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Uses and Purposes of Storm Water Detention Tanks

26 June 2018

Stormwater detention tanks, as the label implies, are designed to detain this essential natural resource. Granted, the sight is enthralling. Huge quantities of water are flowing across the ground and rapidly draining away. It’s only when the storm is over that we realize the life-giving liquid is gone. Arid regions can’t afford that kind of woolly-headed thinking. The heavy downpour needs to be held back, far from the drains.

Addressing Urban Imbalance

Unfortunately, even rainy regions are suffering. If large cities are made from tons of concrete, then those solid blocks won’t exactly work with the ecosystem. Sure, they drain and channel water, but that funneled liquid ends up in a drainage system, not in the ground. Stormwater detention tanks address the issue by storing recent downpours in and around the concrete jungle. Urban developments are always on the rise, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept their unnatural water depleting features.

They’re Flood Management Assets

A recently computed floodplain model suggests a large volume of stormwater could overwhelm the entire drainage network. There’s a bottleneck in the system, and it’s not about to go away until a major infrastructural renovation project gets the go-ahead. Stormwater detention tanks are also used to manage flood flow rates and remove drain load. Picture the sharp peaks and furrows caused by a deluge. The graph looks like a sharp range of mountains, and every spike indicates a greater flood risk. Stormwater detention systems flatten out these graphs and remove flood spikes. Beyond this feature, the ability to acts as a system buffer, the tanks can also be used as pretreatment units. Used in this manner, the tanks are installed as a crucial part of a wastewater system. Special chemicals are added to the stored waste, then the fluid is slowly released so that the attenuated stream doesn’t overload the sewage treatment facility.

Where are those tanks? They’re everywhere, but they’re also good at fading into the background. Stormwater detention tanks are installed on tall buildings, they’re sited on the ground, perhaps behind a multi-storey complex, and they’re placed underground. For example, right under that multi-storey complex, there’s an internal drainage pit, which collects the water and directs the liquid to a stormwater detention tank. Regulating the downpour, a flow governor attenuates the deluge and sends the controlled stream into the municipal drainage system. For the project leader, the design engineer, the next job is challenging. Peak runoff calculations are run, gravity flow and pump discharge systems are considered, and detention tank dimensions estimated.

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