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Chapter: Civil - Water Resources and Irrigation Engineering - Reservoir Planning and Management

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Levees and Floodwalls

Levees and floodwalls can protect a building and the surrounding area from inundation without significant changes to the structure if the design flood level is not exceeded.


 Advantages and Disadvantages of Levees and Floodwalls

 

Advantages

 

ü   Levees and floodwalls can protect a building and the surrounding area from inundation without significant changes to the structure if the design flood level is not exceeded.

ü   There is no pressure from floodwater to cause structural damage to the building.

 

ü   These barriers are usually less expensive than elevating or relocating the structure.

 

ü   Occupants do not have to leave the structure during construction.

 

Disadvantages

 

ü   This technique cannot be used to bring a substantially damaged or improved structure into compliance with floodplain development standards.

 

ü   May violate floodplain development standards, particularly in floodway locations, by causing obstructed flow or in increased flood heights.

 

ü   Failure or overtopping of a levee or floodwall results in as much damage as if there was no protection (or more).

 

ü   May restrict access to the structure. If human intervention is required for closures, there must be adequate warning time.

ü   May be expensive.

 

ü   For buildings with basements, hydrostatic pressure from groundwater may still cause damage.

 

ü   Local drainage can be affected, possibly creating water problems for others.

 

ü   Interior drainage must be provided.

 

ü   Levees require considerable land area.

 

ü   Require periodic maintenance.

 

ü   No reduction in flood insurance premiums.

 

ü   Do not eliminate the need to evacuate during floods.

 

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