Human influence on the hydrologic cycle has been witnessed throughout time and seen in nearly all aspects of our daily lives.

Our ancestors have traded, conquered, settled, explored,regulated, engineered,and planned based on their understanding of fluvial systems.

Since ancient times,humans have built complex drainage networks, including increasing agricultural efficiency, managing flooding events, and increasing settlement possibilities by situating cities near rivers. However,these drains play a significant role in modern society because of the vast number of people who live in or around cities.

The importance of city drainage systems for humans from ancient times to modern society

A drainage system is a kind of human engineering project. It determines the capacity and efficiency of urban drainage, which is a crucial component of any city. In addition, it has a direct impact on the safety. health. and convenience functions of urban life. Thereupon,it has a close relationship with the development status of the cities.

The history of civilization reveals that many societies have built their capitals or economic centers along rivers or coasts to ensure enough resources are needed by people’s daily lives and develop trade between different regions underdeveloped agriculture-based economies.

Moreover,facing natural disasters such as floods caused by heavy rainfalls, strong winds,and tidal waves. Their residents had no alternative but to develop drainage systems to cope with such conditions.

For example. according to the historical records in the Warring States Period of China about 2.500 years ago or so. There were already some drainage facilities built to protect people’s lives from disasters caused by floods along both sides of rivers in north China including Yangtze River. There were even ideas written down to build city walls which are still vital for capital dries nowadays.

Compared to ancient times when human beings did not have advanced technologies to ensure water safety after constructing city drainage systems. Modern society has applied cutting-edge technologies to the construction process since the 19th century. This helps drain out water quickly and efficiently.

The city drainage system in Qingdao City, China illustrates the case mentioned above. When it was first built. many people were skeptical about whether such a plan could work or not and the panic caused by the fear that water leakage would cause flood and inundate streets and even houses near rivers made them hesitant to support it.

However, after testing and applying advanced technology into the construction process, this project brought an incredible result. Within six years after its completion. there were no major disasters occurred due to floods as well as droughts.

Human habitat is closely linked with hydraulic cities, which means human beings’ daily lives and economic activities rely on urban drainage systems. Therefore. if we can protect our lives by draining water out more efficiently. it will bring huge benefits to us.

Why do we need drainage systems?

Drainage is an integral part of any development Drainage refers to the route taken by water from the place where it falls as rain or snow to reach a river, lake,or ocean. This drainage system consists of channels and sewers and includes canals, ditches, and even natural contours like hills and slopes.

Drainage system helps in:

1. Protecting us against flooding

Floods may be local or widespread depending on the extent of rainfall and if more than one part of the region gets affected at once (besides more than one path for water to get out). One way to protect ourselves against floods is to have a drainage system that aids water flows to nearby rivers or lakes. This is especially true for densely populated regions that suffer from floods.

2. Preventing us from being exposed to health hazards

Drainage systems help prevent many diseases since they lead wastewater away from our homes and workplaces. thereby keeping our surroundings clean.

3. Providing transportation services

A drainage system provides a channel for carrying excess rainwater. which would otherwise flood low-lying areas and cause significant problems. including property damage and even loss of life.

It also provides a channel for storm runoff. treated wastewater. canalization of streams. etc. These benefits landowners living near the drainage channels by providing them with irrigation benefits. That’s how roads are built on top of drainages.

4. Bringing back groundwater into use

Rivers or other channels connected to the drainage system bring the water table closer to ground level by draining excess rainwater and preventing it from recharging (re-entering) the groundwater.  Rainwater that would otherwise enter the underground aquifers through percolation is thus prevented from doing so.

5. Preventing soil erosion

A well-defined drainage system prevents soil erosion as soils do not get saturated with moisture and lose their ability to bind (giving strength required for holding up things like buildings). As a result. we find cracks in walls and pavement surfaces, even foundations sometimes due to this soil erosion. Erosion also results in landslides. and these can be very dangerous.

Four Drainage Systems that Work

Drainage systems are used to remove excess water from our homes in case of flooding. There are four main drainage systems that homeowners should be familiar with.

