CHAPTER 2: UNDERSTANDING FLOW
The process of designing drainage facilities, including culverts and pipelines, consistsof two distinct functions. The engineer must determine the maximum volume of flow to be transported by the drainage facility, and the type and size of drainagestructure that will transport that maximum volume of flow.Many different procedures are available to determine design flow and to size drainagestructures. Numerous texts and manuals have been developed to guide the designengineer. In addition many agencies for which drainage facilities are being designedhave developed standard procedures for hydrologic analysis and drainage structuredesign. Because, quite properly, practice varies from state to state and often withinstates, this chapter is not intended to serve the full function of a design manual, butrather it is intended to identify procedures for determining design flow and for sizingdrainage structures. A description of various flow and pipe sizing methodologies isprovided; manuals or texts that include detailed design procedures are referenced.
Flow in Storm Water Conveyances
As a watershed begins to accept precipitation, surface vegetation and depressionsintercept and retain a portion of that precipitation. Interception, depression storageand soil moisture each contribute to groundwater accretion, which constitutes thebasin recharge. Precipitation that does not contribute to basin recharge is directrunoff. Direct runoff consists of surface runoff (overland flow) and subsurfacerunoff (interflow), which flows into surface streams. The basin recharge rate isat its maximum at the beginning of a storm, and decreases as the storm progresses.The method of the United States Soil Conservation Service (SCS) for the calculationof runoff breaks down basin recharge into two parts, initial interception andinfiltration. A typical direct runoff history diagram (or hydrograph) is presentedin Fig 2.1. The shape of the hydrograph is different from basin to basin. It is afunction of the physical characteristics of the drainage basin, rainfall intensities anddistribution pattern, land uses, soil type and the initial moisture condition of the soil.