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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Water Management

Submitted by Marcel Stieber

Along with a sizable airfield comes a very sizeable amount of water runoff anytime it rains. One of the major considerations when the runway was first constructed is where the water flowed when it rained. Those calculations have really paid off over the years. A watchful observer during a rainstorm will notice that all the water flows _away_ from the runway and to the surrounding safety areas. This helps to ensure that the runway stays as dry as possible, maximizing our flying operations and minimizing our downtime from a muddy airfield.

While a little rain falling from the sky rarely seems like a huge amount of water, when you consider that the size of our "flood-plain" is that of several football fields, suddenly that 1cm of rain in an hour becomes quite the river of water at the lower end. In order to manage all this water runoff appropriately, all the buildings on the downside of then apron were built with a water drainage system. This means that the front of the hangers has a large channel to collect water coming from the apron and prevent from entering the aircraft hangars and workshops. This channel then diverts to one of two water troughs that carries the water clear of the buildings and out the back to the clearing.

One last challenge is the runoff from the rooftops. Since they do not absorb any water like the ground does, even the slightest rain suddenly becomes a small waterfall at the roof's edge. Until recently, one of these run offs crossed our back access road and caused a big muddy spot at even the slightest rain. Today, Mr Solo, Lele, and Newton worked hard to build the iron bar framing and pour the concrete to fill the trench that we had just used for routing the power to the new agric building. Now there is a beautiful water drainage channel that will surely help extend the life of the access road and any cars that pass by as well. After a few days of curing and watering the concrete, the drain will be ready for testing at the next rains.

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