Storm Water Management: From Design to Disaster
On the Scene E-Newsletter, Edition 117, June 8, 2010Hurricanes, El Niño, and excessive rain or snowmelt typically lead to excessive rainfall that ultimately collects and pools and contributes to flooding. Storm water is a term used to describe water that originates during precipitation events. It may also be used to apply to water that originates with snowmelt or runoff water from overwatering that enters the storm water system. Storm water that does not soak into the ground becomes surface runoff, which either flows directly into surface waterways or is channeled into storm sewers, which eventually discharge to surface waters. The proactive side of these types of disasters is the engineering discipline of storm water management.
Take for example a case involving a community maintained storm water management pond adjacent to a claimant homeowner's property. The case involved the role of the storm water pond in basement flooding, commencing more than 10 years after construction of the pond and the community homes.
Engineers with storm water management expertise are trained in managing the following aspects of its effects; control of flooding and erosion, managing and controlling hazardous materials to prevent release of pollutants into the environment, building 'soft' structures such as ponds, swales, or wetland to work with existing 'hard' drainage structures, such as pipes and concrete channels, planning and constructing storm water systems so contaminants are removed before they pollute surface waters or groundwater resources. CED's Construction group investigates claims and litigation stemming from flooding resulting from all of the above.
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