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How slope of a Trench Drain Affects Hydraulic Performance

If there’s one thing that drives the design of ACO’s market-leading trench drain systems, its hydraulic performance. Poorly designed drainage runs are not only ineffective at clearing rainwater quickly, but they are difficult to maintain and can cause slip hazards from ponding. On top of these hazards, poorly designed drainage runs can affect the aesthetic quality of the pavement in which it is placed, and can be unnecessarily costly.

So, how do we achieve optimum hydraulic efficiency?

We design a variety of drains and grates for various applications, but when it comes to clearing surface water, the job inevitably depends on how trench drains are configured. These systems collect and remove surface liquid through modular channels, to be carried to a point where it can discharge into an underground pipe system or culvert. One key factor influencing the hydraulic performance of trench drain systems is  gravity and how it complements natural or artificial falls in the pavement..

How does the slope affect hydraulic performance?

slope effect hydraulicsBecause the level of grading (or the slope) of the invert increases the velocity of the liquid within the trench drain, it plays a pivotal role in the hydraulic efficiency of the drain. The slope can be introduced into the design of the drain by one or a combination of the following:

  • Existing pavement with natural fall
  • Introducing a stepped configuration
  • Introducing a slope along the base of the trench run

Introducing a stepped configuration has the least positive impact on a trench drain’s hydraulic performance. This is because on flat level pavements, particularly with long runs, liquids velocities are extremely limited by significant lengths of flat graded run segments. In contrast, drainage runs comprising factory sloped channels allow for positive drainage with sufficient liquid velocities for optimum hydraulic performance.

ACO Drain channels now offer continuously sloped runs for up to 40 metres in length, in a range of widths and load classes. For more information on superior drainage design, click here or use our online enquiry form to get in touch with one of our friendly staff members today.

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