the impact of a changing environment on drainage system performance

The environment is dramatically changing because of global warming. This can be seen in the news reports that we have every day about extreme weather. Just a few decades ago, it was normal to have seasons where you could predictably expect rain and snow at certain times of the year. During these times, except for rare occasions, normal amounts of rainfall and snowfall would occur. Likewise, there could be droughts, but they were short-lived, but now all of that is changed for the worse. As a result of this, many people that install drainage systems must improve them dramatically to accommodate for these excessive amounts of precipitation Here is an overview of how the changing environment is affecting the performance of drainage systems around the world.

What Do Drainage Systems Do?

A drainage system is nothing more than a way to divert water from around the structure. They are also used for the purpose of redirecting water into channels where they are used by animals for drinking. However, in the world of real estate, there is nothing more important than installing proper drainage systems above and below ground to protect the structures that have been created. Whether that structure has a basement or not, damage can still be done if excessive amounts of precipitation come from the sky. It is most damaging during heavy rains, and that is why many people that produce and install drainage systems have had to make certain accommodations.

Different Types of Drainage Systems

There are a couple different types of drainage systems that you likely know about. They are designated as surface and subsurface drainage systems. Drainage services can be seen from the top, whereas subsurface systems are buried below the surface of the ground. An example of this would be a gutter and downspout system that is installed on a home. This is above ground, affixed to the exterior of a household or building. The downspout will channel the water to a specific location where it can be diverted away from the structure. Subsurface drainage systems like a French drain are buried under the ground. The pipes that are used have holes that allow the water to go in. They are small enough to prevent small particulates from getting in and clogging the pipes. The holes are also covered by mesh and gravel to make them very efficient.

How Have Environmental Changes Impacted These Structures?

The environment has changed substantially, especially in rain precipitation. More water is falling at one time than ever before, and these excessive amounts have also led to droughts becoming more current. It is only during the time when the rain is falling that the drainage systems will be tested. Handling higher volumes of water is the key to their success. Therefore, when installing a French drain, the pipes must be much larger. The same is true for all the connecting pipes leading to the main drainage system which will carry the water away from the property. Gutter systems and downspout can be made to be much wider and deeper. However, there is a certain limitation regarding how heavy they can be before they will compromise the way they are affixed to the structure. Downspouts can also be expanded, accommodating for a heavier flow of water which can occur during a very heavy rainy season.

How the Environment Has Changed Drainage Systems When It Is Dry?

Although this does not affect the performance of a drainage system, it has affected the way that people irrigate water. There are certain areas where droughts are becoming more common, prompting the need to divert water from one location to the next. There are certain places where water must be pumped up from the ground and distributed through these systems. This can be for crops or animals, both of which will require large amounts of water, and the drainage systems will serve as conduits for dispersing the water accordingly.

Drainage systems will always be necessary, whether for physical structures or for farmland. The changes that have occurred are because of environmental changes that are likely to stay. If we do not have consistent amounts of rain, in average amounts, these new systems for heavy rains and times of drought must be implemented. Fortunately, there will always be certain days or weeks where rain will be quite nominal. This will prevent the overutilization of drainage systems which could be compromised if they were continually used for excessive amounts of water. As time progresses, and if we can lower the temperature of the planet globally, things may return to the way they once were. Until that occurs, these new ways of installing and utilizing drainage systems will remain commonplace in our world today.