Flash floods can develop within a matter of hours or even minutes. That’s why it’s crucial for property owners in flood-prone areas to be proactive about preparing to absorb and redirect stormwater runoff.

At TrapBag, we’ve spent years creating best practices to help our clients prevent flooding damage. This is our guide on stormwater runoff problems and solutions.

How Can the Flow of Stormwater Be Contained?

One of the first steps to containing stormwater runoff is to create an environment that is able to absorb rainfall that occurs both over time and all at once.

If you have a lawn, make sure that it has plenty of plant growth and is regularly aerated. Plants will soak up water over time to help the soil absorb more water during heavy rains. Use rain barrels to collect rainfall from gutters and drains to prevent water buildup around your property, and make sure that drainage systems are clear of blockages. 

While those strategies are key to preventing water buildup from happening on your property, if there is enough rainfall, it won’t be able to stop it entirely. That’s why it’s important to have flood prevention solutions on hand just in case. 

TrapBags can create a strong and reliable barrier against stormwater flooding in a matter of hours. They have also been used as seawalls and protection against erosion and mudslides.

Stormwater Runoff Pollution

When heavy rains fall onto an area, the water can collect and wash away all kinds of toxic materials and pollutants. Chemical leaks from manufacturing plants, oil from vehicles, and garbage that has not been taken care of properly can end up being carried away into the local lakes and streams. 

How Does Runoff Affect Water Quality?

About 35% of stormwater runoff ends up in the natural watershed, and when that runoff contains pollutants, it can disrupt the natural ecosystem and cause potential health hazards.

Industrial chemicals such as PFAS that leaked into the soil outside of manufacturing plants have been washed into the local water supply from stormwater runoff. PFAS is known as a “forever chemical” because it can remain in the water supply for thousands of years and increase the risk for a number of health problems, including cancer.

Runoff can also be a problem in rural areas, where fertilizers and pesticides that have been sprayed on crops can be washed into nearby lakes and streams, disrupting the natural ecosystem.

How to Direct Water Runoff

One of the first steps to determining how to direct water runoff in your area is to understand the current drainage systems. If you’re looking for a large-scale view of how stormwater runoff works, you can start by researching your natural watershed. The watershed shows where and how rainwater will flow and drain after it falls.

To get a good sense of how rain affects your own property, keep a close eye on what happens during any period of heavy rainfall. Are there areas where the water pools or the soil remains particularly soggy after a storm? Do any stormwater drains adequately handle the amount of water they are receiving?

Once you understand the problem areas on your property, you can start devising a plan to redirect the stormwater runoff that cannot be absorbed.

Residential Stormwater Runoff Solutions

One of the most effective ways to direct water runoff is through retaining walls. They are a good option because they can provide a solid barrier against flooding while still blending into the design and aesthetics of the property. Many retaining walls are built with bricks and topped by a garden area. This can be a great place to house a rain garden.

Another aesthetically appealing method of stormwater runoff management is rain gardens that are filled with plants to can soak up and minimize rainwater runoff. The plants can also filter out some pollutants and provide a place for flowers that wildlife such as bees can benefit from.

A second method of dealing with stormwater runoff by using the natural landscape is grading your lawn to direct water away from areas where pooling and flooding are an issue. Adding a gradual slope to your lawn through grading is a great way to deal with multiple issues, including winter ice buildups.

Driveway Runoff Solutions

One of the biggest challenges to managing stormwater in residential areas is paved areas such as driveways. Pavement creates a large area where water can’t be absorbed and builds up to become a problem elsewhere. This can cause erosion in the areas directly around the driveway where the stormwater flows. 

If you’re building a new driveway or looking to replace your old one, a permeable driveway can help absorb more water and reduce pooling and erosion. Some paving materials are built with spaces that allow water to seep down in between the plastic, concrete, or asphalt pieces that make up the driveway. Gravel driveways are also able to absorb stormwater runoff. While these options may not work for every driveway, they are good choices for small walkways.

There are still options for asphalt and concrete driveways, including small trenches that run parallel to or cut horizontally across the pavement. These trenches will collect the water and direct it where it will cause the least amount of issues.

How TrapBag Can Help

These methods can help absorb some of the stormwater runoff that occurs during heavy rainfall, but sometimes there’s just too much rain to deal with it all. In those cases, you need a temporary flood barrier that you can deploy quickly to protect your home or business.

Creating a Water Runoff Barrier

TrapBags can be stored in a small amount of space and deployed by a team of just a few people using heavy equipment within a matter of hours. They are more efficient than standard sandbags and provide a strong barrier against stormwater flooding. TrapBags can be filled with sand, washed gravel, or concrete.

Use TrapBag to Protect Your Property

Looking to stock an effective backup plan if the regular stormwater runoff solutions aren’t enough? Order a set of TrapBags today to make sure your home or business is protected from severe flooding.

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