Estimating Design Flows for Urban Drainage

by Samuel O. Russell, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada,
Greg J. Sunnell, Design Engr.; Sigma Resource Consultants Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., Canada,
Bruce F.I. Kenning, Design Engr.; Sigma Resource Consultants Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 43-52

Document Type: Journal Paper


As an area urbanizes, peak runoff tends to increase. But the effects of urbanization on storm flows can be offset by a policy of requiring detention storage. A new method for computing design flows and storage volumes has been developed to prepare a master drainage plan for a municipality in Western Canada. The method involves use of a hydrologic model to analyze all the significant storms of record over the range of parameter values likely to apply in the area, a frequency analysis of the computed peaks, storage of the results in a large matrix in a computer, and subsequent interpolation of the stored data. By inputting estimated values of the parameters for any particular basin, the user can obtain peak flows for any desired return period and also the amount of detention storage required. Parameters can be specified either with single values or by ranges, taking into account parameter uncertainty.

Subject Headings: Parameters (statistics) | Water storage | Hydraulic design | Urban areas | Drainage | Storms | Hydrologic models | Computer models | Canada

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