Prior to the 1960s, the majority of homes were built with a water management system that drained directly into municipal storm sewers. Unfortunately, this type of drainage system is now considered illegal in many parts of North America. In many instances, storm water collected by each home was too much for the municipality to handle, overflowing into the sanitary sewer system. Sewage treatment plants could not accommodate the amount of runoff water that flowed into the system, discharging tons of untreated sewage into lakes and streams in the area. As these lakes and streams are also sources of drinking water for the area, the situation posed a serious health threat for inhabitants.
Most downspouts attached to homes are now designed to eliminate runoff water by simply discharging it on the ground, near the base of the house, or slightly further away. Downspouts may also be attached to an underground drainage system, also known as a French Drain. However, this design is costly, requiring professional routine clearance of debris and other clogging substances in the underground piping. Both types do not discharge water directly into the municipal storm sewer; runoff water needs to travel before reaching the sewer. Therefore, some water can be absorbed by the ground before it reaches the sewer, which is beneficial for the natural groundwater aquifer.
For downspouts that simply discharge water on the ground, it is vital that this not affect the ground surrounding the home. Serious problems may result from runoff water pooling around the structure of the house. It could erode the soil in your yard, creating an eyesore and leaving a slick muddy mess impossible to plant a lawn and garden in or walk through. Collecting water may leak into the basement, making it dank and a perfect environment for health-threatening mold. And the worst problem: it may seep into the foundation of the home, causing wood to rot and concrete to crack. If this occurs, your house will require immediate repairs to prevent a catastrophe.
That’s why runoff water must be eliminated far from the base of your home. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on an expensive drainage system that will require costly routine maintenance, there is an economical solution. Attaching downspout extenders to each downspout will get rid of runoff water. Downspout extenders extend the length of downspouts so that water will not pool around the house. Rather, it will disperse the power of flowing water and spray out at a safe distance, ideally at six feet.