How to choose the right water drainage system

How to choose the right water drainage system

Choosing the right water drainage system can be difficult as not all systems are equal. And although there are a number of options on the market, each property has its own unique requirements.

The local environment

Some surface water drainage systems aren’t designed for all climates and weather conditions. When you’re choosing a surface water drainage system you should take into account how the surrounding environment will affect installation, effectiveness and longevity.


Rainfall is the biggest factor in assessing the effectiveness of any surface water drainage system. Annual rainfall levels, frequency, and the likelihood of large deluges or steady amounts spread over the year are important factors. Not only will these affect the capacity of the system, they will also influence installation factors.

Important factors include:

  • The width of PVC piping for additional drainage
  • The fall of the drainage system over its total area
  • Placement on the surface


Some surface water drainage systems handle debris better than others. If you are installing the system in an area surrounded by trees, long grass, or soil debris, you have to ensure that during high levels of rainfall your system is not overwhelmed by debris. Most good systems come with attachments and other measures. This includes gratings or leaf baskets to reduce the amount of debris that enters them while still maintaining maximum drainage capacity. Choose a system that provides additional barrier against debris.

Soil type

The soil surrounding your surface water drainage system can play havoc with its effectiveness and lifetime if not correctly accounted for. Make sure you understand the soil type, how much it is likely to shift, contract or expand in different weather conditions, and install the system in a way that is flexible and works in all conditions.

Price and quality

Price is naturally going to be a factor. However, you should aim for the best combination of quality and price that is within your budget. Systems can vary widely in price. This depends on the brand, the number of attachments and sustainability for the area the system needs to cover.

Installation area

The area that you need covered by the surface water drainage system will play a part in the decision. If it is a large area with decent natural drainage you may be comfortable for a cheaper system or one with reduced capacity. Alternatively, in a tight area that is likely to pool water in the event of a downpour, you will definitely be aiming for something with decent capacity, possibly at the higher end of the price range.

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