6 Most Important Walkway Drainage Design Features

Most public spaces aren’t complete without a beautifully designed walkway to provide a path for visitors to walk, run, or cycle along. Considering the planning that goes into constructing most walkways, it is critical to take precautions to protect them, the most important of which is to install a safe and effective drainage system. 

A drainage system will prevent water runoff or other fluid waste from creating slipping hazards for pedestrians and damaging the walkway or surrounding landscape design. Choosing the right system is critical, and features play an important role. 

Screen Shot 2020-10-13 at 11.15.40 AM

Walkway Drainage Features

Here are the most important walkway drainage features to look for when selecting a system.


1. Easy to clean

With how frequently public walkways are used, maintenance and cleaning procedures need to be effective, easy, and quick. This will help maintain an aesthetically pleasing environment, while preventing safety hazards and deterioration of the path and surrounding landscaping.

The slot drain system features an easy-to-clean drain channel, which can be scrubbed with a paddle and brush or flushed with water using the Slot Drain Systems Flush-Flo accessory, which can be connected to an automatic system for “set it and forget it” cleaning.


2. ADA compliance

Everyone accesses public walkways, so they need to be safe and accessible for everyone. Drainage systems with raised edges or grates create tripping hazards for young children, strollers, wheelchairs, the elderly, and anyone who isn't paying attention. 

With traditional trench drains, the grates can become bent or broken due to frequent traffic, and these can cause tripping hazards, even becoming sharp enough to cut shoes or wheels. 

To avoid any potential injuries, you need to install an ADA-compliant drainage system like the slot drain. The slot opening is installed flush with the surrounding concrete, and the opening is as narrow as 0.5 inches, preventing trips and removing the need for heavy trench grates.  


3. Attractive design

The big problem with traditional trench drain designs is that they are big, bulky, and unattractive. A big part of what makes these systems so unattractive is the grate covers, which can ruin a public walkway or space's overall design. 

Since the openings in most grates can be quite large, garbage and other debris can become lodged in them, making things look dirty and even falling into the drain channel, potentially clogging it up.

This can all help create unpleasant and unwanted smells, which will keep pedestrians away from the area, and the bacterial accumulation and other chemicals can cause the drains to erode if they’re not made of the proper materials (i.e. stainless steel).

Instead of the outdated trench drains you’re used to, choose the modern slot drain system. Its sleek design seamlessly blends into the surrounding landscaping, becoming virtually invisible if you want it to or acting as a modern accent if you prefer it. 



4. Durability

An outdoor drainage system should have the ability to withstand a substantial amount of wear and tear. It should be able to handle high flow rates due to heavy rains or snow melting, as well as harsh temperatures or even chemicals that can cause corrosion (such as fertilizers or pesticides). The drain opening should also be able to handle heavy traffic without bending or breaking. 

The slot drain system can be made using highly durable stainless steel, which is corrosion- and temperature-resistant, and the slot opening can be reinforced to be able to withstand heavy vehicle traffic all the way up to heavy forklift traffic. 

This not only provides immediate durability, but enhances the longevity of the drainage system, saving money in the long term.


5. Temperature resistance 

Though we already mentioned this above, temperature resistance is a vitally important consideration when choosing a drain system’s materials. With no protection from the elements, an outdoor drain must be able to withstand anything nature can throw at it, especially in climates that see extreme temperatures in summer and winter. 

Stainless steel is ideal, as it does not bend or break when freezing or thawing, and its surface won’t get damaged from ice, snow, and the sand used to enhance traction on public roads.


6. High flow rates

If a walkway isn’t properly drained, heavy rains and melting snow can cause standing water, which can damage the landscape design, create slick walkways, and lead to puddles freezing in colder weather. 

Therefore, walkway drainage needs to be able to handle a substantial flow rate to ensure that runoff is effectively drained from the area. Flooded walkways can be hazardous to both pedestrians and the overall landscape, including any nearby buildings.

Depending on the model, our slot drains can handle from 11 to 27 gallons per minute (GPM) per linear foot, which is more than enough to handle rains, melting snow, and any washdown required on the path.


How the slot drain stands out

For a reliable drainage system that is durable, effective, and can withstand the elements, while looking fantastic in any space, take a look at the slot drain. It’s a shallow, linear trench drain system that comes pre-sloped and pre-assembled. The 7000 Series system is ideal for public spaces and walkways, since it has a fairly low-profile drain channel and a narrow slot opening, helping to prevent tripping, as well as debris from entering the drain channel. 

With its stainless steel, grate-free construction, it is a safe, durable option that is rated to Load Class C (heavy vehicle traffic), and is corrosion- and temperature-resistant.


The slot drain’s grate-free design means it has a smaller opening than the average drain system, creating a sleeker, more modern design. The 0.5-inch opening option is ADA-compliant without sacrificing flow rate. The system is also easy to clean, with options like the Flush-Flo accessory, which allows you to connect a water line and flush the channel. 


Efficient drainage in an unassuming package

The slot drain is an effective system with an aesthetically pleasing design that is just as functional as it is elegant.

To discuss your civil drainage project needs, contact one of our drainage experts today. We’ll be able to offer suggestions for all drainage related to your walkway and sidewalk construction.

New Call-to-action