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Technical Sheet

November 2004

Ministry of Housing and Lands



A written statement must Consideration of the provision of drainage facilities to

be secured from the local developments will be undertaken by the Ministry of
authority stating that they Environment National Development Unit (MoE-NDU)
have no objections to the on a case-by-case basis. There are however, general
development with respect to requirements and guidance that should be considered
the provision of drainage. by prospective developers when preparing development

Study of the Land Drainage System of the Island of Mauritius

The Ministry of Public Utilities commissioned a study into land
drainage issues, which was completed in 2002. The report
contains guidance on the control of surface water runoff and
suggests how drainage systems should be implemented in
development projects.
The proposals are recommended for use by developers
when planning the layout of proposed developments. Permit
applications should include evidence that the drainage
system has been designed in accordance with these

Need for Drainage Provision

O Most new development will change the surface water
runoff regime. Changing land use from rural to urban (soft
landscape to hard) means an increase in impermeable areas
(roofs, drives, roads). Consequently rainwater that falls on the
Avoid developing in area will run off quicker than it did previously.
depressions and other
flood prone areas A small development of a house or two, taken in isolation,
may be perceived to have a negligible effect on runoff.
However, when several such developments are added
together in one area, a significant change in runoff regime
O may occur.
It is essential that surface water runoff is adequately
controlled to ensure that downstream land and settlements
are not adversely affected and that soil erosion and
subsequent environmental damage does not occur. (Note.
potential floodplain This may require both on site and off-site measures to be

Non permanent spring

O Areas Liable to Flooding
groundwater level
Whilst it is recognised that it is not normally practical to design
for extreme rainfall events, consideration should be given to
Normal groundwater
the areas that are liable to flooding during such events. These
areas should be identified as early as possible in the design
Avoid developing within areas
process and development should be laid out accordingly to
liable to flooding or that may minimise any potential damage.
become waterlogged during
extreme rainfall events


Ministry of Housing and Lands, November 2004


Appropriate drainage General Approach to be Adopted for Drainage Design

facilities should be provided
The developer should properly map the proposed
to ensure:
development (1:2000 scale) and surrounding area (1:10 000
• The site itself does not scale) to ascertain the extent of all the catchment areas that
flood contribute to water flows through and from the development.
Such mapping should include all streams and show contours
• Other properties are not
adversely affected by the
proposed development • 1m intervals for land with a slope of <5%
• Essential groundwater • 5m – 10m intervals for land steeper than 5%
recharge potential is not
The development proposals need to deal with drainage
of storm water that flows through the development from
• Erosion of ground does surrounding areas and settlements in addition to that which
not occur is generated from the development itself. Proposals should
also demonstrate that no significant harm will be caused
to properties or land downstream as a consequence of the
proposed drainage system.
Each property within the development should be able to
discharge into the drainage system by gravity. The entire
surface water drainage of the development should be
achieved by gravity.
The sub-division of land can involve interference with the
natural surface drainage patterns of overland flows and flows
through small streams.
For small catchment areas, e.g. less than 5 hectares, it may
be acceptable to utilise roadside drainage channels to
intercept and convey surface water.
For larger catchment areas the construction of suitable drains
would be very costly and it would be preferable to plan the
road network and plot layouts to integrate with the natural
streams and watercourses and use these to continue to carry
surface water through the development.
The attached drawings, which have been developed from
those included in the Land Drainage Study report, indicate
how a drainage system might be laid out in accordance with
the above principles.
Property developers should
require plot purchasers to:
Basic Design Parameters
• keep all drainage
The following parameters are suggested as general rule-of-
channels free of
thumb criteria that could be adopted. However the overall
structures, trees,
drainage system will need to be designed by a qualified
vegetation and other
engineer. The parameters identified are for guidance:
• Open roadside drains should not exceed 400mm width
• maintain access for
and 500mm depth
maintenance purposes
• Larger drains should be covered with suitable provision
• ensure that any plot
for water to enter and for maintenance access
access “bridges” do not
impede the performance
of the drainage system


Ministry of Housing and Lands, November 2004


Overall Catchment Plan

Plan the road network and

development layout so that
the major natural surface
water drainage patterns are
maintained Proposed Development Area
Within Catchment

Possible Development Layout

Maintaining Main Natural
Surface Water Drainage Channel
or Route


Ministry of Housing and Lands, November 2004


• Open drains are unlikely to be able to drain areas

greater than:
o 2 ha in flat areas (<1%)
o Up to 5ha for steeper areas (up to 6%)
• Under design conditions velocities above 0.75m/s must
be achieved
• Maximum flow rates must not exceed 4m/s

Possible Arrangement of Services

A separate Technical Sheet: Combined Utility Services
Summary plans provides indicative groupings for
arrangements of the various utilities that generally need to
be laid within the road and utility reserve. These drawings
are for information only and are not intended to cover every
eventuality. They do, however, serve to demonstrate why it
is important to consider all the utilities and how they relate to
each other when preparing layout plans.
It is important to carefully consider the manner in which
roadside drains inter-relate with other services, particularly
with regard to:
• the need for other services to pass under the drains
- so deep drains may have a significant effect on how
those services are installed
• the way drains cross roads (for example at road
Piped drains, for example, may be necessary at some points
in order to allow other services to pass under or over the drain
rather than channels.


Ministry of Housing and Lands, November 2004