Title:
Water extraction panels system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular water drainage device for relieving water-logged land underneath sealed and partially sealed surfaces, such as roads and buildings, is described. Vertical planks provide support to the water conduit as well as structural integrity to the module. The planks are connected to top and bottom pans, where the bottom pan serves as an impermeable trough-like structure for the collection of water. Wire screens fastened to the exterior of the module retain particulate outside the module. Openings in the top panel of the module allow a vacuum hose into the interior space between the vertical planks, for easy removal of accumulated silt. Modules can be arranged individually, connected linearly, in parallel, or perpendicular to each other. The present invention may also contain a system for controlling, recording and communicating the operation of a building ground water extraction device. This way, the building owner or operator is immediately and continuously informed about the ground water problem, if any, around or under the building. Also, if there is a ground water problem, there are accurate and up-to-date records about it. Therefore, proper remedial efforts may be planned and undertaken.



Inventors:
Riste, Darrell (Nampa, ID, US)
Application Number:
11/801579
Publication Date:
05/29/2008
Filing Date:
05/09/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02B11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SINGH, SUNIL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PEDERSEN & COMPANY, PLLC (BOISE, ID, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A water drainage system, comprised of modular units; wherein each module has a top piece, a bottom piece, open side wall, and an empty central space; wherein the bottom piece is an impermeable pan sealed to a lower part of the side wall; wherein at least one pipe extends out from the impermeable pan; and wherein a non-biodegradable screen is fastened to the open side wall.

2. The water drainage system of claim 1, wherein the module is rectangular in shape.

3. The water drainage system of claim 1, wherein the module is wedge shaped.

4. The water drainage system of claim 1, wherein the module is cylindrical in shape.

5. The water drainage system of claim 1, wherein the module is cone shaped.

6. The water drainage system of claim 1, wherein the top piece has a plurality of openings into the central space.

7. The water drainage system of claim 1 for extraction of ground water near buildings wherein the drainage system's operation is recorded and communicated immediately and continuously for the benefit of the building owner or operator.

8. The water drainage system of claim 7 which 1. detects the presence of water to be extracted; 2. initiates the operation of equipment, typically pump(s), to extract the detected water; and, 3. records the operation of detector(s) and extraction equipment, and optionally, the volume of water extracted

Description:

This application claims priority of Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/799,241, filed May 9, 2006, and entitled “Water Extraction Panels System”, and Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/902,454, filed Feb. 20, 2007, and entitled “Ground Water Extraction Control and Communication System for Buildings, which are hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to drainage for land areas. More particularly, the present invention relates to a modular system for draining the ground in water-logged areas, especially in the vicinity of roads and buildings, to provide relief to the surface structure. Also, this invention relates to a system for controlling the extraction of ground water near buildings, and for recording and communicating the operation of the system for the benefit of the building owner or operator.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Construction and the development of land usually requires the installation of drainage infrastructure underneath partially or fully sealed surfaces. The problem with most drainage systems today lies in the fact that, over time, the drain pipes clog up with soil and fine silt, and servicing these pipes can be a very complex, difficult, and expensive undertaking.

Hurley, U.S. Pat. No. 4,988,235, describes a system for draining land areas through siphoning from a permeable catch basin. A principle catch basin is situated below ground level, having side walls partially constructed of permeable geotextile fabric, which allows for sub-surface water and air flow into the basin. The system includes a siphon that automatically drains the collected water to a distant collection point or exit point.

Urriola, U.S. Pat. No. 5,810,510, describes an underground drainage system, in which storage tanks with perforated wall modules are wrapped in water permeable geotextile. This system is preferably buried in clean sand, whereby rainwater and runoff is directed to flow into the piping connected to the storage tanks, and back through the walls of the piping into the first available strata where the surrounding ground is not saturated.

Kupke et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,048,132, describes a filter underdrain with prefabricated cells. The prefabricated cells may have a one piece construction with side walls and a bottom, in which the side walls may include a porous plate support ledge with a ridge at the center of the ledge. The ridge helps ensure that the sealant forms an effective gasket when the porous plates are installed.

Wagner et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,079,903, describes a drain channel system, in which a lower channel section incorporates a continuous cavity that is open toward the bottom, and underneath a seepage area is located for draining off surface water. The cavity is connected to a reservoir having a dirt filter, or alternatively the dirt filter is between the reservoir and the cavity.

Wilkerson, U.S. Publication No. 2003/0118403, describes a drainage system for sports fields, in which a receptacle is positioned below the surface for receiving drain water and for discharging the water through an outlet. A perforated pipe water collection system can be attached to the receptacle to direct water to the receptacle interior space, and access to the interior space of the receptacle is granted through a removable receptacle cover. The receptacle cover is sufficiently strong to hold the overlying weight of people and equipment.

