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Storm Drainage Systems: How to Recapture Water

Storm Drainage Systems play in an important role when it comes to Best Management Practices (BMP's) that mitigate storm water runoff. We are now in what is considered "wet season" for recapturing rainfall by using various forms of storm drainage systems. The wet season is a time period characterized from October 1st through April 30th, according to construction storm water BMP performance standards.

The more that open land is covered by roads, buildings, parking lots, etc., the less we will be able to recapture rain water naturally, which directly feeds natural underground aquifers. Therefore, several ways have been devised to recapture storm water using various drainage methods, such as those used in pipeline infrastructure; bioswales, retention and detention storm drainage systems, storm water chambers, porous paving, and other storm water capture and reuse systems.

Storm water Bioswales, also known as bioretention basins, were designed to increase water filtration and reduce surface runoff. Large quantities of surface runoff from parking lots, roadways and roofs are directed to bioswales which are typically "U" shaped swales and made of natural looking vegetation. Swales are designed to have small slopes that allow drainage to meander slowly, thus allowing water to filter and settle into the ground, thereby recapturing this water back into the earth instead of washing it out to the ocean.

Detention storm drainage systems capture storm runoff, hold it onsite, and then release water slowly over time towards the main storm system, so that it will have less impact when storm systems are at their peak flow. While detention systems help prevent flooding, retention systems capture storm runoff underground and hold it until it seeps naturally into the ground, thereby recharging the underground water table.

Retention storm drainage systems are calculated for size by determining what the developed piece of land would have had in runoff in its natural state. Most of these systems are installed under parking lots or landscaped areas of newly developed projects. There are many types of retention systems on the market today.

Some retention systems are simply large underground pipes used for holding water, while others are concrete vaults with large filters. Storm water chamber systems are used with a combination of rock, filter fabric, and semicircle piping that direct water to seep into the ground. Some storm chamber systems may also be detention systems, depending on whether an impermeable membrane liner is required.

Another type of drainage system is porous pavement. Porous pavement is made up of cement concrete mix, asphalt, precast masonry pavers or some other possible combination of rock and concrete. It is designed to be pervious so that storm water will drain through the pavement and be directed toward underground holding tanks or seep naturally into soil, which has typically been tested for percolation, to eventually recharge the groundwater.

Without proper drainage, we may well be living in a wetland. Luckily, storm drainage systems, together with sewer and water pipeline infrastructures, keep land dry while recycling precious water elements remaining for reuse. Understanding how underground storm drainage systems work is key to any well-designed project.

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Published on October 12, 2010 | Comments: 2

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2 Comments | Leave a comment

Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post.

Keep Blogging!

Thank you! More to follow.

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