BY MICHAEL F. BLOOM, P.E.
R.G. MILLER ENGINEERS, INC.
Houston area real estate developers have traditionally used concrete parking areas, concrete streets, and pre-cast concrete storm sewer systems to convey rain water quickly and efficiently to “end-of-pipe” detention basins or underground cisterns. From there, the collected rainwater is discharged into nearby streams or bayous or the public storm sewer system at a restricted rate to avoid downstream flooding from storms smaller than the design storm.
Suburban developments are typically disconnected from their nearby streams in favor of locating homes and businesses around the detention basins, which are often designed with permanent pools water and are viewed as manicured “lakes” by future residents. Urban developments typically place stormwater systems underground– out of sight and out of mind.
There is an alternative, however: natural drainage systems – also known as “low impact development (LID)” or “green stormwaterinfrastructure (GSI).”
Click here to read more about Natural Drainage Approach.
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