Froehly, U.S. Pat. No. 6,712,554, describes a modular drainage unit, characterized by an elongated body, traversed by a longitudinal collecting conduit, and comprising flow passages opening on the peripheral walls of the body and emerging into the conduit. Drainage water circulates by gravity toward the collecting conduit. The invention is to be used for draining grounds in general and around buildings.

Parker, U.S. Publication No. 2004/0091320, describes a subterranean drain device with improved filtration. The invention features a monolithic “sandwich” construction consisting of a planar top and base sheets which are set apart by an array of supports integrally joined to the sheets. A filtering adjunct is provided that assures exclusion of particulate in soil. The fabric used for filtration is prevented from occluding most drainage apertures by being fixed to a permanent stand-off network of supportive projections from the top or bottom sheets.

A primary objective of the present invention is to provide an efficient modular underground drainage system for the relief of roads, highways, and other sealed surface structures.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide a drainage system in which soil and silt does not build up in the drainage pipe.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide a drainage system in which the access to and removal of collected silt is both simple and efficient.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a modular water drainage system for relieving water-logged land underneath sealed and partially sealed surfaces, such as roads or buildings. A single module of the system includes top and bottom pans, and vertical planks that provide support to the water conduit as well as structural integrity to the module. The bottom pan is an enclosed, trough-like structure that fills with water to the level of the conduit. The conduit may be a short upstream inlet pipe section into the box, and a short downstream outlet pipe section out of the box, with flow-through holes in each vertical plank. Alternatively, a pipe can be inserted through the length of the module, which carries water to a collection tank or reservoir, or to a storm sewer.

Wire screens are fastened to the exterior of the module to retain outside earth particulate, and an impermeable pan is sealed to the lower portion of the module to provide a reservoir for water collection, and to prevent silt and other fine particulate from flooding the module upon installation. The top panel of the module includes holes for inserting a vacuum hose into the interior of the module, between the vertical planks, for easy removal of accumulated silt over time. Multiple modules can be connected to each other directly for a linear arrangement, placed in a parallel arrangement and connected to a central drain pipe, or connected perpendicularly, depending upon greatest drainage efficiency for the land area.

Also, the present invention is a system for controlling, recording and communicating the operation of a building ground water extraction device. Typically, the subject system:

    • 1. detects the presence of water to be extracted;
    • 2. initiates the operation of equipment, typically pump(s), to extract the detected water;
    • 3. records the operation of detector(s) and extraction equipment, and optionally, the volume of water extracted; and
    • 4. optionally, communicates the recorded data from the system to a remote building owner or operator.

This way, the building owner or operator is immediately and continuously informed about the ground water problem, if any, around or under the building. Also, if there is a ground water problem, there are accurate and up-to-date records about it. Therefore, proper remedial efforts may be planned and undertaken.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of the present invention without the mesh screen or pan around the exterior.

FIG. 3 is a side cut-away view of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a front view of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a bottom cut-away view of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a partial side cut-away view of the present invention showing the action of accumulated silt and soil being vacuumed out through the top.

FIG. 8 is a front view of the present invention in an underground environment.

FIG. 9 is a side perspective view of two modules of the present invention that are connected linearly.

FIG. 10 is a side perspective view of three modules of the present invention that are arranged parallel to each other.

FIG. 11 is a side perspective view of an alternate conical embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a side perspective view of an alternate wedge embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a side cut-away perspective view of the present invention with a pipe through the center.

FIG. 14 is a side, schematic, cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the present invention installed in a home.

FIG. 15 is a schematic electrical wiring diagram for one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 16 is a schematic electrical wiring diagram for the display panel of one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 17 is a schematic electrical wiring diagram for the pump control panel for one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A preferred embodiment of the present invention is described, a modular water extraction system for draining the ground underneath sealed and partially sealed surfaces, in particular, ground in the vicinity of roads and buildings. FIG. 1 shows the invention, which is constructed from two galvanized metal pans that form the top (10) and bottom (12) pieces, with a plurality of vertical planks (14) connecting the top (10) and bottom (12) pans. The vertical planks (14), shown in FIG. 2, are spaced apart from each other equidistantly to span the length of the top (10) and bottom (12) pans, and the width of the planks (14) becomes the width of the module. The vertical planks (14) provide strength and resistance to side pressure from being packed in the earth, as well as resistance to pressure from the top of the module, allowing for the weight of humans, animals, and vehicles to be supported. Additional resistance strength can be achieved by the placement of rebar through the vertical planks (14).

Galvanized wire screens (16) are fastened to the exterior of the module on both sides, allowing water to enter the module while retaining particulate outside the module. Screen strength is sheer so as to maintain its integrity against pressure from without. Additionally, the bottom pan (12) is impermeable, and is sealed around the lower exterior portion of the module, enclosing the lower portion of the module in a trough-like structure for water collection. Once the water reaches the height of the outlet conduit, it will enter the conduit and drain to the desired region. This lower pan (12) also prevents silt and other fine particulate from flooding inside the module upon installation.

