Drainage of Rainwater and Meltwater on the Property

Drainage of Rainwater and Meltwater on the Property

Rain and meltwater pose a serious threat to buildings and the territory itself. Excessive moisture can cause significant damage, leading to the destruction of building foundations, cracking of pathways, and soil compaction, which destroys vegetation. According to insurance companies, thousands of homeowners annually face problems related to flooding and waterlogging of the territory, leading to huge financial losses. These problems are addressed by deep drainage systems and surface water drainage systems. These are necessary components of a drainage system required on every site.

What functions does the drainage system perform?

The drainage system plays a key role in protecting various elements of the site from the negative impact of excessive moisture. Its functions can be divided by the objects it is designed to protect.

Vegetation and Plantings

As a result of the accumulation of rainwater and meltwater, soil compaction occurs. This, in turn, impedes the access of oxygen and nutrients to the root system of plants. Roots begin to rot, and eventually, the plant dies. The fertile layer of soil is washed away, reducing its quality. As a result of siltation, mold forms and moss proliferates, which also negatively affects the plants.

Buildings and Structures

flooding of a home foundation after rain

Flooding of the foundation occurs, which in the long term can lead to its destruction, the appearance of cracks, and settlement of structures. It also creates favorable conditions for the development of mold and fungus, which can lead to health problems for residents and accelerated destruction of building materials.

Roads and Pathways

Excess moisture leads to cracking and destruction of the surface of roads and pathways. Potholes, pits, and puddles form, creating a hazard for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. It is also important to remember that the chemical agents used to combat ice in winter are very harmful to vegetation. It is necessary that they are removed from the site along with the runoff.

Drainage of Water from the Site

Surface water drainage – this system is for diverting precipitation to sewers or natural water bodies. It includes a surface system for collecting water from the territory of the site and a roof system for diverting water from the roofs of buildings. The surface system operates on the principle of creating slopes and using trays, gutters, and pipes to direct water flows in the required direction. The roof system consists of gutters, pipes, and other elements that ensure the drainage of water from the roof into the common drainage system.

Surface water drainage facilitates the rapid collection and diversion of water, protecting the site and buildings from flooding and water stagnation. It performs the following functions:

  • Prevents large amounts of water from neighboring territories from entering the site;
  • Diverts water from the roof;
  • Protects the foundation by diverting water from the footpaths;
  • Prevents water stagnation and the formation of puddles on the site.

Surface water drainage can be point-based or linear. The point-based system collects water in local containers, such as catch basins. The linear system diverts excess moisture from the site through a special system of gutters and trays, installed in a certain way with the necessary slope.

Components of the Water Drainage System

To set up a reliable water collection system, various components are necessary, which, when properly combined, can achieve excellent results. The main components include:

  • Catch basins – special containers for collecting water in the point-based drainage system. They can be plastic or concrete and are equipped with grates for filtering debris.
  • Sand traps – devices for capturing sand, stones, and other solid particles, preventing clogging of the drainage system. They are usually installed in wells before exiting to the general sewerage.
  • Drainage trays – are the main element of the stormwater system on the site. They collect water from the entire territory. The trays can be plastic, concrete, or polymer concrete. They are covered with removable grates made of durable material, such as steel or cast iron. The grates are designed to withstand vehicle weight and look aesthetically pleasing, harmoniously fitting into the landscape design.

Trays are typically placed along the edge of the lawn or pathways, providing a slight incline for easier water collection. The water collected in the trays then flows into the sand trap, then into a well, and the underground drainage for final diversion off the site.

Design and Calculation of the System

Designing a water drainage system

Before installing a water drainage system, it must be properly designed considering the size and relief of the site, the amount of precipitation in the region, and other factors. Calculations will determine the required capacity of the system, the diameters of the pipes, the sizes of the trays and catch basins. An incorrectly designed system may be ineffective or, conversely, excessive, leading to unnecessary costs for materials and installation. Therefore, it is recommended to engage experienced specialists for the competent design of the water drainage system.

Maintenance and Prevention

To ensure the long-term and uninterrupted operation of the water drainage system, it is necessary to periodically perform maintenance and preventive measures. This includes:

  • Cleaning trays, catch basins, and sand traps of accumulated debris, leaves, and other contaminants;
  • Checking the integrity of pipes and connections for leaks or blockages;
  • Removing vegetation that may hinder normal water flow;
  • Inspecting and cleaning roof gutters;
  • Checking the system's performance after heavy rains or snow melting to identify any potential problem areas.

Timely maintenance will prevent clogs, leaks, and other malfunctions, ensuring the effective operation of the water drainage system.

Implementation Examples

On a small plot of up to 10 acres, it is often sufficient to install a point-based water drainage system with several catch basins connected into a common drainage network. Large suburban plots and cottage communities require more extensive solutions using linear trays located along pathways and driveways.

Example of a water drainage system with catch basins on a small plot:

Example of a water drainage system with catch basins

Example of a water drainage system with linear trays on a large plot:

Example of a water drainage system with linear trays

Thus, a properly designed and implemented system for draining rain and meltwater will protect the territory of the site, buildings, and structures from the negative impact of excessive moisture, extend their service life, and provide comfortable conditions for living and recreation.

FAQ: Managing Drainage Systems

1. Can drainage systems be used to collect rainwater for subsequent use? Yes, drainage systems can be adapted for collecting and storing rainwater. This not only saves water but also reduces the load on local sewage systems. Specialized tanks are used for collecting water, which can be connected to drainage systems to collect water from roofs.

2. What environmental considerations should be taken into account when installing drainage systems? When designing drainage systems, it is important to consider their impact on the local ecosystem. It is recommended to choose materials that have minimal impact on the environment and provide proper filtration of water to prevent soil and water body pollution.

3. What new technologies are available to improve the efficiency of drainage systems? New technologies, such as "smart" drainage systems, use sensors and automatic controllers to adapt to changes in water levels. This allows for optimizing the system's operation in real-time, preventing overflows and improving the overall efficiency of water drainage.

4. What insurance policies cover damage from drainage system malfunctions? Many insurance companies offer policies that cover water damage caused by drainage system malfunctions. It is important to carefully review the insurance terms and ensure that the policy covers all potential risks associated with water damage.

5. How does climate change affect the design and operation of drainage systems? Climate change can lead to more intense and frequent precipitation, which requires drainage systems to have greater capacity. These changes should be considered when designing new or upgrading existing systems to ensure their efficiency in changing climatic conditions.

6. How to conduct regular diagnostics and maintenance of the drainage system? Regular maintenance should include cleaning trays, catch basins, and sand traps of debris, checking pipes for leaks or blockages, and removing vegetation that may hinder normal water flow. It is also recommended to inspect the system after heavy rains to identify and rectify any issues.