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Study Of Problems And Corrective Actions Of

Urban Drainage Network


Abstract
The concentration of the inlet wastewater of urban sewage treatment plants is much lower
than the expected level in the design stage, mainly because of the problems of construction,
management and maintenance of the drainage systems. Through investigation of the urban
drainage pipelines, primary problems of drainage network damage, local unreasonable
elevation design, pipe blockage and drainage system confusion, etc. were found. Combining
the local actual situation, some corresponding engineering and management measures and
some feasible suggestions for drainage pipe construction, management and maintenance
are put forward.
1.

INTRODUCTION

1.1

Purpose

Providing adequate drainage in urban areas has been proven as a necessary component in
maintaining the overall health, welfare, and economic well-being of a region. Drainage is a
regional feature that affects multiple jurisdictions and all parcels of land. It is important to
develop drainage policy that balances both public and private considerations. Certain
underlying principles should be applied when planning drainage facilities. These principles
apply to both water quantity and water quality management. Policy statements and
technical criteria serve as the implementation tools for the underlying drainage principles.
1.2

Objectives

Drainage, flood control, and water quality protection. Drainage represents only one
component of a larger urban system. The objectives are with respect to drainage, flood
control,

and

water

quality

protection

is

to:

a) To protect the general health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the region.
b) To minimize property damage from flooding, including minimization of localized
neighborhood

flooding.

c) To ensure that new buildings and facilities are free of flood hazard from major and
smaller

storm

runoff

events.

d) To minimize water quality degradation by limiting the amount of sediment generation


and

erosion

of

channels.

e) To encourage the retention of open space, particularly along natural drainage ways.
f) To plan for large and small flooding events by providing both major and minor drainage
systems.
g) To implement reasonable, cost effective best management practices (BMPs) for sediment
control

and

water

quality

enhancement.

h) To manage stream and drainage channel corridors to maintain environmental diversity


and

to

protect

buildings

and

facilities

from

damage

by

channel

erosion.

i) To stabilize channels to, among other things, minimize the disruption of existing
infrastructure

such

as

bridges

and

utility

lines.

j) To comply with the applicable National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System
(NPDES)

permit

requirements.

k) To develop equitable methods to adequately fund construction, operation and


maintenance, and administration of an up-to-date storm water management program.
l)

To

minimize

future

operating

and

maintenance

expenses.

m) To educate the public on storm water policies and administrative procedures.


n) To build a regional storm water program based on understanding and cooperation with
builders and developers, providing for effective administrative authority for the cities,
counties and P-MRNRD.
1.3

Planning

concepts

The following general principles apply when planning for and designing urban storm
drainage systems (ASCE, 1992):
1.3.1

Drainage

requires

regional

solution

Drainage is a regional phenomenon that does not respect the boundaries between
government jurisdictions or between public and private properties. Therefore, a successful
plan must integrate regional jurisdictional cooperation, where applicable, to accomplish
established goals.
1.3.2

Storm

drainage

is

sub-system

of

the

total

urban

system

Drainage is a sub-system of all urbanization. The planning of drainage facilities must be


included in the urbanization process. The first step is to include drainage planning with all
regional and local urban master plans. Storm water management facilities, such as open
channels and storm drains, serve both conveyance and storage functions. When a channel is
planned as a conveyance feature, it requires an outlet as well as downstream space to
safely convey and mitigate adverse impacts from the design flows. The space requirements
for adequate drainage may become a competing use for space with other land uses. If
adequate provision is not made in the land use plan for the drainage requirements, storm
water runoff will conflict with other land uses, will result in water damages, and will impair
or even disrupt the functioning of other urban systems (Tulsa, 1993).
1.3.3

Urban

areas

have

two

drainage

systems

Urban areas are comprised of two drainage systems. The first is the minor or primary
system, which is designed to provide public convenience and to accommodate relatively

moderate frequent flows. The other is the major system, which carries more water and
operates when the rate or volume of runoff exceeds the capacity of the minor system.
1.3.4

Runoff

routing

is

space

allocation

problem

Analysis and design of drainage systems generally should not be based on the premise that
problems can be transferred from one location to another.

