Why Your Community Needs Better Stormwater Drainage
Very few counties actually have a sufficient stormwater drainage system for their flood problem
Flooding isn’t just a national problem. Local municipalities need to take charge of their stormwater drainage and find the money to pay for it. Using various means of funding, like bonds and grants, $1 from taxpayers can equal $60 if cities are smart.
Why you need better drainage: Overwhelmed stormwater systems can cause flash floods and sinkholes, leading to collapsed roadways and extensive property damage.
Why your county needs better drainage: Drainage maintenance, expansion, and innovation can create jobs for the county and the investment will save money over time. One dollar of infrastructure investment can save $6 in flood damage, according to research from the National Institute of Building Sciences.
Take action: Almost all counties have some stormwater drainage system in place, but county commissioners need to be told what they have is insufficient. They need to hear that relying on an aging system that can’t handle more common and more powerful flood events is unacceptable. Take Harris County, TX for example. The county experienced extreme flooding during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Since then, the county has made major upgrades to bring its infrastructure up to par: the county now has 2,500 miles of channels and drains that direct stormwater runoff along impervious surfaces to streams, creeks, rivers, and bayous and then to its final destination in Galveston Bay. That’s the kind of system your county needs.
What experts say: “Excessive flooding over time, even minor events, can change how people live and how businesses and the community operate. This can cause detrimental economic impacts on real estate values and tourism, and other negative impacts to businesses,” according to NOAA.
The takeaway: Aging and ineffective stormwater drainage systems across the country cannot handle more frequent and intense flood events. Runoff can easily overwhelm existing systems of pipes, drains, and catch basins. Clogged entry points require routine maintenance to stay effective. Your county leaders need to do better to protect residents and businesses from flooding.