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Chapter 4 Storm-Drainage Systems



General Design Considerations
Part One of this chapter discussed general criteria that must be considered in the design of both roof and site drainage systems, including materials, rainfall rates, and pipe sizing. These general design considerations apply to Part Two also. The tables and figures used to illustrate the chapter are consecutive from Part One to Part Two.

applied to the surface, and it assumes that the runoff coefficient would remain constant. The Rational Method of storm-drainage design states that the peak discharge is approximately equal to the product of the area drained, the runoff coefficient, and the maximum rainfall intensity, or: Equation 4-4 Q = CIA where Q = Rainfall runoff, ft3/s (m3/s) Surface runoff, coefficient (dependent on the surface of the area drained) Rainfall intensity, in./h (mm/h) Drainage area, acres (m2) C =

Site Drainage
When large areas with fewer drainage points such as commercial or industrial sites, parking lots, highways, airports or whole citiesrequire storm drainage, the methods and tables found in most codes are not applicable. The solutions obtained using those methods would result in systems that are oversized for the flows involved and are far too large to be economically feasible. The reason is that, in large systems, time is required for flows to peak at the inlets and accumulate in the piping system. Because of this time factor, the peak flow in the piping does not necessarily coincide with the peak rainfall. The design of large storm-drainage systems usually is the responsibility of the civil engineer; however, the applicable theories and principles are often used by the plumbing engineer. The rate of runoff from an area is influenced by many factors, such as: 1. Intensity and duration of the rainfall. 2. Type, imperviousness, and moisture content of the soil. 3. Slope of the surfaces. 4. Type and amount of vegetation. 5. Surface retention. 6. Temperature of the air, water, and soil.


= =

Note: 1 acre = 43,560 ft2 (4047 m2) The runoff coefficient is that portion of rain that falls on an area and flows off as free water and is not lost to infiltration into the soil, ponding in surface depressions, or evaporation (expressed as a decimal). Construction increases have increased the number of impervious surfaces, which also increases the quantity of runoff. Table 4-6 lists some values for the runoff coefficient as reported in the American Society of Civil Engineers Manual on the Design and Construction of Sanitary and Storm Sewers. The rate of runoff is hard to accurately evaluate and is impacted by the precipitation rate,

Table 4-6 Some Values of the Rational Coefficient C

Surface Type Bituminous streets Concrete streets Driveways, walks Roofs Lawns, sandy soil Flat, 2% Average, 27% Steep, 7% Lawns, heavy soil Flat, 2% Average, 27% Steep, 7% Unimproved areas C Value 0.700.95 0.800.95 0.750.85 0.751.00 0.050.10 0.100.15 0.150.20 0.130.17 0.180.22 0.250.35 0.100.30

The Rational Method of System Design

The Rational Method is the most universally applied and recommended way of calculating runoff because it takes all these factors into account. This method assumes that, if rain were to fall on a totally impervious surface at a constant rate long enough, water would eventually run off of the surface at the same rate as it was