Optimal stormwater management is essential to reducing rainwater runoff or snow melt from entering streets and residences. Heavy rainfall can result in flooding, demonstrating the importance of proper stormwater drainage design and maintenance. Mismanagement of these systems can result in environmental disasters, damage property, and endanger public health. This post unpacks why Omaha storm sewers are vital infrastructure.

Why are Storm Sewers in Omaha Important?

Mitigate Flooding Risk

Locations that experience flooding in the rainy season or winter after the snow melts can reduce this risk. Designing and maintaining effective storm sewers mitigates the risk of flooding events and limits the impact.

Proper maintenance of storm sewer system drains is crucial to flood-prone locations. This guarantees that the drainage system works as designed and can handle increased water flow during extreme weather events.

Under normal conditions, storm sewers and drains effectively channel the excess water flows into local drainage systems. This ensures proper discharge that doesn’t result in flood risk or runoff to surrounding areas and properties.

Stormwater sewer management may also require storage facilities to prevent excessive runoff into local waterways and the ocean.

Preventing Infrastructure Damage With Storm Sewers

Excess stormwater that is not effectively redirected during heavy downpours can become a major issue. In that case, infrastructure like cables, plumbing systems, sidewalks, and commercial or residential properties can suffer severe damage.

Collecting Water

Innovations in storm sewer systems can filter stormwater and remove contaminants. This can be done before diverting it to the public water supply to bolster stocks. Stormwater systems divert excess water from residential and commercial properties as they run off buildings and non-porous surfaces into the local water system.

The fire department uses water collected by these drainage systems, which is also suitable for drinking. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), stormwater management systems improve water quality.

Grates filter the waste that causes sewer system blockages, removing contaminants like leaves during the fall season. Small particles can flow through the grates, preventing them from clogging. Stormwater systems take runoff and release it gradually into water catchments.

These new storm sewers and systems offer environmental benefits. Water can be channeled and discharged through natural features such as lakes, rivers, and gullies.

Protecting Landscaping

Optimal stormwater sewer drainage systems avoid damage from water overflow to hardscaping and landscaping elements in communities. Implementing a robust stormwater sewer system mitigates this risk effectively by efficiently removing excess water before it causes landscaping and property destruction.

Proper grading and sloping of the landscapes and hardscapes in areas prone to flood waters is essential. Doing this ensures effective flow and prevents stagnant water from pooling. These systems require regular inspections and maintenance to clear debris, ensure optimal function, and avoid blockages.

Installing drainage features such as swales, catch basins, and permeable pavements diverts water from vulnerable locations.

Preventing Disease

When excess stormwater pools, it becomes stagnant. This water provides the ideal medium for the proliferation and spread of dangerous waterborne pathogens. These pathogens can be harmful to the community.

Outbreaks place pressure on local medical services and reduce economic activity due to the health impact on communities. Efficient and effective stormwater systems mitigate the risk of water pooling and stagnation, eliminating these risks.

Storm Sewers Ensure Safe Driving Conditions

When stormwater doesn’t drain away from roads, it can cause many problems, such as:

  • Hydroplaning: skidding or sliding across a wet surface, causing loss of control
  • Possible stalling
  • Ice forms on the road in colder regions causing dangerous driving conditions
  • It can hide downed power lines that are still live
  • May hide potholes or other hazards

The chance of being involved in a motor vehicle accident increases during poor weather conditions such as fog, rain, ice, and snow.  Properly working storm sewers help keep our roads safer.

Wrapping Up

Non-porous surfaces like parking lots, driveways, and roads prevent stormwater infiltration into groundwater stocks. Flooding after heavy rains or during snow melts can hurt the environment and local communities.

When flood waters move through these areas, they collect chemicals, oils, soil, sediment, pesticides, and other pollutants that enter lakes and rivers, contaminating local waterways and drinking water supplies.

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