• Stormwater

    By stormwater drainage we mean the management of water from rainfall through impenetrable areas such as paved streets. In natural landscapes, most of the rainwater is absorbed by the bottom soil. With less vegetation and more impervious surfaces (parking lots, roads, buildings, compacted soil), developed areas allow less rain to infiltrate the soil and create more runoff than natural areas. Means of transport such as ditches and storm sewers realize a rapid discharge to water bodies. This greatly increases the amount of water in water bodies and the discharge of those water bodies, resulting in erosion and flooding.

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Stormwater management

Stormwater management is an increasing challenge for water companies and municipalities as they seek to reduce the economic and health impacts of excess water. Changing weather patterns due to climate change lead to more intense events that increase the amount of snow and rainwater entering water management systems. At the same time, increasing urbanization reduces the environment’s ability to absorb surface water. With impermeable surfaces such as sidewalks and roofs that prevent precipitation from drawing naturally into groundwater, water is increasingly drained into storm drains, sewers and drainage ditches. However, the outdated drainage infrastructure can often become overloaded and as a result poorly managed stormwater can cause flooding with backflow into residential areas, office parks and commercial areas. Such events inevitably lead to major problems. For example, flooding can cause erosion, turbidity from suspended solids, property damage and traffic disruption.

Contaminated Water

There are also potential health and environmental impacts. In many urban environments, excess stormwater is drained into the existing sewerage system, where the network can become overwhelmed, resulting in the backflow and overflow of contaminated water. Such discharges are increasingly recognized as a major source of poor quality water and can lead to the presence of bacterial and viral pathogens that can adversely affect human health and the aquatic environment. Stormwater runoff can also harm natural watercourses by increasing pollution and nutrient concentrations.

Standing Water

Poorly controlled stormwater or sewage backflow not only leads to temporary flooding, but can also lead to an increase in the presence of standing water, which in itself is a significant health hazard. For example, standing water can act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the many diseases they can spread. Mosquito-borne diseases are among the leading causes of illness and death in the world today. The significant impact of poorly managed stormwater runoff is making many authorities, municipalities and water companies want to manage excess runoff more effectively.

Gray infrastructure, such as culverts, gutters and rain sewers, are important infrastructure elements that help manage stormwater. Green measures such as increasing permeable surfaces that allow water to penetrate into the soil also play a role. However, check valves are used in all stormwater and wastewater systems. These simple passive devices allow one-way flow of fluids, but close automatically to prevent backflow. Check valves rely on a flow rate or a differential pressure to operate without manual or automated intervention. One of the most important characteristics is the minimum pressure required to open the valve, the so-called cracking pressure

Prevent Backflow

By controlling and preventing backflow, check valves prevent discharges from wastewater treatment plants from contaminating clean water supplies. When correctly specified and functioning correctly, check valves can also help prevent flooding and standing water, ensure water flows in the correct direction and prevent potentially harmful phenomena such as water hammer. In addition, check valves are widely used to control odors. They protect residential and commercial spaces against the backflow of methane and hydrogen sulphide gases from, for example, sewers and wet wells. By providing reliable backflow prevention, check valves have saved millions in potential damage to homes, offices and vegetation.

However, some types of check valves are vulnerable to failure and wear due to their design or can become clogged with debris. For example, some check valves are vulnerable to corrosion. Similar problems can affect ball and spring check valves, where corrosion causes the valve port to malfunction. Some types of check valves can also get stuck with debris. In addition, corrosive liquids or abrasive materials such as suspended solids can cause valve or swing check valves to fail, seize, or malfunction. As a result, backflow and other associated problems such as water hammer occur. Water can also accumulate at the bottom of some types of check valves, leading to the presence of standing water. It is also true that maintenance of certain types of check valves can be expensive and difficult.

While some check valve designs are prone to corrosion, fouling and erosion, the duckbill type is made of robust rubber or other elastomeric material. As the name suggests, the duckbill valve is a flexible one-piece sleeve in the shape of a duckbill that disintegrates at the cracking pressure and closes again below this threshold. Any reverse differential pressure closes the valve tightly, preventing backflow. Duckbill check valves are ideal for stormwater applications as they are non-mechanical, require no maintenance and do not slam when closed. They are also resistant to organic contaminants such as algae and barnacles and have no problem disposing of suspended solids entrained streams, such as abrasive slurries. Suitably specified and manufactured from a suitable elastomer, check valves are also resistant to corrosive materials and are fire safe. For example, duckbill check valves contain nothing to rust or corrode and can be made from the ANSI/NSF-61 material suitable for drinking water. Such check valves will not warp and operate over a wide temperature range. Due to their extremely simple design and robust construction, rubber check valves also require no maintenance and exhibit significant service life in the range of 35 to 50 years. This is much longer than the typical 5-10 year mechanical check valves. In addition, the duckbill check valve has a low slope design that keeps the drain close to the floor and is designed to burst open just a few inches from the head. This allows complete drainage through the valve and eliminates any standing water issues.

Rubber duckbill check valves can be installed on pre-existing pipelines or other infrastructure and are often used to replace existing valves that have proved inadequate. View the product page.