Why Does Stormwater Drainage Matter? Why Does Stormwater Drainage Matter?

Stormwater drainage is designed to handle water that will not pass through the standard domestic drains to be handled by sewage works. Stormwater flows straight into rivers and lakes carrying all that it gathers on the way.


One of the most dangerous aspects of unexpected stormwater is the power represented by the uncontrollable movement of immense fluid weight. Structures designed to carry weight vertically can often collapse under a lateral attack.

The impetus under which stormwater flows will see it first attempt to flow over or through an obstacle before filtering round it. The initial pause caused by the attempt to flow over an object and the subsequent bounce back into a flow that has not paused at all magnifies the weight and power of the water. There is little that is man made that can withstand that sort of power.  

Grinding Power

The worst aspect of stormwater on the move is the enormous power granted to it by the various materials it picks up as it moves. Literally tons of small stones and rocks can be carried at the front of a newly released wave of water. The pressure of the water can roll large objects over and, even worse, the negative pressure created by water flowing slightly obliquely from a building can pull the building down.

Stormwater Drainage Systems

Stormwater drainage systems are designed to take the initial brunt of an attack by floodwater. By providing direct and speedy access to lower levels stormwater drains are intended to reduce the potential danger. The drains are usually built into the ground so that the weight of the water will not damage them. Any changes of direction are managed in small increments so that turbulence in the stormwater is minimized to improve the flow rate.

A major benefit of stormwater drains is that they are managed and, despite irresponsible dumping, are usually available when needed.

A blocked stormwater drain could result in the sort of urban destruction that would be any city engineer’s worst nightmare.

Negative Aspect

Although the stormwater drainage system is a vital element in the survival kit of any large urbanization, it is often not treated as such. The potential damage of flooding can be magnified by the negligent attitude of citizens to the urban infrastructure. Seeing wide-open concrete sewers every day with nothing more than a trickle in the bottom creates a false sense of security.

Stormwater drainage matters because it may be your only defense against a flooded home. As urban areas spread and more roads are built to service them, the ability of the land to absorb heavy rainfall is seriously compromised. Poor planning of urban developments can wipe out the natural drainage routes that water has taken for centuries. If nothing is done to replace those routes and drive the water into a new system, nothing will stop the water from recarving its old route through whatever subdivision has been placed in its path.   

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