Usually, downspouts discharge storm water into the perimeter main drains. However, the rainwater falling on the roof is clean, softer than the surface water, and free of ground contamination and chlorine, and is best for car washing, lawn care, and use in the gardens. Downspouts disconnection helps keep the storm water from reaching the sanitary sewer where it will be polluted by the existing wastewater.
Downspouts disconnection is the process of detaching the downspouts from the pipes or the paved areas and redirecting water to flow into the lawn, a garden or a rain barrel where it will soak into the ground. It is the redirection of the gutter to discharge free in garden areas and reduce runoff from a property. Downspouts disconnection involves cutting the downspout (including attaching elbows, splash blocks, and extensions) and redirecting the water away from the building foundations to soak in lawn or garden.
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The Processes Involved with Downspouts Disconnection
Downspouts disconnection involves several processes and a proper plan to allow the storm water to soak into the ground without damaging either your structures or neighboring structures. The processes are explained below.
1. Observe Your Site
Before disconnecting your downspouts, you should find out where the runoff from your home’s downspouts goes. Do your downspouts drain into your lawn, drywells or the sewer system? If your downspouts drain into standpipes, the runoff likely drains into a public sewer system, soakage trench, a drywell, a curb cut or other storm water drainage systems.
2. Draw Your Site Plan
Draw a plan of your yard and mark the locations of the downspouts to highlight where you might disconnect downspouts.
3. Consider Safety
a. Remove or add soil to ensure that the slope of the ground will allow water to flow away from structures.
b. Do not disconnect downspouts in areas too small for good drainage
c. Make sure that all downspout extensions and surrounding landscape surface drain water away from any structures.
d. Keep the end of your downspout extension at least 5 feet from your neighbor’s property line and 3 feet from the public sidewalk.
e. Do not disconnect downspouts or add downspout extensions across the patio, walkway, driveway, or in front of a gate to prevent possible tripping dangers.
f. Do disconnect downspouts directly under an underground oil tank, a drain field or septic system unless they have been decommissioned.
g. Do not disconnect within 10 feet of a retaining wall.
4. Design the Disconnection
Mark the downspouts to be disconnected on the site plan and where you might move gutters and pitch gutters. Ensure that there is enough landscaped area for the runoff to discharge and soak safely into the ground. It is important that the ground area that will drain the disconnected downspouts is at least 10% of the roof area.
To find out more about how you can protect your home against basement flooding, check out our Basement Waterproofing services such as Internal Waterproofing, External Waterproofing and Sump Pump Installation.
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