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# Surface Drainage

CE 453 Lecture 25

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Objectives
• Identify rural drainage
requirements and design

## • Ref: AASHTO Highway Drainage

Guidelines (1999), Iowa DOT
Design Manual Chapter 4 and
Model Drainage Manual (2005)
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Surface Drainage
• A means by which surface water is
removed from pavement and ROW
• Redirects water into appropriately
designed channels
• Eventually discharges into natural
water systems

## Garber & Hoel, 2002

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Surface Drainage
• Two types of water
– Surface water – rain and snow
– Ground water – can be a problem when a
water table is near surface

## Garber & Hoel, 2002

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• Damage to highway structures
• Loss of capacity
• Visibility problems with spray and
loss of retroreflectivity
• Safety problems, reduced friction
and hydroplaning

## Garber & Hoel, 2002

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Drainage
• Transverse slopes
– Removes water from pavement surface
– Facilitated by cross-section elements (cross-
slope, shoulder slope)
• Longitudinal slopes
– Minimum gradient of alignment to maintain
• Longitudinal channels
– Ditches along side of road to collect surface
water after run-off

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Transverse slope

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Longitudinal slope

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Longitudinal channel

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Surface Drainage
System Design
hydraulic capacity and lower ROW
costs, but reduce safety and
increase erosion and maintenance
costs

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Surface Drainage
System Design
Three phases
1. Estimate of the quantity of water to
reach the system
2. Hydraulic design of system elements
3. Comparison of different materials that
serve same purpose

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Hydrologic Analysis:
Rational Method
Useful for small, usually urban, watersheds
(<10acres, but DOT says <200acres)

## Q = runoff (ft3/sec) or (m3/sec)

C = coefficient representing ratio or runoff
to rainfall
I = intensity of rainfall (in/hour or mm/hour)
A = drainage area (acres or hectares)

## Iowa DOT Design Manual, Chapter 4, The Rational

Method 12
Runoff Coefficient
o Coefficient that
represents the
fraction of rainfall
that becomes
runoff
o Depends on type of
surface

## Iowa DOT Design Manual, Chapter 4, The Rational Method

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Runoff Coefficient
depends on:
• Character of soil
• Shape of drainage area
• Antecedent moisture conditions
• Slope of watershed
• Amount of impervious soil
• Land use
• Duration
• Intensity
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Runoff Coefficient -
rural

## Iowa DOT Design Manual, Chapter 4, The Rational Method 15

Runoff Coefficient -
urban

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Iowa DOT Design Manual, Chapter 4, The Rational Method
Runoff Coefficient For High
Intensity Event (i.e. 100-year
storm)

## Iowa DOT Design Manual, Chapter 4, The Rational Method

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Runoff Coefficient For High
Intensity Event (i.e. 100-year
storm)

C = 0.16 for
low intensity
event for
cultivated
fields
C = 0.42 for
high intensity
event

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Iowa DOT Design Manual, Chapter 4, The Rational Method
Runoff Coefficient
• When a drainage area has distinct
parts with different C values
• Use the weighted average

## C = C1A1 + C2A2 + ….. + CnAn

ΣAi

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Watershed Area
• For DOT method measured in
hectares
• Combined area of all surfaces that
drain to a given intake or culvert
inlet
• Determine boundaries of area that
drain to same location
– i.e high points mark boundary
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Watershed Area
• Topographic maps
• Aerial photos
• Digital elevation models
• Drainage maps
• Field reviews

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Intensity
• Average intensity for a selected frequency and
duration over drainage area for duration of storm
• Based on “design” event (i.e. 50-year storm)
– Overdesign is costly
• Duration is important
• Based on values of Tc and T
• Tc = time of concentration
• T = recurrence interval or design frequency

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Design Event Recurrence
Interval
• 2-year interval -- Design of intakes and
spread of water on pavement for primary
highways and city streets
• 10-year interval -- Design of intakes and
spread of water on pavement for
freeways and interstate highways
• 50 - year -- Design of subways
(underpasses) and sag vertical curves
where storm sewer pipe is the only outlet
• 100 – year interval -- Major storm check
on all projects

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Time of Concentration
(tc)
• Time for water to flow from hydraulically most
distant point on the watershed to the point of
interest
• Rational method assumes peak run-off rate occurs
when rainfall intensity (I) lasts (duration) >= Tc
• Used as storm duration
• Iowa DOT says don’t use Tc<5 minutes

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Time of Concentration
(Tc)
• Depends on:
– Size and shape of drainage area
– Type of surface
– Slope of drainage area
– Rainfall intensity
– Whether flow is entirely overland or whether
some is channelized

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Tc: Equation from Iowa DOT Manual
See nomograph, next page

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Nomograph Method
• Trial and error method:
– Known: surface, size
(length), slope
– Look up “n”
– Estimate I (intensity)
– Determine Tc
– Check I and Tc against
values in Table 5 (Iowa DOT,
Chapter 4)
– Repeat until Tc (table) ~ Tc
(nomograph)
– Peak storm event occurs
when duration at least = Tc 28
Example (Iowa DOT
Method)
• Iterative finding I and Tc
• L = 150 feet
• Average slope, S = 0.02 (2%)
• Grass
• Recurrence interval, T = 10 years
• Location: Keokuk
• Find I
From Iowa DOT Design Manual

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Grass Surface,
Mannings
roughness
coefficient = 0.4

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knowns

Tc=18

## First guess I = 5 in/hr

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Example (continued)
• Tc with first iteration is 18 min
• Check against tables in DOT manual

## Keokuk is in SE: code = 9

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Convert intensity to inches/hour …
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For intensity of 5
inch/hr, Duration is 15
min
Tc from nomograph was
18 min ≠ 15 min
Tc ≠ Duration

## Next iteration, try

intensity = 4.0 inch/hr

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Slope = 0.02

I = 4.0
inches/hr
Tc = 20 min
For second iteration, tc = 20 min
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Example (continued)

I = 4.0 inches/hour is
somewhere between
30 min and 15 min,
Interpolate … OK!

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What does this mean?
• It means that for a ten-year storm, the greatest
intensity to be expected for a storm lasting at
least the Tc (18 min.) is 4.0 inches per hour …

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Can also use equation, an example is
provided in Chapter 4-4 of the Iowa
DOT manual

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Rational method
• used for mostly urban applications
• limited to about 10 acres in size
• Q = CIA
• Calculate once C, I, and A have been found

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Area
• Area of watershed
• Defined by topography
• Use GIS contours in lab

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Lab-type Example
• 60-acre watershed
• 50-year storm
• Mixed cover
• Rolling terrain

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Qdesign = 180 x 1.0 x 0.6 = 108CFS

180

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What would the flow have
rational method?
• Q=CIA
• Say, c = 0.2 (slightly pervious soils)
• I=? Assume round watershed of 60 acres =
60/640 = 0.093 sq mi … L=D≈1800’ , assume
slope=4% (rolling?) … Tc for I=6in/h = 41 min vs.
60 min … I=4.8in/h = 45 min vs. 30 min … call it
5.5in/h
• A=60 … Q=.2×5.5×60 = 66 CFS vs. 108 cfs

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