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

Thumbnail Image


Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of Guelph


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.



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