Most communities are now becoming increasingly sensitive to the impact of storm water, and the effects of sewage and pollution on farmlands and how they can be managed in a comprehensive manner. This is the field in which drainage engineering has a role to play.
What is drainage engineering?
Drainage engineering is a segment of civil engineering; it provides a range of drainage solutions to state, county and local governmental agencies as well as the private sector. A few facts about drainage engineering:
1. Drainage design
The focus is on creating good pumping stations and drainage designs. Flood risk assessments are made and these tasks are always area-specific as the solutions are unique to land availability, location, design requirement as well as the local storm water regulations. The ultimate goal of drainage engineering is to protect the water quality, personal property, the environment as well as the safety of the community.
2. Storm water management
Proven and advanced technologies in storm water management are used to provide clients with hydraulic models, comprehensive drainage studies, and sustainable applications. Aside from this,detailed storm water system construction plans are provided as are erosion control solutions to manage the local storm water issues.
3. Water quality
Drainage engineering services include detention basin designs, pump station analysis and best management practices to maintain water quality.
4. Water retention or detention structures
Stormwater drainage systems are often excessively burdened due to poorly-designed detention systems. These results in flooding of existing pipes; in case of heavy rainfall, it results in a surcharge and the water can inundate certain areas causing very unsafe conditions. Drainage engineering solutions include the designing of below–grade retention and detention basins, while keeping in mind the project footprint, grading of the land and aesthetics. This helps protect downstream& upstream businesses as well aresidents who would be directly affected by flood events.
5. Remodeling floodplains and floodways
The other important aspect of drainage engineering is the modeling of existing floodways and floodplains. If the local municipality anticipates or notices a change, drainage engineering techniques can be used to determine the possible positive or negative impacts to the base flood elevation. This gives local landowners, communities and the local government a clearer idea about potential flooding issues and steps can then be taken to address these problems.
6. Volume control services
Volume control helps reduce the constant and consistent pressure on local overland routes to carry stormwater. These solutions help to promote groundwater recharge and infiltration in a mannerthat’svery similar topre-development conditions. Environmentally-friendly methods are used to increase infiltration of the stormwater into the soil including rain gardens, infiltration trenches, native vegetation and dry wells.
What is a drainage engineer?
A drainage engineer is a type of civil engineer and they specialize in storm water drainage systems. Typically, they work for various state, county and local municipal governments on projects related to sanitation or transportation, and storm water management. Some drainage engineers might work for private consulting firms or nonprofit environmental organizations as well. When designing any drainage system, the engineer must analyze and be aware ofa number of aspects including:
• Environmental impact
• Project costs
• Aesthetics and project costs,
• Local laws governing the construction of drainage systems
Duties that a municipal engineer performs
Because a drainage engineer spends a large part of their time on various construction sites, it’s important that they be comfortable working in variable weather conditions, in outdoor locations. In these outdoor settings they may oversee the construction or maintenance of certain structures. The different tasks and responsibilities they handle include:
• Creation of blueprints and implementation of improvements in water drainage systems
• Solutions for directing rainwater runoff from roads and highways
• Controlling irrigation as well as flooding on farmlands
• Designing an effective drainage system to prevent flooding and conserve resources. It also helps
ensure that these water reserves don’t get contaminated with chemicals.
• Diverting pollution and sewage away from water sources
• They are involved with the on-site construction of the systems designed by them
• They often work closely with construction workers and site supervisors workers to make sure that
the work is completed to specification
• They inspect the area post completion of the project and consider any final touches that could add
to the functionality or aesthetics of a system.
Systems and tools that drainage engineers use
A drainage engineer can also design effective methods of controlling water. They will visit the site, survey the area and then create a blueprint. Today, most drainage engineers rely on CAD (computer aided software) to help them simulate and design ditches and other drainage structures. They have deep knowledge of physics, math and fluidity, that they use to improve existing systems and design new ones as required. While conceptualizing any new systems, the engineers have to consider various aspects such as:
• The cost of construction
• Potential negative environmental impacts
• Local laws regarding construction
The engineer performs careful calculations to determine the cost of labor and materials and estimates how long it will take to complete the project. They are also frequently involved in acquiring labor and funding needed to implement large-scale projects and ensure they are completed to standards.
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