1.3.5

Storm

water

runoff

as

resource

Storm water runoff and the facilities to accommodate the runoff can be an urban resource
when properly included in the urban system. Drainage ways can provide environments for
various life forms such as aquatic life, mammals, birds, and vegetation. In many cases the
drainage facilities can provide areas for active and passive recreation for citizens to enjoy.
Although sometimes a liability to urbanization, storm water runoff can be beneficial as an
urban resource. When storm water runoff is treated as a resource, water quality aspects
become important. As such, it is important to implement best management practices (both
structural and nonstructural) for water quality and effective erosion and sediment control.
1.3.6

Utilize

the

features

and

functions

of

the

natural

drainage

system

Every site contains natural features that may contribute to the management of storm water
under existing conditions. Each development plan should carefully map and identify the
natural system. Natural engineering techniques can preserve and enhance the natural
features

and

processes

of

site

and

maximize

post-development

economic

and

environmental benefits. Good designs improve the effectiveness of natural systems, rather
than negate, replace, or ignore them.
1.3.7

Post-development

flow

rates

In new developments, post-development flow rates shall be controlled to achieve the goals
and objectives of the Watershed Master Plan.
1.3.8

Design

the

storm

water

management

system

from

the

point

of

outflow

The downstream conveyance system should be evaluated to ensure that it has sufficient
capacity to accept the major and minor storm design discharges without adverse backwater
impacts on the proposed conveyance system. Adverse downstream impacts such as
flooding, stream bank erosion, and sediment deposition must also be prevented or
mitigated.
1.3.9

Provide

regular

maintenance

Failure to provide proper maintenance reduces both the hydraulic capacity and pollutant
removal efficiency of the system. Effective maintenance relies on clear assignment of tasks
and a regular inspection schedule. Maintenance for local amenities (such as open drainage

ways, BMPs detention/retention facilities, etc.) will be provided consistent with the policies
established in the Watershed Master Plan, in compliance with the applicable local codes and
regulations, and implemented through advance formal agreements between the entities
with jurisdiction or responsibility.
1.3.10

Preventive

and

corrective

actions

In existing urban settings, it may be necessary to develop a storm water management


strategy based upon both preventive and corrective measures. For example, structural
corrective measures such as inlets, storm drains, interceptor lines, channelized stream
sections

and

reservoirs

affect

and

control

storm

runoff

and

floodwaters

directly.

Nonstructural corrective measures, such as flood-proofing and land use adjustments, help
limit activities in the path of neighborhood storm runoff or in river floodplains. Preventive
actions available for reducing storm runoff and flood losses include: flood-prone land
acquisition, floodplain regulations, and control of land uses within flood-prone areas.

1.4
1.4.1

Criteria
Drainage

design

summary
and

technical

criteria

The design criteria are based on national engineering state-of-the-practice for storm water
management, modified to suit the specific needs. The criteria are intended to establish
guidelines, standards, and methods for effective planning and design. The criteria should be
revised and updated as necessary to reflect advances in the field of urban drainage
engineering and urban water resources management.
1.4.2

Minor

and

major

drainage

systems

Every urban area has two separate and distinct drainage systems, whether or not they are
actually planned for and designed. One is the minor system and the other is the major
system. To provide for orderly urban growth, reduce costs to taxpayers, and avoid loss of
life and property damage, both systems must be planned and properly engineered and
maintained.
1.4.2.1

Minor

drainage

The minor drainage system is typically thought of as storm

system
drains and related

appurtenances, such as inlets, curbs and gutters. For residential areas, downtown areas,
and industrial/commercial areas, the minor drainage system design will provide capacity
and management for the 10-year return frequency storm runoff, under assumed ultimate
upstream development conditions. During design, the hydraulic grade line for all enclosed
systems shall be determined to ensure that inlets act as inlets, not outlets. All easements
for newly constructed storm drainpipe should be a minimum of 30 feet wide. In situations

where the engineer can clearly demonstrate that an easement less than 30 feet is adequate,
the City may consider such a request. Easements wider than 30 feet may be necessary for
storm drainpipe and surface water flowage where a drainage way must be designed and
maintained to carry storm water flow in excess of the storm drain pipe capacity.
1.4.2.2