1.  French drain

The first is known as a French Drain. This system consists of trenches filled with gravel. which lead stormwater runoff away from the house foundation and into rain gutters or dry wells. Unlike other drainage systems. it requires no maintenance or power source because all you have to do is put it in place.

2. Surface runoff system

The next type is called a Surface Drain Runoff System. It consists of large pipes connecting catch basins to underground drains located under the surface of your yard. creating an easy path for water runoff to go through without causing damage due to erosion or runoff.

3. Drywell

The third type of drainage system is called a Drywall. This underground chamber holds water to prevent it from accumulating around the house foundation.

4. Subsurface drainage system

Lastly. there’s the Subsurface Drainage System. which consists of grooves dug into your ground horizontally or diagonally at certain intervals under your yard. Either PVC pipes connect these grooves or perforated plastic tubing buried several feet deep,allowing water to seep through these drains towards dry wells and catch basins placed strategically throughout your yard.

What kind of pipe can be used for the drainage system?

When planning the drainpipe system for a new building. one important factor is determining how much water must be drained off. If there are to be showers. baths. or lavatories in the house. then that amount of water would have to be considered before selecting the piping material that must carry it away. Also. due attention should be given to the weather conditions of where the building will be situated.

For instance. if the place is close to the seacoast area, a salty atmosphere can corrode different kinds of piping materials. thus creating leakage problems within the drainage system. The best pipes I’ve seen so far are lesso PVC pipes. You can use them in any drainage situation because they are pretty durable to any type of corrosion.

Another vital thing to consider in planning a drainpipe system is whether or not it should include an interceptor tank. Usually. this kind of system is applied in areas with septic tank drainage. In addition. the size of the trenches and manholes should be decided, too; depending on the type of piping material to be used. Pipes are used for various drainage systems to carry away rainwater or wastewater. The most common types are “black pipes.’ made of cast iron,steel,or plastic. There are also “grey” pipes, pre-galvanized steel pipes with a zinc coating to protect them from corrosion. But also, clay pipes still play an essential role in the drainage system even though they can only be made with small diameters and therefore have limited capacity.

Black Pipes

“Black pipes” mainly consist of iron or steel. They vary in size from 50mm to 800mm diameter and even much larger dimensions for large projects. Cast iron is an excellent material but not very corrosion resistant so it must be painted after installation because it reacts quickly with moisture.

After a few years. the paint will start to flake. and it also reduces the capacity of the cavity. In steel pipes. corrosion is not an issue. but galvanization – a procedure that protects them from rusting – makes them more expensive.

Grey Pipes

Grey Pipes consist of pm-galvanized steel pipes with a zinc coating for protection against corrosion. Compared to black metal pipes. grey ones have a much smaller capacity. They are less suitable for large traffic areas; as a result vehicle tires will keep getting blocked by drainage water which can’t flow through sufficiently fast enough.

The main advantage of grey pipes over their metallic counterparts is price. If you use plastic. they last even longer because they don’t corrode or break down under the influence of water or chemical compounds. That is why they are used for storm ditches. which are only filled with rainwater.

Clay Pipes

Clay pipes are mainly made of clay. To ensure pressure resistance. some metal fittings are added to the clay pipe system. The clay is shaped into a tube and then dried in an oven. During firing at high temperatures. what makes it fireproof. it gets coated with white kaolin.

If more durable outer walls are required – e.g.. for sewerage systems – coatings can be applied to prevent gases from penetrating the pipe but still allow moisture to escape. These coatings also protect the piping against corrosion by chemicals outside its own environment Although these coats are more expensive. they increase durability significantly.

A large number of different systems exist for drainage and sewerage installation. The quality of the individual materials. as well as their combination, counts on one hand. However. often an experienced installer makes all the difference. which is why everyone should only hire a professional, whether rainwater or sewage – household wastewater must be disposed of so that it doesn’t damage the environment and health.

Before you lay dawn piping. make sure to check if your local regulations permit it first One more thing: Wherever there is underground work. there might be risks. If you doubt yourself. call a specialist to avoid any unnecessary problems!

Nelson James
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