Underpasses to get tanks in a bid to prevent flooding

BEIJING – Water storage tanks will be built along some underpasses in the capital to collect rain in an attempt to prevent them from being flooded by thunderstorms, the municipal urban planning authority said.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning has released its plan for the redevelopment of underpasses, but did not provide a detailed timetable.

Some underpasses have lower areas where they go under other roads, making them vulnerable when large rainstorms lash the city. Rainwater accumulated in these lower areas, especially in underpasses on major roads, could trigger severe traffic jams. For example, a large rainstorm on June 23 increased congestion in the downtown area by hours.

The storage tanks would use gravity and channels to collect rainwater from the road. The water would then be used for canals or irrigation. The only underpass in the city to have water storage tanks is Fuxingmen underpass, in Xicheng district.

The system has proved to be effective. There have been very few incidents when water has accumulated on the Fuxingmen underpass in recent years.

When Beijing Party chief Liu Qi inspected flood prevention projects in the city in early July, he stressed that the new underpass projects should all have rainwater harvesting equipment to improve water conservation in the city, The bureau and other relevant departments are also considering making water storage regulation for all underpasses. The standards for such projects are still under discussion.

Li Yi, chief engineer of the Beijing General Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute, said underpasses would be divided into three groups, according to how much work would be required. Some will need more renovation than others, such as more powerful pumps and the removal of sewage systems.

In addition, underpasses not surrounded by watercourses will be redeveloped to link into an integrated water network across the capital.

 Source: China Daily

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