Understanding and Planning for Subsurface Water Drainage

Understanding and Planning for Subsurface Water Drainage

In our last post, we looked at how architects in Warrington plan and design with surface water drainage in mind, and today we’ll be looking at subsurface water drainage. While surface water drainage is more prevalent in people’s minds, subsurface drainage is necessary in order to prevent massive geological weaknesses and collapses.

When designing any kind of drainage system, you must always try to disturb the natural drainage pattern as little as possible while successfully draining surface and subsurface water away from the roadway. Draining away from the roadway isn’t the only requirement, however, as you must always consider draining and dissipating water to prevent excess collection of water in unstable areas and possible subsequent downstream erosion.

Understanding Runoff

To correctly understand and predict water runoff and subsurface infiltration you must pay attention to an area’s rainfall duration, intensity and frequency. Architects in Warrington know that soil composition, permeability and infiltration capacity are other key factors in determining what kind of runoff you’ll have.

For example, dry soil is naturally permeable. However, this permeability will decrease over time as it becomes wetted. When looking at these factors, make sure to also consider the rate and intensity of rainfall, as they can quickly overpass the infiltration rate and capacity of the soil.

Benefits of Proper Subsurface Drainage

The removal of pooled water from the soil profile brings a variety of benefits that are often hidden to the naked eye until a massive structural failure. Architects in Warrington are well aware that keeping soil free from high water levels helps it maintain its structural capability and general trafficability. This means the soil will stay strong and retain its structure while allowing for additional water and minerals to trickle down to root structures.

By having proper subsurface drainage, you’re also providing increased aeration in the root zone which helps increase the supply of available plant food. Drainage will also decrease the damage freezing will bring in cold months and help the soil warm earlier in the spring, allowing for more natural development cycles for whatever is growing in the soil.

Have Architects in Warrington Check Your Subsurface Drainage

We’ve compiled a few easy to spot symptoms of poor subsurface drainage so that you’re not hit by surprise flooding suddenly. Standing water more than 24 hours after a hard rain or irrigation, along with concentrations of yellow patches of turf or plant life indicate high levels of subsurface water. Areas that are often being treated for fungus problems is an additional sign that the soil is oversaturated with water.

Look out for signs of water stains on fences and the outsides of buildings and keep your nose open for the smell of stagnating water, and you should be able to spot early signs of flooding and poor drainage. However, if you’re not sure or need architects in Warrington to come and take a look make sure to give us a call at 0151 321 1986.