Rain water management is an important aspect of house construction everywhere, but here in the Shuswap, with its many steep grades, properly managing rain water is a really vital part of our work. And with more severe weather events like last fall's atmospheric river expected in years to come, we simply can't afford not to use the best possible strategies.
At one of our current projects, an extensive renovation and addition in Celista on the North Shore, we faced a dilemma. The new driveway slopes down to a low spot in front of the garage doors. We clearly had to prevent the water from entering the garage and house, but we couldn't simply adjust the grade on the driveway so that the excess rain water flowed to one side -- in a severe storm, that could lead to catastrophic erosion or worse. So, working with the owners and the excavation contractor on this project, Spooner Industries, we arrived at what should be an excellent solution -- installation of a large concrete water catch basin into the centre of a sloped driveway.
The finished "drywell" is four feet wide and eight feet tall, and has a metal grate on top. The driveway has been shaped like a shower pan, so all the water goes towards the grate and ultimately, into the catch basin. The basin holds the excess water and slowly drains it into the ground (which is granulated and drains superbly) through the perforations in the concrete. If there’s an extreme water event, overflow water can be directed from the top of the basin through pipes and into the lake.
This remedy doesn't come without a cost, but we think it's all the more vital these days to ensure rain water is properly drained from a property from the outset, in order to prevent damage inside the home, and outside to the landscaping. Our thanks to Spooner Industries for doing such a great job with this innovative solution.