The traditional approach to drainage planning is to get rid of water as quickly as possible. This has led to erosion in streams and degradation of water quality. Coquitlam treats stormwater as a resource and manages rainwater to keep our watersheds healthy. Our rainwater management strategy helps to maintain base flows in streams, prevent erosion, improve water quality and protect fish habitat.
The principle of the City’s strategy is to mimic the natural hydrology of a watershed by controlling and infiltrating urban runoff into the ground.
Rainwater Management Strategy Goals
- Preserve the site characteristics, including natural terrain, drainage patterns, soil structure and native vegetation to the maximum extent possible;
- Preserve the natural hydrologic cycle, including vegetative rainfall interception and evapotranspiration, and groundwater infiltration and percolation to the extent that subsurface conditions permit;
- Mimic natural rainfall capture in areas of site disturbance; and
- Ensure the protection of property and public safely with the design of overflow capacity
Volume Reduction Targets
Coquitlam’s rainwater management target is to capture 75-90% of the average annual rainfall volume. Together with water quality ponds for rainwater management, these measures will address run-off as well as water quality issues. Rainwater management is achieved through the use of source controls.
Source controls reduce the quantity and improve the quality of urban runoff at or near its source by using infrastructure or natural physical resources. Coquitlam requires source controls to be constructed at the time of new development in managed watersheds. Required measures are described in the table below.
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