Hydro International's Vortex Valves to Relieve Ottawa Flooding

Hydro International, a provider of environmentally sustainable products and innovative solutions that control and treat stormwater, wastewater and combined sewer overflows, has completed the third stage of a program to supply the City of Ottawa, Canada, with 930 Reg-U-Flo® Vortex Valve inlet control devices to reduce incidences of basement flooding in the downtown area.

The city installed 485 devices in early 2009 and recently purchased second and third rounds of valves totaling 445 units. The city uses the inlet control devices as part of a multi-stage project to control historical flooding in the O’Connor Street drainage area, in the heart of the Centretown and Glebe section in Ottawa, Canada’s capital.

The combined sewer area is subject to incidences of basement flooding resulting from overwhelmed combined sewers during extreme rainfall events. Combined sewers carry wastewater and stormwater in the same pipes. During an extreme rainfall event, too much stormwater is captured at streetside catch basins, and the sewer can quickly reach its capacity. Through a direct connection, relief for the overwhelmed sewer can be provided in nearby basements in low-lying areas of the city.

“During large rainfalls, our combined sewers were simply taking in too much runoff through the city’s catchbasins, and we needed a reliable, cost-effective solution,” said Darryl Shurb, a senior project manager in the City of Ottawa Public Works and Services Department. “Our first round of Reg-U-Flo valves made a measurable difference in our basement flooding problem, and we’re looking forward to even more improved results with these new shipments of valves.”

Under low-flow conditions, the device acts as a larger orifice where water and debris can pass directly from the inlet to the outlet. As flow increases a vortex with an air-filled core is formed inside the unit which starts to throttle the flow. As the head increases, the air core fully stabilizes and the valve discharge is throttled to that of a smaller orifice.

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