7 Things To Consider When Building A Storm Drain

Ravindra Ambegaonkar
6 Minutes Read
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    A storm drainage system is designed to drain rainwater or surface water from your non-porous ground. This ground could be your cabro-paved parking or concrete walkway. Storm drains are essential because they help prevent stagnant water in your home, which could lead to musty odors and health risks.

    However, for the storm drain to perform efficiently, you need to build it according to prescribed standards. Below is a detailed discussion of the factors to consider when building a storm drain.

    1. Magnitude Of Work

    Building a storm drain can be challenging without the proper expertise and tools. So, the first thing you need to consider is the magnitude of work involved in building a storm drain. This helps you determine whether it qualifies as a do-it-yourself (DIY) project or if you need to call in the professionals.

    If you want to build a small-sized drain to prevent flooding on your lawn, you can take it up as a DIY project. However, if a sizeable area around your home is experiencing drainage issues, consider seeking the services of a professional plumber. Extensive storm drainage construction work might require heavy equipment, such as an excavator, that you probably don’t have.

    To construct a small-sized storm drain, you need several tools and a perforated metal sheet to cover the entry point of stormwater runoff. This site offers information on perforated metal sheets that could be used for this purpose.

    It’s also critical to develop a design to address drainage issues, factoring in several factors, such as your foundation. It would be wise to consult an experienced plumber to ensure the storm drainage system design and construction comply with local building codes.

    1. Slope Of The Land

    An effective storm drain requires installation at a specific angle to allow water flow. Suppose a storm drain will be built on a flat location. In that case, you might experience water stagnation within the drain, leading to possible blockage.

    You can rectify the situation by digging a trench for the drain. Allow a slope towards the area of gravity. You don’t need to make it too deep. A small pitch should suffice to ensure the drain slightly bends. In this position, wastewater will flow smoothly, aided by gravity.

    A deep pitch will make the water flow too quickly and might lead to water stagnation at the end. You’re likely to experience this with a French drain where the water seeps back into the surrounding soil.

    1. Existing Utility Lines

    Building a storm drain requires you to dig underground. Several service provisions are passed underground, such as electricity and fiber cables as well as plumbing pipes. A wrong move and you could damage other systems, disrupting services. Such damage entails a considerable expense to repair. And there’s also the possibility of lawsuits.

    Therefore, consider calling the service providers in your area and asking them where their service lines are. Some will send you the designs, while others will come to the site and show you. You’ll know where to place your storm drain with this information.

    1. Pipe To Use

    The type and size of pipe you should use will largely depend on the kind of storm drain you intend to build. There are various types of storm drains you can adopt for your project. Most will require the use of the brown polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe. It doesn’t need any manipulation during installation unless the length you’re covering is long. In this case, you’ll need to join several pipes until you achieve your desired length.

    However, if you’re installing a French drain, you need a perforated PVC pipe. You can buy one that’s already perforated or buy the regular brown PVC pipe and make the holes yourself. Just ensure the holes are evenly distributed and of adequate diameter.

    As for the pipe size, you should consider the amount of water you expect to pass through the pipe. Suppose you live in an area prone to heavy rainfall. It’s best to go for a PVC pipe with a large diameter. Water will seep in quickly with a large diameter, and the pipe will take it away faster as more comes in. With this, you don’t have to worry about stagnating water.

    On the other hand, if you don’t expect much rainfall or runoff, go for a medium-sized pipe.

    1. The Base

    The base refers to the surface where you’ll place your pipes after digging up. You can’t just place the pipes haphazardly. It’s essential that the base is on level ground and there are no obstructions, such as roots.

    Roots may cause problems in the future, like when they get inside your pipes through the places with joints. Over time, these roots will grow, causing blockages that’ll hinder water flow.

    In extreme cases, your pipes might break, requiring costly repairs.

    1. Regulations

    In most states, you need to secure a permit before you can proceed with building a storm drain. The reason is that there’s a high probability that your storm drain will affect the homes around you and the plumbing system of your municipality.

    You need to inform the local government of your plans and send designs for approval. However, design approvals are usually necessary when it’s a large project. Nonetheless, before starting your project, inquire about pertinent regulations and standards.

    Your proposed storm drainage system should comply with local building codes. These regulations govern storm drain design and specify construction standards. Failure to comply may lead to fines and penalties, especially if accidents occur due to violations.

    1. Disposal Point

    Before building your storm drain, you should have a clear idea of where the collected water will drain to. This information will help with your planning and securing of the necessary permits. Is it going to drain into the public sewer system? Do you have a private sewer system with provisions for water recycling?

    Suppose your planned disposal point is the nearest public sewer. You have to direct your pipes in the said direction. Also, you need to identify the entry point of your water into the sewer. It should be at a height that won’t allow backflow should the sewer develop an issue or have a general overflow.


    From the discussion above, you now have a working knowledge of the critical factors to consider when building a storm drain. Be sure to keep them in mind before undertaking this project, whether you decide to do it yourself or hire professional services. It’s highly beneficial to have a well-constructed storm drain as it will help prevent flooding and the accumulation of stagnant water as well as protect surrounding infrastructure.

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    Tags : stormproof construction storm safety

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