The preferred embodiment has openings (18) in the lower section of the vertical planks (14) to allow flow-through access between each compartment of the module, and possesses a short upstream inlet pipe (20) and a short downstream outlet pipe (20′). Alternatively, the module need not have an inlet pipe (20), but may have only an outlet pipe (20′). In another embodiment, a PVC pipe can be inserted through the length of the module. With either embodiment, water collects in the lower trough-like pan (12) of the module until it reaches a level in the pan (12) where the water can enter the outlet pipe (20′) and begins to drain out of the module. Water is collected and removed through the outlet pipe (20′) to a collection tank, reservoir, or storm sewer.

The top pan (10) of the preferred embodiment of the invention includes slots (22), most directly seen in FIG. 4, that serve to provide access to the interior of the invention, in the space between vertical planks. A vacuum hose (24) can be inserted through each of these slots (22), as shown by FIG. 7, for quick, easy removal of fine particulate that gradually accumulates in the lower portion of the module. Maintenance of silt and soil accumulation prevents the drainage system from plugging up and eventually malfunctioning.

Multiple module units can be arranged in a single land area, depending upon the drainage requirements and available land space. In one arrangement, seen in FIG. 9, the modules are connected linearly, with the outlet pipe (20′) of one module connected to the inlet pipe (20) of another module, so that the water drains in a line for as many modules as are necessary. In another arrangement, seen in FIG. 10, the modules are connected to a single central drainage conduit (26) through individual offshoot outlet pipes (20′), allowing for the modules to be placed parallel to each other. In yet another arrangement, the modules can be placed at a perpendicular angle to each other.

The height and shape of each module unit may also vary depending on the level of ground to be drained and the specific surrounding area of the ground. A module may be taller or shorter. A module may also be circular, conical (FIG. 11), or wedge-shaped (FIG. 12). The circular and conical modules are reinforced from external pressure by reinforcing rings (28) placed against the interior wall of the module. In this way modules can be custom-built to accommodate more hazardous regions. For example, in the vicinity near a fuel station, the pressure of migrating fine particles may inhibit the removal of a more standard shaped module once installed. However, the conical or wedge-shaped module with the narrow end in the ground would be more easily removed without disrupting the ground around it, thus allowing for service and maintenance of the module. The custom-built nature of these modules makes the present invention ideal for most underground drainage needs.

The present invention is also ideal for buildings in wetland regions, where certain restrictions require that the area remain a natural wetland and disallow the total drainage and removal of underground water. A module can positioned upstream in the ground adjacent to a building, so that the water conduit is just below the foundation level of the building. The water is siphoned away from the building foundation into the module and carried to another module downstream that is positioned in the desired wetland region. This second module can then act to redistribute the water to the surrounding region. In this way, the water flow underneath the building is halted and redirected to a region where it can be redistributed, preserving both the natural wetland and the building integrity.

In FIG. 14 there is depicted, for example, a house with a foundation for a basement or a crawl space. Beneath the house is a sump with, for example, a water level detector. In the sump is a sump pump with a run indicator, and an optional flow meter. The water level detector, sump pump and optional flow meter report to a control and display panel inside the house. There, preferably a light indicates that the sump pump is, or has been operating. An optional reset button may turn off the sump pump run light until another run cycle of the pump turns the light on again. Alternatively, a recording and indicating meter at the control and display panel may report on water detector, sump pump, and sump pump discharge flow operation. Further, this recording and indicating meter may report remotely via a phone line, modem or wireless connection to a remote building owner or operator.

In FIG. 15 there is depicted, for example, one, but not the only, schematic electrical wiring diagram for one embodiment of the present invention. From FIG. 15 it is clear that there may be more than one water detector, and more than one pump. The water detector(s) may operate on liquid water, or on soil dampness or high air humidity. Presently, instead of a bubble-based (float) liquid water level controller, a conductance type electronic water sensor probe is preferred.

In FIG. 16 there is depicted a schematic electrical wiring diagram for one, but not the only, embodiment of the controller display panel of the present invention. From FIG. 16 it is clear that any number of convenient and informative alarm and recording options are available regarding the present ground water extraction system.

In FIG. 17 there is depicted a schematic electrical wiring diagram for one, but not the only, embodiment of the pump control panel of the present invention. From FIG. 17 it is clear that electrical capabilities for many optional features of pump control are available regarding the present ground water extraction system.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, Applicant's special water extraction panels system is integrated with the present invention. In this respect, in FIG. 14 of this application, Applicant's special panels may be placed, for example, at location “A” in the Figure, and receive directly the sump pump discharge from the house. Or, alternatively, Applicant's special panels may replace the sump in FIG. 14 (at location “B” therein) and directly receive the ground water from under the house. In this latter respect, then, Applicant's special panels will contain a sump pump, and the related water detectors, pump run indicators and recorders, and optional discharge water flow meter.

Although this invention has been described above with reference to particular means, materials and embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these disclosed particulars, but extends instead to all equivalents within the scope of the following claims.