Major

drainage

system

The major drainage system is designed to convey runoff from, and to regulate
encroachments for, large, infrequently occurring events. When development planning and
design do not properly account for the major storm flow path, floodwaters will seek the path
of least resistance, often through individual properties, thus causing damage. An assured
route of passage for major storm floodwaters should always be provided such that public
and private improvements are not damaged. For subdivisions in Omaha, this need is to be
provided for both in watershed headwaters settings and along major drainage ways. The
100-year return frequency storm under assumed ultimate upstream development conditions
shall be the major drainage system design storm for all new developments. Runoff from
major storms should pass through a development without flooding buildings or homes.
Overland flow routes can be provided using streets, swales, and open space. Open channels
for transportation of major storm runoff are desirable in urban areas and use of such
channels is encouraged. Open channel planning and design objectives are best met by using
natural, or natural-type channels, which characteristically have slow velocities, and a large
width to depth ratio. Optimum benefits from open channels can best be obtained by
incorporating parks and greenbelts with the channel layout. To the extent practicable, open
channels should follow the natural channels and should not be filled or straightened
significantly. Effort must be made to reduce flood peaks and control erosion so that the
natural channel regime is maintained. Channel improvement or stabilization projects are
encouraged which minimize use of visible concrete, riprap, or other hard stabilization
materials to maintain the riparian characteristics.
1.4.3

Storm

runoff

computation

The calculation of the storm runoff peaks and volumes is important to the proper planning
and design of drainage facilities. Potential methods for calculation of runoff shall require
advance approval from the City Department of Public Works.
1.4.4

Detention

Detention facilities shall have release rates that do not increase the potential for
downstream flooding and are consistent with the policies of the Watershed Master Plan.
Submittal of hydraulic design calculations is required to document that major and minor
design storm peak flows are adequately attenuated.

1.4.5

Streets

The primary drainage functions of streets are to convey nuisance flows quickly and
efficiently to the storm drain or open channel drainage with minimal interference to traffic
movement and to provide an emergency passageway for the major flood flows with minimal
damage to adjoining properties, while allowing for safe movement of emergency vehicles.
The allowable use of streets for new land development in metropolitan Omaha for minor and
major storms runoff in terms of pavement encroachment .
1.4.6

Flood

corridor

management

In all watersheds where Flood Insurance Study (FIS) floodway has not been delineated,
development shall preserve a corridor with a minimum width consistent with the policy of
the Watershed Master Plan.

1.4.7

Water

quality

Both structural and nonstructural best management practices are recommended that
address long-term Storm water quality enhancement. Effective, reasonable, and costeffective should be selected for implementation on a site-specific basis and in a manner that
is consistent with the Watershed Master Plan.
The

following

is

list

of

voluntary

that

should

be

considered:

Create temporary ponding areas on parking lots and in landscaped or turfed open areas of
building
a)

sites;

Use

porous

or

turf

pavement

for

remote

parking

areas.

b) Reduce the amount of impervious area directly connected to the storm drain system.
c)

Intentionally

d)

The

longer

Encourage

e)
f)

create

Develop
Use

use

is

list

paths

for

(wet

voluntary

minor

storm

constructed

extended

facilities
of

drainage
of

multipurpose

retention

following

vegetated

wetlands.

detention
ponds)

non-structural

BMPs

facilities.

where
that

events.

is

feasible.
encouraged:

a) Use of appropriate vegetation to reduce the need for fertilizer and pesticides.
b) Preservation of environmentally sensitive areas to protect them from development or
other

disruption.

c)

Set

d)

Preserve

aside
or

more
re-establish

open
riparian

space.
vegetation.

e) Implement staged grading of developments to minimize the amount of land disturbed at


one time.

1.5

Limitations

The interpretation and application of the provisions shall be the minimum requirements for
promotion of the health, safety, convenience, order and general welfare of the community.
The standards, however, should not be construed as rigid criteria. Rather, the criteria are
intended to establish guidelines, standards and methods for sound planning and design. The
City may set aside these criteria in the interest of the health, safety, convenience, order and
general welfare of the community.
2.

