Factors to Consider When Choosing a Heavy-Duty Drainage System

29 March 2016
 Categories: , Blog


For a small farm, car wash, or other such business, you may need to choose a heavy-duty drainage system that can handle the amount of water you use for cleaning, as well as any soap or other residue that is rinsed away with that water. A heavy-duty drainage system is not like a standard drain you might have installed in a home's new bathroom, so note a few factors to consider when you need to choose and install such a system.

1. Flow rate 

A standard car wash drainage system should be able to handle a flow rate of 3 GPM or 3 gallons per minute. If your car wash offers a high-pressure cleaning, or you're installing a drainage system in a production facility that washes out the backs of trucks or for any reason uses more water than a standard car wash, increase the flow rate of the drain. This will reduce the risk of backups and floods, and also ensure there is less pressure on the drains while in operation.

2. Grating

The grating that goes over your heavy-duty drainage system needs to handle the weight of any vehicle traffic that may drive over it. For car washes, industrial areas with forklifts and trucks that may drive over the drain, and other such applications, always choose heavy-duty steel grates with a smooth, dovetail finish. For a home farm where you only have foot traffic in the barn, a lightweight aluminum grate can be sufficient and a more affordable option.

When choosing grating, note how easy it is to remove and clean it, as the grate will catch mud, leaves, and other debris. Grates will typically need to be removed and cleaned on both sides, not just hosed down, on a regular basis, so note the connectors, locks, and accessibility of the grate when choosing your drainage system.

3. Drain material

For a home farm or car wash, you may be able to use virtually any material for the drain itself if the drain will only handle water and detergent, but for an application where the liquid being drained will be very hot, choose stainless steel or a polymer concrete meant to withstand high temperatures. If you will be rinsing away chemicals of any sort, note the type of material that you should use and which to avoid; for example, certain caustic chemicals may erode PVC or any type of plastic pipe. Iron may also corrode more easily than other metals when exposed to certain chemicals, so choose a material based on the liquid and other substances that will be rinsed down the drain.