11 Different Types Of Drainage Systems (With Photos)

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Drainage systems are very important. Their primary function is to grab and extract waste matter systematically.

The major aim of establishing drainage systems is to ensure healthy conditions of living in a building. This they achieve by disposing of wastewater as quickly as possible. Quickly enough to prevent gases from sewers and septic tanks from penetrating people’s residences.

In this article, we will be looking at the different types of drainage systems that you should know about!

Types Of Drainage Systems

There are different types of drainage systems that you can adopt for your project. But, these different drainage systems fall under four major types, namely, surface drainage system, sub-surface drainage system, slope drainage system, and downspout and gutter system.

Let’s analyze them further below:

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1. Surface Drainage System

The surface drainage system is established by digging a few ditches that act as funnels for overflowing water. They would help keep floods at bay with their efficient techniques of sending water away. 

Surface drainage systems are ideal for those who live on flat land. The more rain falls on these flat surfaces, the more the pool of water becomes, thereby causing stagnation which, in turn, may lead to different environmental hazards and water damage. 

Going for a suitable surface drainage system will help prevent all these.

2. Sub-surface Drainage System

Unlike the surface drainage system, this one is buried underneath the soil using deep underground pipes and a drain. 

Their major function is to avoid the build-up of water in the soil. This they achieve by redirecting the water. 

Subsurface drainage systems are essential to plants and trees as they help prevent them from having root rot due to sitting too long in standing water.

3. Slope Drainage System

As the name implies, pipes are installed in an inclined position instead of underground. Pipes can be steel, plastic, or concrete made protectively wrapped with another layer to prevent accidents. 

The major function of this drainage system is to have water naturally flow away from your home due to the downward slope.

4. Downspout and Gutter system

This drainage system is directly connected to the gutters. Its major function is to prevent damage and erosion to your landscape. 

This drainage system is essential for your home.

We present to you some of the drainage systems that we have, under the four major categories, specially designed to effectively take out waste water and every other liquid.

Bearing in mind that water removal, which a good drainage system ensures, helps to keep important assets safe, prevents water stagnation and the unpleasant effects that it brings and creates a hazard free environment for all.

5. Point Drains

Point drains appear on the sub-surface and is placed strategically on sloppy floors. This drainage system is very neat as well as effective. 

How do point drains function? 

With the point drain, water is collected from just one single point. 

Some places where the point drain is most effective are the ones where drainage is needed from a particular point due to topographical or structural requirements.

6. Trench Drains

To best describe trench drains, we can say that it is a drain channel established with concrete in a large trench. 

Trench drains can be made narrow or wide, with a hefty metallic gate erected to cover them. 

How do trench drains function?

When there is an inflow of water from over the large ground area, the trench drains swing into action and intercept the flow. 

They channel water away from the ground’s surface straight to the final drain point. 

Trench drains are usually established in commercial structures like loading docks, restaurants, etc. 

Under the trench drain category, we have several types of drainage systems. It is home to the standard trench drain and many other kinds.

7. Swale Drains

Swale Drains are a less intricate system than others. They can be defined as shallow ditches with grassy borders. 

Swale Drains are very wide but shallow. It can be found established more in residential buildings and commercial landscaping areas. 

How does the Swale drain work? 

Swale drain works in controlling outdoor water run-off. They slow it down in a bid to prevent a case of flood or erosion of the soil. 

Swale drains will also help in spreading water onto a larger surface. This is done as a preventive measure to prevent the storm drains from being overwhelmed suddenly by the flow of water.

8. French Drains

 Another sub-surface structure is characterized by a flat perforated pipe installed in a sloped trench. 

The trench slope helps channel the build-up of water from the highest point, where the influx is high, to the lowest, where it usually ends up in a cistern or Swale. 

To put it in plain terms, the major function of French drains is to control the flow of water from high to low effectively. 

They are usually installed in residential regions to channel water away from landscaping and homes.

9. Slot drain

Slot drain is a recent, newly improved design of the trench drain. They spot quite a distinctive pre-sloped look, plus they are already assembled as a sole piece of surface drainage. 

This unique design is unlike anything you have seen in other trench systems. 

With the slot drain, there is no need for a concrete covering because of how narrow it was designed. 

You are also open to choose from a range of materials, one of which is the commonly used food-grade stainless steel due to its strength. 

How does the slot drain function? 

The sloped floors will automatically redirect the water to the drain point. From there, it finds its way to the collection tank, where it is carefully disposed of. 

The resultant effect is that the floors go dry faster, thereby reducing the likelihood of accidents like people slipping. 

Of all the drainage systems mentioned above, the slot drain is the most flexible. They are designed in a way that can serve industries as well as residential buildings.

10. HDPE Drains

HDPE is an acronym for High-Density Polyethylene. They are also some of the recent trench drain designs. 

What makes them stand out from the traditional trench drain system? 

HDPE is different because they have pre-engineered, lightweight channel sections that can be assembled easily. 

HDPE is very strong with a very smooth texture. They, however, will need a concrete covering just like the conventional trench drain design. 

How does HDPE drain function? 

The same way you know trench drains too. They channel water away from the surface area into the proper drain channel where it can seamlessly flow and be disposed of effectively in sewage. 

They are best suited for industrial places because of their strength and chemical resistance.

11. Cast-In-Place Trench Drains

 Cast-In-Place Trench Drains are very technical both to install and use. 

First, a trench has to be dug with wooden bars attached as reinforcement. After that, the casting of the trench with concrete will be done. 

How does the Cast-In-Place Trench drain work? 

They perform a double function of channeling water and debris from the floor’s surface into the ‘catch system.’ This means that unless there is a clog somewhere in the channel, the floors will stay dry and clean. 

HDPE used to be a common type of drainage in most industries, but due to its high cost, many technicalities, and lapses, a lot have turned to other better alternatives.

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There are lots of drain systems, with each one being unique and suitable for specific places. Not every drainage system will work in every area, so it is advised that you take your time to read up about each one of them so you can be sure you are getting one that will answer your needs.

We will, however, recommend the Slot drain system because of its flexibility and the ease experienced in installing it. They can serve almost everywhere and can be easily maintained.

Always remember that proper drainage must be ensured to safeguard your home’s foundation, so go for the right choice.