Hydraulic Capacity

Definition - What does Hydraulic Capacity mean?

Hydraulic capacity is the amount of water that can pass through a structure or watercourse. It is an essential measurement for those responsible for sewers, water treatment plants, or watersheds. Exceeding the capacity can result in damage or flooding. Trenchless construction is used to install the pipes and conduits in these systems.

Trenchlesspedia explains Hydraulic Capacity

How much water a system can handle in a given time is a factor in the design, construction, and management of sewage and surface runoff. Combined sewers have suffered when the volume of stormwater exceeds the capacity of the sewer system to drain it. This can cause wastewater to back up in the streets. A 2005 NIH study detailed the effects of insufficient hydraulic capacity on deteriorating sewer systems. Possible consequences include structural failures, local floods, surface erosion and pollution of receiving bodies of water.

The term can also apply to watershed management. Hydrologists measure the flow capacity of streams and rivers and provide information to emergency services during major storms.

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