Queensland Urban Drainage Manual

QUDM was originally published in 1992 through a joint venture between the Queensland Division of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia, the Brisbane City Council and the department. QUDM is intended to assist engineers and stormwater designers in the planning and design of urban drainage systems within Queensland.  The manual is an engineering guideline which needs to be applied appropriately to local conditions.

The aim of the manual is to provide details of technical and regulatory aspects to consider during the planning, design and management of urban stormwater drainage systems, and to provide details of appropriate design methods and computational procedures. Both hydrologic and hydraulic procedures are covered as well as environmental and legal aspects.

The manual is designed to be used in partnership with other design manuals on topics such as floodplain management, total water cycle management, water sensitive urban design, and natural channel design.

 Revised Urban Drainage Manual Released for Comment

 Click here to download the QUDM template for change submissions

A provisional 2013 edition of the Queensland Urban Drainage Manual (QUDM) was released on the Web in April and feedback is being sought on the revisions so that a final edition can be published in late 2013 (see contact details below).

In March 2012 the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry presented its final report to the Premier of Queensland.  Recommendation 10.8, suggested the Queensland Urban Drainage Manual (QUDM) be reviewed ‘to determine whether it requires updating or improvement, in particular, to reflect the current law and to take into account insights gained from the 2010/2011 floods’.

This recommendation not only implied QUDM should be updated to reflect the outcomes of the Inquiry, but also any other relevant insights gained from other sources in regards to the 2010–11 floods. As a consequence, the development of this third edition of QUDM has not been limited to just those issues raised within the Inquiry; but has involved extensive literature reviews and consultation with local governments across Queensland.

The 2013 edition sees an increased focus on building communities and stormwater systems that are more resilient to severe storms—a key thrust of the Floods Inquiry recommendations. No longer should stormwater designers limit their considerations to the nominated ‘Major Storm’ event.  Appropriate consideration must also be given to the impact of severe storms to ensure that the consequences are acceptable, and the community is able to quickly return their lives and businesses to a state of normality after such events.

The main charges as a result of the review are:
• Increased emphasis on investigating the consequences of flows in excess of the major storm design discharge. It is noted that this does not necessarily mean the design standard has increased, or that a drainage system designed to the 2013 standard will be measurably different to one designed to the 2007 standard.
• Increased use of the annual exceedence probability (AEP) to define design storms.
• Introduction of the concept of Severe Storm Impact Statements as a part of the consideration of flows in excess of the major storm design discharge.
• Recognition of the growing importance of Regional Flood Frequency Methods in the analysis of ungauged rural catchments.
• Improved discussion on planning issues for stormwater detention and retention; and removal of the initial sizing equations that previously existed in the first and second editions of QUDM.
• Recognition that when flows, previously passing longitudinally along a roadway, spill across the roadway (i.e. at a change in road crossfall) a higher drainage standard may be required.
• Increased discussion on the blockage factors applied to stormwater systems based on the reports of Australian Rainfall and Runoff Project 11.
• Inclusion of an overview of rock sizing equations for use in the design of scour protection within drainage structures.
• Improved procedures for assessing the safety risks associated with stormwater inlets.

However there are a few of issues—particularly in reference to inter allotment drainage—that remain unresolved.  Further consultation will now occur with a final version due in late 2013. While provisional, stormwater designers should consider this edition as representing current best practice, and local governments should give appropriate consideration to the recommendations of this manual when developing their drainage codes.

The 2013 edition QUDM provides stormwater managers with an extensive guideline on current best practices for the planning and design of urban drainage systems that aid in improving the state’s resilience to flooding and drainage problems associated with severe storms.  However, the expanding objectives of stormwater management have meant that this manual must continue to be used in partnership with other design manuals on topics such as floodplain management, total water cycle management, water sensitive urban design, and natural channel design.

A copy of the provisional manual is available on the Department of Energy and Water Supply website (along with Departmental contact details for providing feedback). 

However, over the next few months, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Qld (IPWEAQ) will be organising structured opportunities for feedback.
• The template to be used for responses is available here.
• To register your interest in being part of a working group, please email SBarnes-Gillard@ipweaq.asn.au
• Training on QUDM is being held during August and September – see below for dates and locations:

 Brisbane   26 July 2013   Register online
 Cairns  1 August 2013  Register online
 Townsville  8 August 2013  Register online
 Mackay  12 August 2013  Register online
 Rockhampton  19 August 2013  Register online
 Bundaberg  22 August 2013  Register online
 Brisbane  27 August 2013  Register online
 Gold Coast  29 August 2013  Register online
 Toowoomba  3 September 2013  Register online
 Sunshine Coast  5 September 2013  Register online


For details or further information contact Suzanna Barnes-Gillard:   SBarnes-Gillard@ipweaq.asn.au or 07 36332 6810.