Pooling water can cause flooding and structural damage to buildings and other structures, besides creating a safety hazard in high-traffic areas.
The solution to these problems is drainage channels.
What is a drainage channel?
A drainage channel is one of the most common features found around the world and is used to manage surface water and prevent flooding.
Also known as a channel drain, a trench drain, or a linear channel, it is a constructed watercourse through which water flows away from selected areas such as a driveway, patios, gardens, walkways, pool decks, parking lots, and other specific areas.
A channel drain is usually trough-shaped with grating on the top which prevents debris from entering the drain and blocking the drainage channel.
Why are drainage channels important?
The main purpose of drainage channels is to remove surface water from specific areas, particularly non-porous surfaces, so that it prevents flooding and overspilling, especially during the wet season and from heavy downpours.
These channels reduce the damage caused by pooling water and surface flooding as it controls the flow of water and reduces the stress on the system.
Types of channel drains
There are two basic types of channel drains:
1) Channel drain with built-in fall units
A fall refers to a gradient or a slope which is built into the channel drain unit so that water will flow in a particular direction with the help of gravity. These units are used to drain large, flat areas such as car parks.
2) Regular depth units
These units maintain a regular depth throughout the length of the channel and thus must be laid to a fall. Regular depth units are used for short length drains and in areas with a natural slope or fall.
Channel drains are manufactured from a variety of materials such as HDPE, stainless steel, polymer concrete and wet-press concrete. They also come in a variety of sizes depending on their application, from those suitable for homes, streetscapes, and carparks to heavy-duty applications such as roadways, airports, and warehouses.
Where are channel drains usually located?
Channel drains have many uses and applications. Here are some areas where you will find drainage channels:
- Driveways and pathways
- Patios and courtyards
- Swimming pools and sport areas
- Gardens and water features
- Car parks
- Commercial areas
How to install drainage channels?
Installing channel drains depends on their applications. However, these are the four basic steps necessary to install drainage channels.
1) Preparation and planning
This step involves planning the route of the drainage channel based on how and where the water will discharge. The ground is prepared and cleared for trench digging by removing the hard surface, such as tarmac, bricks or concrete.
2) Digging a trench
A neat trench is dug out from the ground to ensure that the channel drain fits into it. It needs to be deep enough to accommodate compacted sand at the bottom and wide enough for concrete side fill on each side surrounding the channel.
3) Inserting the drainage channel
The channel drainage system is lowered into the prepared trench, ensuring that the outlet connects and seals to the underground drainage pipe.
4) Placing the grate
The grate is placed and secured over the drainage channel while concrete is poured into the channel run to secure it in place.