METHODOLOGY

2.1

Data

collection

methodology

a) Collecting information, including pipe network built drawings, meteorological data,


hydrological data, etc., and conduct research and analysis.
b) Making a further research on the map of pipe network system, combined with in-situ field
investigation to determine the location of all sewage wells and the sewage flow direction,
understanding the scope of the pipe network collection. Numbering the sewage wells is well
included.
c) Sampling for the main pipes and branch pipes to determine sewage pipes that are low in
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) concentration and recording weather condition, as well as
the water level of the adjacent rivers.
d) Making a detailed investigation on the main pipes and branch pipes of sewage where
COD concentration is low or appear mutations to address the network problems. Corrective
advices should be proposed for further improvement.
e) Areas that are of the most concern include: pipes, flap valve, inverted siphon pipes,
culvert, and pump station, sewage interception wells which are close to rivers or ponds.
f)

Employ

robots,

sight

glasses,

closed-circuit

television

(CCTV)

in

assisting

the

investigation.
2.2

The

problems

of

drainage

network

The following problems were recognized through four months deep investigation into the
drainage

network.

a) Sewer damage Sewer was damaged by transformation of roads and bridges, construction
of water pipes and gas pipes, crossover operation of sewer pipes. Sewage pipes experienced

deforming, disjoint, sink, water leakage and some other relevant issues, hence finally result
in collapse of surrounding roads.
b) Unreasonable local elevation design Sewage only piled up in the pipes and even refluxed
because the elevation design is unreasonable in the sewage pipe junctions.
c) Severe blockage of pipe networks the blockage in the sewer pipes which are not
conducive to sewage collection was generally made of construction waste (such as stone,
cement), mud, plastic, foam, etc. The scour capability of low-speed flow is not high enough
to rush the blockages into downstream pipe network thus garbage was easily stored in the
slow flow pipe which forms a vicious cycle and results in more serious siltation .The silting of
the inverted siphon pipe across the river is the most serious part. To illustrate, a section of
DN600 inverted siphon which was jammed by a large number of sand bags and garbage led
to cross section reduction around 20cm2 and cut down the transmission capacity of the
sewage.
d) Improper flap valve installation
e) The installation of flap valve is rigorous. It must be tilted installed at a bias angle
between 815 to make it function well under stress. The flap valve does not open freely
for its aging. And it is opened by the bricks in order to drain the flood during the monsoon,
so that the river water flows into the pipe network through the flap valve.
f) Quality problems of inverted siphon pipes In south China, there exists high density river
network; it is commonly seen that inverted siphon pipes are used in the sewage network
engineering. The old inverted siphon pipes are made of steel reinforced concrete. In spite of
its low cost, its impermeability, subsidence-resistance and seismic-resistance are quite
limited. The inverted siphon pipes are embedded under the river bed, bearing pressure for a
long time, which makes the wall of pipes cracked easily.
g) Manholes and manhole covers Manholes are always covered by construction site. As to
the manhole covers, some problems do exist: firstly, the manhole covers are easily breaking
for their using low-quality material manufacturing; secondly, some manhole covers
experienced difficulty in opening after a long time enclose; thirdly, it is hard to distinguish
sewage wells from rainwater wells and water supply wells due to irregular management.

h) Wasted rivers the functions of a river are mainly described as landscape in town.
However, they are usually formed to receive the domestic sewage and waste water due to a
series of difficulties such as lack of capital, planning and poor construction conditions. It
attributes to the damage of the original functions and the ecological environment of river.
Meanwhile, rainwater and river water are likely to enter drainage networks through wasted
rivers.
i) Disorder of drainage system some non-professionals (such as real estate developers,
construction workers) who do not understand the role of rain water pipes privately
discharge sewers into rain water pipes without the application license, registration and
approval, resulting in rain water mixed with sewers. Some communities which should have
had separate drainage systems have appeared the case that rain and sewage mixed under
inadequate community supervision and regulatory measures and, lax supervision of final
acceptance.
j) Incomplete drainage network construction the dirt holding rate is approximately 40% at
present, which is way to reach the standard of 70%, indicating that the drainage network
construction is incomplete. It is still commonly seen that sewage was discharged directly to
the rivers in some places, especially in the country side, further enhancing the pollution of
rivers.
2.3

Corrective

measures

In view of the above issues proposed and by combining with the local actual situation,
effective, rational, economic and feasible corrective measures are to be developed to tackle
the problems.
2.3.1.

