There are a lot of challenges associated with urban development. One of those challenges involves figuring out how to manage stormwater effectively. When an area is developed, much of the surface is usually paved, preventing rainwater from soaking into the soil. In order to provide a place for all of this extra water to go, special drainage systems need to be designed.
Drainage channels are usually put in place to divert the excess water into a storm water retention system. These systems are designed to hold the excess water, allowing it to seep slowly into the surrounding soil.
The purpose of using one of these retention systems is to keep the stormwater from overwhelming the surrounding area. Without one of these systems, the runoff after a storm could cause major problems ranging from flooding to soil erosion.
When an area is developed, parking lots, sidewalks, roadways, and other surfaces are paved, preventing water from soaking into the ground. This increases the amount of runoff. Without some kind of system to manage it, the excess runoff could cause localized flooding. It could also erode the soil in nearby areas, creating a variety of different problems.
With a properly designed retention system in place, however, these problems are far less likely to occur. Special drainage channels help manage the excess stormwater, directing it into the retention system.
There, the water has plenty of time to slowly discharge into the surrounding soil. Since there isn’t any fast-moving water on the surface of the ground, erosion doesn’t take place. These systems also help prevent flooding by keeping the excess water from running into nearby streams and rivers or flowing into areas where it shouldn’t be.
Typically, these systems are either located above the ground in the form of retention ponds or they are buried underground in the form of subsurface piping. Aboveground ponds are affordable to build. However, they do present a number of management-related challenges. For instance, they can provide a breeding ground for unwanted pests like mosquitoes. It can also be difficult to control garbage or waste in these systems.
Underground systems are more costly to implement. However, they tend to present fewer long-term challenges and are generally easier to manage. They also don’t take up as much land, making them a good solution for areas where land is in short supply.
Storm water retention systems are designed to prevent problems like flooding and soil erosion. Their primary purpose is to counteract runoff problems created by urban development, the removal of surface vegetation, or other issues that interfere with natural watersheds.
While these systems used to primarily rely on aboveground ponds, most modern retention systems use underground piping instead. Underground systems offer many advantages. Along with being easier and more affordable to manage, they also allow the ground above the system to be used for just about any purpose ranging from parking to recreation. This allows for a lot more flexibility in terms of land use, making them a superior choice when compared to aboveground retention systems.