Application of a Novel Physical Model to Investigate the Effects of Lot-Level and Hydrological Conditions on Basement Flooding

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University of Guelph

Abstract

Climate change, urbanization, and aging stormwater infrastructure have led to an increase in basement flood risk. Foundation drainage systems are a common technique to mitigate basement flooding; however, there is limited research on their efficacy. This research provides an overview of basement flooding and investigates the effects of lot-level conditions on foundation drainage systems through the use of a novel physical modelling method. Rainfall was simulated on a physical model of a basement foundation drainage system. Runoff and infiltration depth was measured as the model lot was graded to a 0%, 2%, and 10% slope. Results showed a 10% lot grade was most effective in reducing infiltration and groundwater rise for intense, short duration rainfall events. The findings from this research can aid in the development of flood-resilient building codes and inform insurance policies by recommending optimal lot-level conditions for foundation drainage systems.

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Basement, Basement Flooding, Residential Flooding, Infiltration Flooding, Physical Modelling, Foundation Drainage, Weeping Tile, Lot Grading, Lot Slope

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