Engineering

measures

a) Making a scientific and reasonable plan as soon as possible and integrate the pipe
network construction, in order to improve the dirt holding rate. Transform both sides of the
creek, and built sewage pipe network on the shores to collect domestic sewage from the
direct discharge port to prevent the pollution. Speed up the construction of primary pipes as
well as branch pipes construction. Collect all sewage coming from institutions, enterprises,
factories and residents to the greatest extent to accomplish zero discharge of sewage.
b) Improve drainage systems towards better separation between rainwater and sewage
collection to avoid illicit connections in some residential districts. The rainwater pipes must
be separated from the sewage pipes. When the pipes are connected by the inhabitants, it

should be done under the guidance that is right to the separate system. The existing illicit
connections should be notified for correction under improved policy.
c) Maintain the destructed pipes. Such problems subsidence, collapsing and breakdown of
the pipes led by the alternate construction should be worked out as soon as possible to
avoid the infiltration of groundwater.
d) Opening channels should be reformed and wasted rivers should be conducted to intercept
the sewage from both sides of them by laying sewage pipes.
e) Reforming flap valves and inverted siphons. Replace the old or malfunctioned flap valves
with energysaving flap valves which are strongly recommended. What is more, replace
inverted siphons made of reinforced concrete with seamless steel pipes, which can work
under high pressure and hold better properties such as seismic resistance, relatively light
dead weight and long pipe section.
f) Inverted siphons, sewage pipes and inspection chambers should be desilting regularly.
Combined high pressure-flushing and sludge suction vehicle is strongly recommended.
Cleaning by high pressure water jet is a state-to-art technology that has been spread
employed by developed countries for the reason that it not only shortens the construction
time period, but also save the capital cost and performs well on silt cleaning.
3.

CONCLUSIONS

a) A detailed survey of sewage collected area must be done before drainage network
construction the consideration of the original pipeline flow trend and polluted inflows of the
sewage collected area has usually been neglected before setting the sewage designed
quantity of the sewage treatment plant. In addition, the hardhats builds the drainage pipes
only according to drawing paper mechanically, problems whether sufficient sewage quantity
can be collected by the building sewage pipes and even whether river water can flow
backward the sewage pipe network have not been taken into account in construction.
Hence, the outfalls in the built drainage network leading to water flowing backward or
discharging directly into the river.
b) Separate system must be set in the future Despite such disadvantages as illicit
connections, high investment and the pollution of initial rainwater, separate system has the
advantages of easy pollution control, rain water collecting and recycling. The sewage

treatment plant under such a system is able to treat the sewage effectively and being
managed easily.
c) Integrate checking system of drainage network construction Pipe leakage, closed water
test fail, location deviation of the pipes; deformation and subsidence of inspection well,
great foundation deformation of the pipes are problems commonly to occur in the drainage
network, whose main courses are quality of construction and materials. Discharge
characteristics and watertight test must be done seriously when checking, and subsidiary
facilities of the drainage network as materials of flap valves and inspection well,
construction quality should also be double checked.
d) Enhance archives management of the drainage network Archives management of the
drainage network must be carried out under the filing-up system of completion drawing.
Outlets, temporary plugs, survey coordinate and diameter of the future pipes connection
points

must

be

marked

on

the

completion

drawing

clearly

for

checking.

The

misunderstandings of only focusing on original record maintenance and putting such


modification of filing works into subordinate position must be replaced, and set up the
archives

management

system

of

the

drainage

network

for

modification

and

supplementation, which can file in denomination of every street and function as an index for
information and data inquiry.
e) Establish GIS system for drainage network management Geographic Information System
(GIS) system for drainage network management has four functions: information access and
input, data storage and management, data conversion and analysis, results generation and
output. GIS management system is widely used in the drainage network. The system, which
is made of computer graphics and database, is a high technology for data processing and
storage. Correlation attributes and geographical location are organically combined in such a
system, and can be displayed to the users with picture-illustrated composing and accuracy
style. Users can make decisions by its spatial analysis function and visualization. The needs
for design, management and running of the drainage network inquiry can also be satisfied
from it. The relevance municipal departments should carry out investigation of drainage
network as soon as possible and set up the GIS system for drainage network management.
f) Strengthen the environmental protection education and encourage public participation
Questionnaires must be done before the construction or reform of drainage network and

encourage public participation to supervise the construction and maintenance of the


drainage network, and to enhance the environmental protection.