Glossary, acronyms, abbreviations

Glossary

Bioretention area

A depressed landscaped area that collects stormwater runoff and infiltrates it into the soil below through the root zone, thus prompting pollutant removal.

Bioswale

A planted depression that receives stormwater runoff from impervious areas and from less pervious vegetated areas such as compacted lawns.It drains this water away by slow surface and subsurface flow, while giving the water an opportunity to soak into the ground.

Catchment

The area contributing runoff to any specific point on a watercourse or wetland.

Channel

Any natural or artificial watercourse.

Conveyance

The transfer of stormwater runoff from one location to another.

Channel protection volume

The volume and rate of flow required for management to reduce the potential for degradation in natural channels.It is usually achieved through the detention of runoff on site.The critical storm event typically has a recurrence interval of around two years.

Culvert

A structure made from reinforced concrete or other material, which is used for stormwater conveyance.

Detention pond

A pond that is normally dry except following large storm events when it temporarily stores stormwater to attenuate flows.It may also allow infiltration of stormwater into the ground.

Don’t Do Damage

The importance of ensuring that extreme storm events do not cause significant damage to property or pose significant risks to life.

Drainage area

An area that is part of a catchment that contributes to the runoff at a specified point.

FCd – Flow control (major storms)

The reduction of peak storm flow rate (m3/s) to the equivalent of the pre-development scenario (or accepted alternative), while simultaneously ensuring that risks to property and human life are mitigated.This is typically used for storm events with a recurrence interval greater than 10 years.

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FCm – Flow control (minor storms)

The reduction of peak storm flow rate (m3/s) to the equivalent of the pre-development scenario.This is typically used for storm events with a recurrence interval of between 2 and 10 years.

Filter strip

Maintained grassed areas of land that are used to manage shallow overland stormwater runoff through several filtration processes.

Filtration

Also referred to as biofiltration, means the filtering out of stormwater runoff pollutants that are conveyed with sediment by trapping these constituents on vegetative species in the soil matrix or on geotextiles.

Flood

A temporary rise in water level, including groundwater or overflow of water, onto land not normally covered by water.

Flood plain

The area susceptible to inundation by floodwater escaping from a natural or constructed waterway.

Gabion

A rectangular-shaped steel wire basket that is generally filled with rock for embankment protection and flood control.

Geotextile

A textile or plastic fabric designed to separate different fill materials.It is normally permeable.

Green roof

A roof on which plants and vegetation can grow.The vegetated surface provides a degree of retention, attenuation, temperature insulation and treatment of rainwater.

Hydrology and hydraulics

The design of drainage structures is based on the sciences of hydrology and hydraulics.The former deals with the occurrence and form of water in the natural environment (precipitation, streamflow, soil moisture, etc.), while the latter deals with the engineering properties of fluids in motion.

Infiltration

The process of penetration of rainwater into the ground.

Infiltration trench

A trench that is usually filled with granular material designed to promote infiltration of surface water into the ground.

Local control

Interventions to manage stormwater runoff typically in public areas such as road reserves or parks.

Major system

A stormwater drainage system that caters for severe, infrequent storm events.Design criteria are primarily based on safety.The major system is supported by the minor drainage system.

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Minor system

A stormwater drainage system that caters for frequent storms of a minor nature.Design criteria are primarily based on convenience.

Nomograph

A chart or graph from which, given a set of parameters, other dependent parameters can be ascertained.

Peak discharge

The maximum rate of flow of water passing a given point during or immediately after a rainfall event (also known as ‘peak flow’).

Permeability

The ability of a material to allow water to flow through when fully saturated and subjected to an unbalanced pressure.

Rain garden

A planted depression that receives stormwater runoff from impervious areas and less pervious vegetated areas such as compacted lawns, giving this water an opportunity to soak into the ground.

Rainwater harvesting

The direct capture of stormwater runoff, typically from rooftops, for supplementary water uses on site.

Recharge volume

Recharge volume (ReV) is the proportion of the Water Quality Volume (WQV) that needs to be infiltrated on site to make up for the reduction of natural infiltration.

Recurrence interval

The Recurrence Interval (RI) is the average interval between events exceeding a stated benchmark (also known as return period).The recurrence interval is usually expressed in years and is the reciprocal of the annual exceedance probability (AEP) – for example, the event having an annual probability of occurrence of 2% (0.02) has a recurrence interval of 50 years.This does not imply that such an event will occur after every 50 years, or even that there will necessarily be one such event in every 50 years, but rather that over a very long period (e.g.1000 years), assuming no climate change, there will be approximately 20 events of greater magnitude (1000/20 = 50 years).

Regional Maximum Flood

An empirically established upper limit of flood peaks that can be reasonably expected at a given site.

Regional control

A large-scale intervention used to manage stormwater runoff on municipal land.

Reno mattress

A rectangular-shaped steel wire basket that is generally filled with rock for embankment protection and flood control.

Retention pond

A basin where runoff is retained for a sufficient time to allow settlement of solids and possibly biological treatment of some pollutants.

