Stormwater System Design

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Stormwater System Design is a part of every complete engineering job; the stormwater has to go somewhere. But good stormwater system design will address not only the immediate design needs of a particular parcel of land, but also the environment surrounding it. Our engineers and surveyors work closely together to determine a Best Management Practice (BMP) for your design needs given a variety of factors.

Runoff resized 600As is often the case, surface flow is the cause of a lot of headaches and subsequently a frequent issue our clients have come to us with.

Surface flow occurs when excess water from rain, meltwater, or other nearby sources build up over the ground due to a lack of permeation into the soil. For some, this may only happen with the rare storm we get every now and then in Connecticut. However, there are two ground surface conditions that cause surface flow to become a more chronic issue: 1). saturated soil and 2). impermeable or semi-permeable surfaces.

In the case of soils saturated with water, this often occurs in depression storage areas, or low-lying land where water tends to collect from your typical amounts rain and meltwater. Since more water permeates through these soils, the ground water table tends to be higher. When these areas are exposed to consistant amounts of water, it can quickly "back-up" as the storage capacity of that depression exceeds the rate it drains into nearby soils. This causes water to collect on the surface, damaging plants and any nearby improvements.

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Surface flow caused from impermeable surfaces more often than not occurs along roads such as in the photo above. However, there are a range of semi-permeable surfaces which can cause surface flow more unexpectedly. For example, compacted soil from frequent walking or parking a car in a backyard can hinder the ability of that soil to absorb water, resulting in large puddles.

Recognizing these conditions quickly and designing effective solutions is what goes into good stormwater system design. From temporary drainage for a construction site to redesigning an aged stormwater system, good design pays attention to the environmental details at the root cause of the issue.