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Detention Basin Design to Mitigate Regional Peak Flow Impacts

Detention Basin Design to Mitigate Regional Peak Flow Impacts

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Published by: cigarbar on Apr 19, 2010
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05/24/2012

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ABSTRACT
SAUNDERS JR., WILLIAM LEWIS
.
Detention Basin Design to Mitigate RegionalPeak Flow
 
Impacts. (Under the direction of James Bowen.)Volumes and rates of stormwater runoff increase due to urban-type-development.Detention basins provide a volume of storage lost through the construction of impervioussurfaces, such as buildings, streets and parking lots. One method of stormwater management involves the construction of “on-site” detention facilities.Runoff from on-site detention facilities, when these are placed at locations in thelower portion of a watershed, can combine with the regional flow and have their peak flow arrive downstream simultaneously with the regional peak flow; thereby, sometimes producing downstream peak flow rates greater than the developed watershed would haveexperienced without the detention basins. This phenomenon is known as the “regionaleffect.”In this research, simulated responses from hypothetical catchments using a widerange of hydrologic parameters were generated with a numerical model and used to studydetention basin storage capacity or combined into watersheds to study the regional effect.The regional effect analysis was conducted by placing hypothetical developmentsat different watershed locations and analyzing the regional impact due to uncontrolledand different levels of controlled release.Based upon the simulation model results, it was found that regional impact levelsincreased due to uncontrolled release as the development location moved upstream fromthe base of the watershed.
 
In addition, it was found that as soil storage capacity increased a broader range odevelopment locations produced a measurable impact, and the overall regional impactlevels increased.Analysis of the uncontrolled results indicates that regional impact can bemitigated if the detention basin elongated outfall peak-flow-crest comes and goes beforethe arrival of the primary watershed peak flow. If this is not possible, then the regionalimpact can be minimized by limiting the detention basin outflow to a value that is 50 to80 percent of the pre-development peak flow. This ratio of detention pond peak flow tothe predevelopment peak flow, referred to as the peak flow reduction factor (PFRF), wasfound to depend on the location of the detention basin within the watershed, but variedonly slightly across the range of hydrologic and physical properties that were varied inthe study.Detention basin storage was estimated by routing the runoff from a hypotheticalcatchment through a detention basin limiting the peak outflow to the same limits of controlled release utilized in the earlier analysis. Each hypothetical catchment runoff wasestimated using a unique combination of ground cover conditions and hydrologic parameter values. This analysis developed statistical relationships that estimated the percent of runoff used for basin storage. Using this analysis procedure, the percent of runoff volume required for basin storage was found to depend upon storm duration, soiltype, post-development curve number (CN), and the ratio of detention pond peak flow tothe predevelopment peak flow. Other hydrologic parameters that were varied in theanalysis (watershed slope, storm return period, development size) did not affect the percent of runoff volume to be stored in the pond. For soil type A, the percent of runoff 
 
volume required for basin storage did vary depending on storm return period andduration, but not on the other variables.In conclusion, this dissertation provides comprehensive detention basin designguidelines to mitigate the regional effect due to on-site detention, and a screening-levelmethod that quickly estimates basin storage using a limited number of hydrologic parameters, and the same prescribed peak flow reduction factors used in the regionaleffect study.

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