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Runoff

The water that constitutes streamflow may reach the stream channel by any of several paths from the point where it first reaches the earth as precipitation.Water that flows over the soil surface is described as surface runoff and reaches the stream soon after its generation as rainfall.Other water infiltrates through the soil surface and flows beneath the surface to the stream.

Sand filter

Normally comprises a sedimentation chamber linked to an underground filtration chamber containing sand or other filter media through which stormwater flows.

Sheet flow

Runoff over a relatively flat or flattened surface.It has no defined channel.

Soakaway

A subsurface structure that is designed to promote infiltration into the ground.

Source control

Non-structural or structural management practice to minimise the generation of excessive stormwater runoff and/or pollution of stormwater at or near the source.

Spillway

A waterway adjoining ponding areas or other hydraulic structures used for the routing of excess water.

Swale

A shallow vegetated channel designed to convey stormwater, but may also permit infiltration.The vegetation assists in filtering particulate matter.

Weir

A relatively small dam-type structure across a waterway used to divert flow, reduce erosion and/or measure flow volumes.

Wetland

Any land translational between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface; which is periodically covered with shallow water, and which in normal circumstances supports or would support vegetation typically adapted to live in saturated soil.This includes water bodies such as lakes, salt marshes, coastal lakes, estuaries, marshes, swamps, vleis, pools, ponds, pans and artificial impoundments.

Water Quality Volume

The design volume of runoff that requires water quality treatment to reduce/remove a specified percentage of pollutants.

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Acronyms and abbreviations

CPV Channel protection volume
D3 Don’t Do Damage
DWAF Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
DWS Department of Water and Sanitation
IWRM Integrated Water Resource Management
NHBRC National Home Builders Registration Council
NWA National Water Act
PMF Probable Maximum Flood
ReV Recharge Volume
RI Recurrence Interval
RMF Regional Maximum Flood
RTC Real-time Control
SABS South African Bureau of Standards
SANRAL South African National Roads Agency Limited
SANS South African National Standards
SCS Soil Conservation Services
SDF Standard Design Flood
SS Suspended Solids
SuDS Sustainable Drainage System
TP Total Phosphorus
WQV Water Quality Volume
WRC Water Research Commission
WSD Water Sensitive Design
WSUD Water Sensitive Urban Design

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Endnotes

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  2. Wong, T.H.F.2006.Water sensitive urban design - the journey thus far.Australasian Journal of Water Resources.10(3), 213–222.DOI: 10.1080/13241583.2006.11465296.
  3. University of Cape Town.2018.UCT Urban Water Management: Water Sensitive Design.http://www.uwm.uct.ac.za/
  4. Armitage, N., Fisher-Jeffes, L., Carden, K., Winter, K., Naidoo, V., Spiegel, A., Mauck, B., Coulson, D.2014.Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) for South Africa: Framework and Guidelines.Report No.TT 588/14.Water Research Commission, Pretoria.
  5. Armitage, N., Vice, M., Fisher-Jeffes, L., Winter, K., Spiegel, A., Dunstan, J.2013.The South African guidelines for sustainable drainage systems.Report No.TT558/13.Water Research Commission, Pretoria.
  6. Global Water Partnership.2017.The Need for an Integrated Approach.https://www.gwp.org/en/About/why/the-need-for-an-integrated-approach/
  7. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF).1996.South African Water Quality Guidelines.Secondedition.Volumes 1 to 6.Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria.
  8. Carden, K., Fisher-Jeffes, L.2017.Stormwater harvesting could help South Africa manage its water shortages.Water Wheel.June 2017.Water Research Commission, Pretoria.
  9. Boulenouar, J., Gibson, J.2015.Asset management in rural South Africa.A case study of Amatole and Chris Hani district municipalities.IRC, The Hague.
  10. Van Zyl, F., Manus, A., Pensulo, E.2008.Water Services Infrastructure Asset Management for Municipal Managers.Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria.
  11. Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR).2013.Climate Change Adaptation Sector Strategy for Rural Human Settlements.Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, Pretoria.
  12. Adam, A.G.2016.Urbanization and the Struggle for Land in the Peri-Urban Areas of Ethiopia.Proceedings of the Annual Bank Conference on Africa.The World Bank Group, Oxford.
  13. CSIR.2019.Green Book: Adapting South African settlements to climate change.https://greenbook.co.za
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  15. SANS 1936-1 Development of Dolomite Land – Part 1: General principles and requirements is available for purchase from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) at https://www.sabs.co.za/
  16. SANS 1936-3 Development of Dolomite Land – Part 3: Design and construction of buildings, structures and infrastructure is available for purchase from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) at https://www.sabs.co.za/
  17. SANS 1936 Development of Dolomite Land – Part 1, 2, 3 and 4 is available for purchase from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) at https://www.sabs.co.za/
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  20. SANS 1936-2 Development of Dolomite Land – Part 2: Geotechnical investigations and determinations is available for purchase from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) at https://www.sabs.co.za/
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