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Storm Sewer in Tx: Pt 4-Importance of Outfall Elevation into a Channel

Updated: Oct 3, 2023



Welcome to Part 4 of our comprehensive series on storm sewer systems in Texas, brought to you by JRH Engineering & Engineering Services, Inc. In this segment, we will explore a critical aspect of storm sewer design: the importance of outfall elevation into a channel. Understanding this concept is essential for optimizing stormwater management in the Lone Star State

Section 1: Outfall Elevation Basics

Defining Outfall Elevation

Outfall elevation refers to the vertical height at which stormwater exits a storm sewer system and enters a natural or man-made channel.

Channel Connection

The connection between the storm sewer system and the channel is a crucial point for controlling stormwater flow.

Gravity Flow

Stormwater typically relies on gravity flow to move from the storm sewer system into the channel.

Section 2: Importance in Stormwater Management

Controlling Flow Rates

Outfall elevation plays a significant role in controlling the rate at which stormwater enters the channel.

Preventing Erosion

Properly managed outfall elevation helps prevent erosion within the channel, protecting both the channel itself and the surrounding environment.

Flood Mitigation

Ensuring that outfall elevation is appropriately set helps prevent flooding by efficiently conveying stormwater away from urban areas.

Section 3: Design and Engineering Considerations

Designing Effective Outfall Systems

Designing an effective outfall system requires a careful evaluation of factors such as channel slope, pipe size, and flow rates.

Hydraulic Calculations

Hydraulic calculations are used to determine the optimal outfall elevation and its impact on stormwater flow.

Engineering Solutions

Engineers employ various solutions to manage outfall elevation effectively, including weirs, spillways, and control structures.

Section 4: Environmental Impact

Minimizing Environmental Impact

Properly managing outfall elevation helps minimize the environmental impact of stormwater discharge into natural channels.

Sediment Control

Controlling outfall elevation aids in preventing the release of sediment into receiving waters, preserving water quality.

Habitat Protection

Maintaining appropriate outfall elevation can help protect aquatic habitats within channels.


Understanding the significance of outfall elevation into a channel is crucial for optimizing storm sewer systems in Texas. By controlling flow rates, preventing erosion, and mitigating floods, stormwater management becomes more effective. In Part 5 of our series, we will explore the "Importance of slope paving on outfall pipe." JRH Engineering & Engineering Services, Inc. continues to be your trusted partner in providing the expertise needed to excel in stormwater management projects throughout the Lone Star State.

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