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Testing the impact of at‐source stormwater management on urban flooding through a coupling of network and overland flow models

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In many urban catchments, stormwater flooding is a serious problem. Low‐impact development and the use of stormwater control measures (SCMs) have the potential to mitigate such flooding, but this potential is highly context specific and remains largely untested. In this study, we tested the potential of SCMs to impact stormwater flooding in a peri‐urban catchment by coupling a one‐dimensional 1D stormwater drainage model with a two‐dimensional (2D) overland flow model. We predicted consequent flood dynamics for a range of storm events and management scenarios. We found that realistically extensive application of rain tanks and infiltration trenches is most effective in mitigating stormwater flooding for common‐to‐rare storm events [5‐ to 20‐year annual recurrence interval (ARI)] with short durations, such that the events have rainfall depths that are similar to the retention (or storage) capacity of commonly used small‐scale SCMs. Retention of stormwater also has the ability to mitigate overland flow intensity, positively impacting pedestrian safety and reducing potential building damage for rare events with ARIs above 20 years. In addition, SCMs also provide benefits to alternative options such as pipe upgrades, through their protection of receiving waters and enhancement of urban landscape amenity. WIREs Water 2015, 2:291–300. doi: 10.1002/wat2.1078 This article is categorized under: Engineering Water > Sustainable Engineering of Water Science of Water > Water Extremes
The study site showing locations of stormwater pipes (black lines) and pits (dots). Two pervious subcatchments (shaded in red and yellow) drain to a side‐entry pit (H_P1_sep). Thus, some pervious surface runoff flows into the stormwater drainage system. The other pervious subcatchment (shaded in green) flows near the closed pit P25.
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Predicted depth‐velocity product from aggregate storm durations for selected return periods.
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Predicted flood depths from aggregate storm durations for selected return periods.
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Modeling flow chart.
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