Drainage is the natural removal of excess water from the surface or sub-surface of an area. This can be done by grading or by the installation of a series of solid or perforated pipes and surface inlets to collect and relocate the excess water.
Below is a list of various drainage styles which may be required depending on what specific circumstances, and conditions may be present in an area. Pipe sizing and material choice vary for all drainage system styles, this will be determined by contractor upon evaluation and review of site conditions, future expansion plans, and specific requirements for the site.
Solid pipe system will be used most commonly to reroute surface water and roof water from downspouts to the street or a nearby drainage ditch or bayou. Solid pipe refers to the pipe not having holes or slots in it vs. a perforated pipe which has holes or slots in it with the use of gravel and fabric and will be used for sub-surface water collection.
Gravel perforated system often referred to as a "French Drain" requires the proper installation of fabric, gravel, and a perforated pipe. The "French Drain" works better in more sandy soils than it does in very sticky clay soils. Gravel perforated systems "French Drains" are most often used for the collection of sub-surface water or leaching. We have had much success using the Gravel Perf. system for collecting water that is in excess seeping from hills when homes or lots are stepped down from one another. As well as a perimeter drainage system for foundations and fence lines, it works well for surface collection in a long stretch vs. lots of grading in a tight area.
Channel Drain may also be called Trench Drain is a narrow channel or trough with a grate attached as a surface inlet for long stretches where collection is needed. This style of drainage system is commonly used within flatwork like concrete or paver patios, within garage floors or against sidewalks between buildings. The surrounding pavement will be sloped towards the surface inlet, as the channel drain takes in water it flows into a pipe attached to the channel drain. At this point the system acts as a solid pipe system and the water is carried out to a new location where it can flow freely to a storm system or bayou.
Sumps also called a lift stations are used when there is not enough fall. You will use a pump when there is no slope. A pump will get the water to its final destination, even if that is uphill.
Sump pits, or lift stations are the reservoir that house the pump. This station is a deep pit that can be closed at the top but still accessible for maintenance of the pump. This station is where you will feed all the collection of water in an area. This will be by using gravity drains or grading to get the water to the sump pit or lift station. Pumps do require electricity on site.
Swales are similar to grading in the way that you are trying to allow surface water to freely flow across the ground to a final destination. The difference between a swale and grading alone is that a swale is shaped as an elongated bowl or channel which essentially traps the water in a lower area while the bottom of this swale is sloped or angled in one direction. Therefore the bottom of the ditch or swale is graded to the outfall so that the collected water in the swale flows as intended in the direction of fall. Swales can either be created with concrete or simply dirt and lined with either grass or vegetation, or riprap which is large rocks or crushed concrete.
Grading is the process of reshaping land at a construction site/job site. This can include raising or lowering ground levels also adding or removing slopes or leveling the grounds surface. In general it has two main purposes, creating proper drainage and preparing land. Grading will vary depending on each projects scale and need.
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