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Course Description

Practical Highway Hydrology

PROGRAM AREA: Hydraulics
Instructor-led Training (ILT)Instructor-led Training (ILT)
Calendar Year
Host Price
3 Days
1.8 Units
$850 Per Participant

TRAINING LEVEL: Intermediate

CLASS SIZE: Minimum: 20 Maximum: 30


The course provides engineers and designers with the background and skills necessary for the practical application of hydrologic principles to highway design. Participants will be required to work example problems that stress actual design situations. The course is based on the Hydraulic Design Series (HDS) No. 2, "Highway Hydrology" which is also used in the course as a reference manual.

Participants will learn how to select and effectively implement techniques for estimating peak flows and flood hydrographs in gaged and ungaged streams for watersheds of the size typically encountered in highway drainage design. Through a series of optional modules, additional topics including channel routing, wetland hydrology, arid lands hydrology, and snowmelt hydrology are available given host agency preferences.

The overall course objectives enhance the understanding of basic hydrologic concepts and principles as they pertain to highways, and enable application of appropriate hydrologic concepts and tools in the design of drainage facilities and hydraulic structures.


Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify which peak flow design methods are suitable for given watershed characteristics and design requirements
  • Estimate times of concentration
  • Apply the SCS, regression and rational methods for peak flows
  • Analyze gage flows using Log-Pearson III Frequency Analysis
  • Develop hydrographs using the unit hydrograph and other techniques
  • Perform storage routing calculations
  • Design a storm water management facility


Highway engineers and designers who are responsible for designing channels, storm drains, and stormwater detention, as well as those involved in the hydraulic design of bridges and culverts. Attendees will benefit from, but are not required to have, a basic knowledge of hydrologic science. The course is a useful primer for those new to the subject and a thorough review for experienced hydrologic and hydraulic engineers.

If you have questions about this NHI training, please contact NHI at or 877.558.6873.


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Host this Course

The National Highway Institute (NHI) has been accredited as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this accreditation, NHI has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Accredited Provider status, NHI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.


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