How Stormwater Detention Can Help Replenish Aquifers

As the population of the world grows, more and more areas are finding out how important it is to retain rainwater. For nearly 100 years as we’ve built roads, buildings, parking lots and other structures, we’ve piped as much or the runoff directly into rivers and streams as possible. At the same time, humans have also dug wells and pumped water from the aquifers for irrigation and drinking. Meanwhile, a huge percentage of all that rainwater isn’t going back into the aquifers but directly to the ocean. Now, we’ve finally learned that it far better to let the water that falls as precipitation soak back into the ground to replenish the ground water and be filtered on the way to the streams. So stormwater detention is now an important part of water management now and into the future.

The Best Ways To Retain Stormwater

There are dozens of ways that water can be detained to allow it more time to soak into the ground. However, rather than having just one large place, it’s far better to have thousands of smaller locations where the water is held after every rain shower and allowed to soak in.

What that means is, the best solution would be for every house on the block to built into their landscaping lower elevation areas so that rainwater can be captured and allowed sufficient time. Then if there is too much rain, such as in a storm, each neighborhood should also have a stormwater detention area that catches the overflow from each home.

This multitiered approach to stormwater detention is the ideal case and is rarely seen in older developments. However, the newer city and county development agencies are now requiring better stormwater management right from the beginning.

Water Detention Sites Can Be Retrofitted

In many areas the municipalities are now retrofitting water detention sites underneath the streets. In those cases, large underground rainwater detention sites are dug underneath the street to handle the water and let it sink in from there. At the same time, the water is usually filtered for garbage and strained for oil residue in order to help clean it up. If enough of these sites are installed below ground level then sufficient water will be able to replenish the many aquifers that are running dry throughout the US.

Each detention site will also have its own overflow that can then be directed to a larger settling pond that again will allow more water sufficient time to soak into the ground. All along the route there will be litter filters that are designed to keep trash from clogging up the system’s pipes and not allow any garbage to ever reach streams, lakes, and rivers. Then large vacuum trucks can extract the garbage on dry days to keep all of the remote locations clean as well.

Efficient stormwater management is now a priority in many places across the US. The overall goal is to allow water time to get back into the aquifers and filter out the garbage before it reaches the rivers.

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