Channel drains are used to remove surface water from non-permeable areas such as roads and driveways, car parks, plazas and flat roofs. They are also used in situations such as car washes, food processing and chemical plants to capture spillages and prevent them from contaminating the soil or watercourses.
We stock a wide range of channel drain in sizes and load ratings to meet any requirement.
The advantages of a channel drain
The alternative to a channel drain is to have strategically-placed gullies connected to a stormwater drain system. This relies on all surface water flowing to a single point before it can be drained away, limiting drainage efficiency during heavy rainfall, for example, and frequently resulting in flooding. Another disadvantage is that all silt washed from the area gathers at that one point, increasing the chances of blocking the gully.
A channel drain, however, extracts water from across a much greater surface area. This reduces the possibility of water gathering in low spots and not draining, decreases the risk of flooding due to insufficient capacity and avoids accumulation of silt in one area.
Another advantage of channel drains is that those with removable grating covers can be very easily opened for cleaning and maintenance. With a far higher capacity to retain silt before drainage efficiency is affected, routine cleaning is required less frequently.
How to choose the right channel drain
To ensure the correct product is used for the application, all channel drains are given a load rating, with six standardised load ratings set by BS EN 124:2015 covering all requirements.
Class A15 channel drain
With a maximum weight load of 1.5 tonnes, this is suitable for very light-duty applications such as gardens and patios.
Class B125 channel drain
This channel drain has a maximum weight load of 12.5 tonnes, making it suitable for domestic driveways where only cars and vans will be used.
Class C250 channel drain
Light-traffic roads and private car parks are most likely to use this channel drain, which has a maximum weight load of 25 tonnes. However, if HGV delivery vehicles and dust carts will be accessing these areas, a heavier-duty channel drain will be required.
Class D400 channel drain
High-traffic areas such as public car parks, main roads and motorways will require this channel drain’s 40-tonne maximum weight load.
Class E600 channel drain
The additional weight of forklift trucks and other materials handling equipment means that this channel drain, with a maximum weight load of 60 tonnes, is commonly used on industrial estates, loading bays and cargo handling yards.
Class F900 channel drain
Areas of extremely heavy-duty operations such as airports and docks will require the 90-tonne maximum weight load of this channel drain.
Bear in mind, however, that there might be occasions where a channel drain will be subjected to additional loading. For example, a private car park might be used by a medium-sized commercial vehicle such as a dustcart or removals lorry, which will need a heavier D400 load class channel drain. If in doubt, it’s a good idea to over-specify the load rating and prevent a collapse of the channel drain.
Where should a drainage channel run to?
A drainage channel’s destination will depend on several factors. For example, if it is being used to remove stormwater from a driveway, road or car park, it can be connected to a nearby main stormwater drain. If this isn’t possible, it may be either diverted to a nearby watercourse or a soakaway system.
Stormwater can also be harvested to provide non-potable water for domestic, agricultural or industrial use, to reduce demand on the mains water supply. In this case, the channel drain will be connected to a stormwater harvesting system which treats and stores it for reuse.
Where the channel drain is collecting water that contains chemicals – run-off from car washes or industrial processes – it will be connected to a wastewater treatment system.
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