Trench Drain Design: Considerations and Design Ideas


Drainage systems are an important part of any industrial or urban area, as they help to facilitate the disposal of liquid waste. While there are a number of different types of drainage systems, the most commonly used are trench drains. Trench drains have long, trough-like channels that are covered with a linear-shaped grate. They are commonly used when installing curb-less showers in bathrooms (NTD: keep it more industrial and away from showers in bathrooms.), and can also be found applied in other places and industries (Food Processing Plants, Breweries, Wineries, Landscapes and Pools and many municipal projects).

Drainage Importance & Compliance

Regardless if it is on a dock, proper drainage is incredibly important to keep in mind. Without proper drainage, water and liquid waste will be left sitting and will begin to collect. This leads to the creation of foul odors and the growth of bacteria. It can also lead to damage to anything that is exposed to the standing water, such as special equipment, furniture, and the floor itself.

Proper drainage is also something required by law, especially in public spaces like airports, breweries, and animal hospitals, to name a few. For drainage systems in public spaces, there are a number of rules that need to be kept in mind to ensure that they are following the laws properly when it comes to the installation, cleaning, and maintenance of a drainage system.

A grated trench system, for example, requires that the grates be removed and cleaned on top of cleaning the drain channel itself. Grates also need to be kept to code, so if they begin to degrade or break, they will have to be replaced. Otherwise, they can become a serious safety hazard.

Grate-less trench drains like Slot Drain, on the other hand, do not have that same concern. While the drain channel will still need to be cleaned and sanitized at the end of the day, a grate is one less thing workers will have to worry about.

Materials Used

There are a few different materials that are used when making trench drains. The material that is chosen depends on the industry where the trench drain is being applied and the budget. Plastic models are cheap and light, making them easy to remove for cleaning, but they likely will need to be replaced frequently to keep them up to code. On the other hand, stainless steel is heavier and more expensive, but it is also the most durable option for a trench drain system. Other common options for trench drains include fiberglass and glass fiber reinforced polyester, which, while both are effective options, they still are not as strong and durable as stainless steel.

Slot Drain is made using stainless steel, which creates an incredibly durable product that is compliant with drainage laws and regulations, eliminates the concern of foul odors, is resistant to corrosion, more sanitary, can handle heavy loads, and is generally more aesthetically pleasing.

Benefits of Slot over Grate Drains

Unlike the classic grated trench drain, Slot Drains do not require heavy grates. These grates are meant to keep larger items from falling into the drainage channel and to create a more even surface for machinery and people to walk over. But these grates are incredibly heavy and can lead to worker injuries when it comes time to lift them for cleaning. They can also break from bearing too much weight and will erode over time due to exposure to harsh chemicals.

Slot Drain, on the other hand, does not require grates, so those concerns are eliminated. On top of that, a Slot Drain system is much easier to clean and sanitize, can handle heavy loads up to Class F, and is extremely durable. Beyond that, Slot Drain systems are made of corrosion resistant stainless steel, can handle extreme temperatures, and are compliant with the standards set by the American Disabilities Act. All of this makes Slot Drain an excellent option for every industry where drainage systems are required.

Common Trench Drain Problems

One of the major problems with traditional trench drains is the required grates. As mentioned before, these grates are incredibly heavy and need to be lifted for cleaning and sanitation purposes. This can lead to worker injury if not lifted properly. Grates can also become broken or eroded, are costly to replace and can be a safety hazard for workers.

Traditional trench drains also require more work when it comes to cleaning and sanitation. After removing and cleaning the grate, the channel needs to be taken out to be thoroughly scrubbed and sanitized at the end of each day (only in the food industry). Slot Drain, on the other hand, can be self-cleaning or simply needs a special paddle to push waste through the channel before sanitizing it.

Applications and Uses

Trench drains can be applied in virtually any of today's industries, including private home use. Here are just some of the industries and uses where one may find a trench drain to be useful:

1. Heavy Duty Industries: Trench drains can be found in airports, military facilities, transportation terminals, docks and ports, refineries, warehouses, as well as manufacturing facilities. The ability for a Slot Drain to hold a lot of weight make it the ideal option for these industries, since planes and military equipment tend to weigh a great deal.



2. Food and Beverage Industries: When it comes to these industries, a trench drain is incredibly important as they ensure these facilities are kept incredibly clean and free from bacteria. This includes abattoirs, slaughterhouses, breweries and wineries, seafood markets, and dairy farms. A Slot Drain system is also more resistant to corrosive materials, which may be used to help clean and disinfect these areas.



3. Automotive Industry: The automotive industry, including dealerships, parking garages, car washes, and gas stations can also benefit from the installation of a trench drain to help collect and clean up waste created by cleaning. Like with the two previous industries, those in the automotive industry benefit from the Slot Drain system because of its ability to bear heavy loads beyond Class F and the fact that it is resistant to corrosion.

4. Animal Facilities: Animal facilities like farms, hospitals, and zoos create a lot of ground waste. They also use strong solutions to help clean and disinfect their facilities at the end of the day. The easiest way to clean and eliminate these products and waste is by rinsing it off so that it goes down a trench drain.



5. Landscaping: A trench drain can be useful for landscaping purposes in parks, landmarks, and for fountains, since it will provide an effective method to get rid of groundwater that would otherwise collect and potentially cause flooding or property damage.

6. Education, Commercial, and Residential Locations: This is the final group of places where a trench drain can commonly be found. Gyms, bathrooms, playgrounds, parking lots, commercial kitchens, and swimming pools are just some of the specific areas where a trench drain is beneficial to have.



There are two main types of trench drains: the traditional grated trench drain and the newer, more effective Slot Drain system. When it comes to choosing the best system, there is no doubt that Slot Drain can meet all of an industries needs without the cleaning hassle created by a grated trench drain system. Those that work in an industry where trench drains are necessary should go with a Slot Drain system. They are easy to install and incredibly effective in eliminating liquid waste without much hassle.