Drainage Systems

illustration of how water lines and plumbing works

The drainage system in residential areas is essential as it helps to remove excess water. A sound drainage system takes water away from the driveways, roofs, and walkways to prevent flooding. It also helps prevent structural damage of buildings due to water buildup and prevents mold, mildew, and rotting.

Ensuring that water runoff is properly corralled and dispersed is crucial because water is needed for many things, such as watering the vegetation. However, you don’t want to drown them either. That’s why this excess water needs to be channeled appropriately.

Additionally, the collected water can also replenish the fresh water supply in the environment. Water becomes contaminated by sitting on a surface for too long, but you can prevent this by passing and dispersing the water through a correctly set drainage system.

Types of Drainage System

There are different types or classes of drainage systems. You must be able to comprehend each one correctly, understand the role of each one and how they can be combined to work together.

There are four basic types of drainage systems are:

  • Surface drainage system
  • Subsurface drainage system
  • Slope drainage system
  • Downspouts and gutter drainage system

In this article, we’ll be explaining the four basic types briefly to give you more understanding.

Surface Drainage System

The surface drainage system helps to remove excess water from the earth’s surface through ditches and channels. In many cases, the land surface is graded or shaped such that it creates a downward slope towards the channel. This drainage system consists of shallow ditches dug parallel to each other and act as canals or passageways for water running off on the ground surface. These ditches primarily guide the water to the main drain to avoid flooding or water pooling.

There are also different types of surface drainage systems:

  • Humps and hollows
  • Grassed waterways
  • Levees
  • Open drains

An excellent example of what a surface drainage system looks like is a cast-in-place trench drain.

Subsurface Drainage System

A subsurface drainage system is implemented under the top layer of the soil, hence the name subsurface. It is also sometimes called the French drain. This drainage system works at the root level to take off excess water. To create the subsurface drainage system, you have to dig ditches first, then install the pipes to drain the water at the subsurface level. It also involves the installation of a large collector drain that collects the water as it flows out of the pipe.

There are different subsurface solution options, so you need to be careful about the one you’re choosing. Your choice has to be based on the location of the drain and other things you would need.

Slope Drainage System

The slope drainage system is built to allow water to flow in a downward slope direction from a structure. This system is built using pipes that are set in the direction of the downward slope. The pipe is installed in a way that is anchored towards an incline to guide the water down the pipe and take it away from the building.

Downspouts and Gutter Systems

The downspout and gutter system is the first defense of a structure or building against the over-saturation from stormwater. This water is often drained into a buried drain pipe, a rain barrel, an aluminum extension, or other available solutions. This is done to carry the water away and route it to another drainage system on the sidewalk or the street. They may also be connected to a sewer line underground, sometimes using underground drains or gutter drains.

The downspout system typically takes water from the gutter and diverts it to the ground. It is mainly connected to the gutter system for buildings, takes water from the roof of the building to the ground, and empties the water into a slope to prevent it from pooling at the downspout base.

Drainage systems play an essential role in preserving and conserving water in ways that many people rarely understand or talk about. To perfectly understand the different drainage systems and their usage, you may need to look at them individually. However, you may also find that multiple types of drainage systems also work together to remove water and guide it into a more appropriate place. Therefore, seeing how they combine may aid your understanding of the individual drainage system.

Water must be moved from a structure or building or from an area that has become water-logged or formed a pool. The earlier this water is moved, the better for everyone that is involved.

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