Choosing the Right Stormwater Valve

In a stormwater system, a valve is an essential component to control and redirect runoff. If a stormwater valve fails, it can allow backflow and cause damage to homes and other buildings as well as impacting the environment and people’s health.

Choosing the right type of stormwater valve is essential for controlling backflow and preventing property damage and environmental issues caused by excess water. There are a wide variety of valves available that are ideal for different situations.

Check Valves

Check valves are critical to any stormwater management system and play an important role in minimizing the effects of sewage, sediment and chemicals from flowing into the environment. They should be chosen carefully so as not to allow backflow and prevent the potential for harm to homes, office buildings and vegetation in the area.

Duckbill Check Valves

The duckbill valve design is one of the most popular types of check valves in the industry because it has a low cracking pressure, does not slam on closure and has no problem discharging flow with suspended entrained solids (including abrasive slurries). They are resistant to organic contamination such as algae, weeds, and barnacles and are widely used for pumping stations, wetwell aeration and mixing, stormwater discharge, CSO / SSO systems, detention ponds, site drainage, flood control systems and hydrostatic pressure relief.

Backwater Valve

A backwater valve is a small, mechanically operated device that connects to the private sewer lateral and keeps raw sewage out of the home in the event of a sewer overflow. Sewage backups can be dangerous and costly to clean up, so it’s important that your home is equipped with a backwater valve.


The County DPW requires that a stormwater diversion system be equipped with a rain switch that is activated whenever it detects 0.1 inches of rainfall. This ensures that the first 1/10th of an inch of rain will flow to a public sewer rather than the diversion system.

These switches are available as a kit that includes the switch, a diversion valve and a relay to connect to a rain collector. The pump must be shut off automatically when the switch is activated, so that any water remaining in the diversion system will not flow into the public sewer.

Vortex Valves

In an effort to reduce sewage overflows and the cost of sewer replacements, cities are increasingly using vortex valves as inlet controls in their catch basins. In Evanston, IL, vortex valves are being installed to regulate runoff that enters the city’s combined sewers during intense storms, preventing overflows and reducing the need for relief sewers.

Managing stormwater is a growing challenge for both municipal authorities and utilities alike. Integrated water management plans that address these issues will be critical for future sustainability.