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Stormwater Extensions and Retention Systems

24 May 2017

Stormwater Extensions and Retention Systems supplement existing floodwater handling facilities. The primary line of defence, the engineered channels and drainage pipes, manage heavy seasonal downpours as designed, but the lay of the land can counter this topological mechanism, perhaps even to the point that an overflow is near certain. The goal of an extension system is to provide volumetric overhead. Similarly, stormwater retentions manage runoff while acting as a natural flood buffer.

Emulating Natures Balance

After dipping into our technical services gallery and case studies, you’ll have come to the conclusion that we work with nature, not against the land. Stormwater extensions and retention systems are just other feathers in that multidisciplinarian engineer’s cap. They’re the concrete-lined ditches that funnel annual water surges to rivers and coasts. Stormwater management is a hallmark of that engineering acumen when water overflow extensions require an engineering boost. As for stormwater retention systems, this natural land buffer requires a special fluid absorption solution, something that’s provided when the land is sculpted to accommodate a retention basin.

Establishing A Retention Basin

The stormwater channels have done their job, for the most part, but the seasonal surge is on the brink of defeating the mechanism, so a water buffering basin requires consideration. A retention basin is a land depression that’s occupied by natures’ finest water absorption champions. Scraggly reeds and wetland plants live here, with the depression taking on the guise of a wet pond when the runoff is channelled away from populated urban areas. But this is more than a simple lagoon. It filters the water and keeps sediments naturally sunk on the pond bed. It’s a near permanent land feature, this stormwater retention system, unless the water evaporates or gets gobbled up by the local flora.

Deconstructing Stormwater Extensions

The main surge handling constructs are there for everyone to see. Think of them as the pavement drains and water barrels that run along the street. Backfilled land parcels further direct the torrent as the downpour continues, then covered and uncovered concrete ditches convey the water as it’s collected. But what about the not so obvious stormwater extensions. The trees and long grasses in a car park are classed as supplementary aids here, and so are the strips of gravel ballast that filter the rainwater as it’s channelled back towards the soil.

Sustainable and eco-friendly, stormwater retentions buffer and manage the surges while the stormwater extensions direct multiple ground streams toward the primary storm management systems. The goal, as ever, is to address the rate at which the overflow returns to the earth so that a boggy mire is avoided and a perfectly managed ecosystem is achieved.

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