Stormwater Drainage and Flooding Investigations Services: The Importance of Risk Assessment

13 July 2018

Urban drainage systems are expected to function at their best, no matter the threat. That’s something of a bold assertion. Regardless of the potential flooding conditions, stormwater drainage conduits ought to perform as designed. Unfortunately, those designs exist on paper, and that functional best only exists inside a mathematical model. To provide empirical evidence, the scientific data needs bolstering. We need the services of a risk assessment study.

Flooding Investigation Services

Blueprints are an engineer’s best friend, but they don’t exactly provide real-time information. To discover the actual conditions inside drainage culverts and gullies, infrastructural engineers need to be on-site. Buried in their risk assessment duties, the team assesses silt deposits, temporary obstructions, potential bottlenecks, and previously concealed system defects. Everything is recorded, everything is noted, and actionable solutions are compiled.

Risk Assessment Tools

Hard hat pressed down, torch switched on, and boiler suit zipped all the way up, the engineers use infrastructure drawings to move forward. Rubber wellingtons are squeaking a little as a lead technician adjusts his fluorescent jacket. A walky-talky is in hand, and data is being relayed back to a nearby van. But there’s a problem, an issue that stops the team. Looking at the narrowing drainage channels, the tunnels are too narrow for a person to pass through. No worries, many floodwater investigation services are prepared for this moment, and they have contingency plans in place. Popular among those plans, CCTV cameras can explore all sorts of confined spaces. They’re mounted on floats or wide wheels, with a remote control handset providing further investigative coverage.

An Undeniably Important Service

Floodwater drainage channels are inflexible assets. The ground above is developing, new buildings are going up, and a designated area’s entire topological profile is in flux, yet the flood remediation network isn’t adapting to offset the changes. Risk assessment investigations are utilized as floodwater analyzing mechanisms, in that they survey the true-to-life effects of these developmental changes. Of course, temporary obstructions, including silt build-up and dead trees, are part of the risk assessment program. But then there are structural bottlenecks and channel defects to deal with, design flaws that require calls to action. Impacting all of these investigative practices, a site inundation model governs the service.

On-site, investigators and CCTV assets carry out the bulk of the work. Meanwhile, back at the office, simulations are spinning out on high-spec computers. A drainage model is probably plugged into the simulation, as is a two-dimensional overland flow chart. Knowing the current and future ground conditions, plus a wealth of climate control statistics, the two teams combine their datasets to create an inundation risk assessment model. Established by an expert hydrologic service, new drainage resources can now be outlined in a report.

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