It has only been about a decade since we’ve finally discovered how important it is to save every last drop of water that falls from the sky. In years gone by, stormwater management was meant to evacuate the water as quickly as possible to the nearest stream, river or lake. This was a disaster because of the huge amounts of chemicals, garbage, and oils that stormwater would shock the steams with, destroying wildlife and causing long-term harm to the ecosystem. Now, when the rain falls, as much as possible is saved and allowed to seep into the ground. There it can replenish the ground water and be naturally filtered as it slowly makes its way to a river. There are ways that man has begun to help Mother Nature, and that’s by building water retention systems throughout neighborhoods, cities, and even in rural areas, all meant to assist in the capture of stormwater to get it back into aquifers.
Every Home Should Have Some Natural Water Retention
When a home is first built it should have landscaping that take advantage of the natural layout and leaves areas where water can flow to and be left to soak back into the ground. It’s been shown that up to 3 times more water flows off of developed land than is natural.
That means that when the land is developed, water should have been considered at part of the natural part of the land, not something to be shunned into pipes flowing directly to the streams.
There Are Now Underground Stormwater Retention Systems
In retrofitting older neighborhoods sometimes there isn’t any surface land available to install natural ponds, wetlands, and other types of water collectors. In those cases there are underground stormwater retentions systems that can help.
Much of the surface area in urban areas is impervious to water due to roads, buildings, sidewalks, and parking lots. There is literally not a square foot of open soil left in many cities. In those cases, large underground vaults are dug deep below the surface and the stormwater is collected and routed there.
They can be one large vault or several smaller ones, all connected together with a system of pipes to distribute the water over as wide of an area as possible. Then, if there is still too much water for the system to handle, it can be released into the local rivers but at a reduced rate, and a huge portion is retained and allowed to soak in over a longer period of time.
While Underground Water Retention Isn’t Perfect
It is still far better than allowing the stormwater to rush immediately into the river. There can be hydrodynamic stormwater debris separators installed which can lessen the amounts of litter, garbage, oils, and other contaminants up to 80%. These contaminants are then stored in underground chambers that can be emptied by large vac trucks on a regular basis.
By keeping the rainwater that falls on the earth as filtered and clean as possible, when it does enter the streams it doesn’t cause fish and wildlife kills. Plus, having widespread retention of water that is allowed plenty of time to soak in, the groundwater can be replenished for future generations.