Category: Drainage System
Date: 05/05/2023

French Drain vs. Catch Basin


Catch Basins and French Drains are similar in collecting excess runoff water. Because water follows the path of least resistance, these types of drains feature pipes that are strategically sloped downhill to channel water away from your building or home and prevent flooding.

Unlike a Catch Bains, however, a French Drain is an elongated trench with a perforated pipe under a few layers of gravel. Gravity pulls the water through the gravel into the pipe. Why gravel? Water drains through gravel much more efficiently than soil. Why perforated pipe? Water can enter a French drain from above or below ground due to holes in the pipe. A French drain is excellent for removing water from large tracts of soil soaked due to excessive precipitation.

A catch basin is a concrete basin embedded into the ground that is covered by a grate. Water runoff can only enter a catch basin from above the ground, and catch basins are ideal for redirecting a large volume of rain and stormwater runoff. If you have a concentrated, specific patch of ground that floods during heavy rainfall, a catch basin can help to redirect water runoff in those areas and effectively channel it into a draining system.

How Catch Basins Do I Need?

The number of catch basins that you’ll need will depend on the peak flow rate of stormwater that the area experiences. Other things to consider are the slope of the property, the area of the impermeable surface and the average rainfall amounts in your region.

For example, a large parking lot in rainy weather may require multiple drains. An engineer can determine the best design and location for the system.

How to maintain your Catch Basins?

You should clean your Catch Basins periodically so that it can continue to drain stormwater and trap sediment. By removing sediment, debris, and associated contaminants, you’ll make your basin look better and reduce contaminants and odors entering the sewer system.

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