Embankment Hazards

OK, this is not about stormwater management, per se…

Gaza Sewage Flood

BUT – it does illustrate the hazards that are associated with constructing earthen embankments. Quite simply – they have the potential to fail. And if they fail, the resulting breach wave has the potential to kill and destroy.

The larger the drainage area (fewer facilities), the larger the earthen embankment and greater risk.
The smaller the drainage area (more facilities…. which -surprise- must then be integrated into the site design), the smaller the embankments (if any) and less risk of failure.

Likewis, if an earthen embankment is not maintained appropriately, the risk of failure increases.

I have stood before a breaching embankment before. It is an incredible experience, as it is completely uncontrollable event. There is nothing anyone can do. At that time, when I was asked what to do, the best advise I could give was to run.

All that said, our hearts go out to the folks in Gaza as they deal with the incredible disaster before them….


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