowly so that the maximum amount of contaminants in the water can be removed. Some of the materials that can be used are: Non Woven Geotextile,HDPE Geomembrane,Drainage Board or Drainage Cell,drainage geocomposite

In this post we have commented only some of the most important systems, although there are many more: detention tanks, retention ponds, floodplanes, etc.

To install any type of REDSUDS. It is necessary to carry out a preliminary study of the most suitable solutions according to the type of terrain, the amount of rain and the aquifers in the area.

In GTM Geotextile we are specialists in geotextiles, materials completely adapted to the needs that a sustainable drainage system requires. Geotextiles have high qualities for waterproofing and drainage of the soil.

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