Lets Get Started…
The first thing you want to do before you build your own driveway drainage system is get a lay of the land. Try and find out where the land is sloping as this is the direction the water is going to run. You don’t want to build a drainage system that forces water to go against gravity.
You will be building the drainage system and running the water according to the surrounding area but don’t worry, we will get into more of that later.
Wherever the water is pooling or is going to be pooling is where you are going to place your drainage system. Depending on the lay of the land, you will then run pipping according to the slope.
If the land around your driveway is flat you will still be able to build your drainage system. All you will need to do is create an artificial slope with your digging. This will mean creating a slight decline from the beginning point of where the water drains into the pipe and to the end.
Where Will The Water End Up?
You want the water to either drain onto the street and into the gutter or at the bottom of the slope away from your property. This will be the end point for your trench.
Getting The Material
Once you survey the terrain, you should have a pretty decent idea of the how much PVC pipe you will need and how big your channel drain will need to be.
If you’re still not completely sure, use a measuring and
measure the length of the land that you want to filter the water from. This is how much trench drainage you are going to need. Then measure the distance between the end of the trench drain and the point where you want the water to end up. This is how much PVC pipe you will need.
If there are any twists and turns don’t worry, this is not big deal, you can simply purchase an elbow piece for you PVC pipe and dig the trench accordingly.
I recommend getting a drainage trench that is pretty
sturdy such as this one and some PVC pipe that wont wear out. NDS’s Channel Drain is probably one of the best on the market currently. Make sure you choose the right drain width according to how much rainfall and water you expect. The NDS Channel drain comes in range of sizes going from 3 inches to 12 inches
Setting Up The Trench & Pipe Route
If you are are going to driving over the trench with your car, which will probably be the case, you need to have at least four inches of concrete underneath and on both sides.
Seeing as though most driveways are about 6 inches in depth, this may mean digging a section that is a bit deeper to ensure your trench is recessed about 1/4 an inch from the surface and not sticking out. This insures that the wheels of your car hit the concrete and not the top of the channel.
If the trench is being laid in an area where the concrete has already been poured, you will need a concrete cutting saw.
You will also need to dig a trench for plastic PVC pipe from the end of the trench drainage to where you want the water to end up. Make sure there is a slight gradient in your trench where you will lay the PVC pipe to ensure the water drains properly if the land is flat.
Laying The Driveway Drains
Next up is actually laying the trench drain itself. In the trench you have dug, place bricks on the bottom to allow the trench drain to rest on top of them. Ensure there is enough distance from where your trench drain is resting on the bricks and the soon to be surface of your driveway and remember, you want the trench drain to be 1/4 of an inch below the surface of the concrete. The bricks should act the temporary holding point for where you drain will be. This means the bricks should raise the trench a minimum of four inches since it will need four inches of support concrete below it.
Place short iron rebar into the brackets of your drainage trench while the bricks are still in place. The brackets will be able to support bars with a width of 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch of metal bar.
Nail the rebar into the ground to make it flush with drain surface and so that it can support the drain without the bricks.
You should then place some pieces of wood that are all even in width on top of the trench. This will help you ensure that you get your 1/4 an inch of the distance between the driveways surface and the trench drain.
Then place tape on around the remainder of the cover to prevent any wet concrete from getting inside.
Now go ahead an remove the bricks from below the drain. The drain, with the help of the rebar, should be able to support itself.
Assemble The Drain Pipes
Since you already have the general route for your drain pipes laid out, it is now time to assemble the pipes according to this route. Lay all the assembled PVC pipe into the trench, or assemble it in the trench itself.
Separately from the rest of the PVC piping, apply a bead of sealant to the first elbow and slot it into the driveway drainage trench. This should inserted be into the point in which all water will drain from the trench and down into the pipe to the final end point for the water.
Pouring The Concrete
You are now ready to start pouring the concrete. Once again make sure that there is at least 4 inches between both sides of the drainage system and underneath it and apply the concrete in an even smooth manner. If you want to set the drain in concrete before the rest of the driveway you will need to build a separate containment unit around the drainage trench.
Cover The PVC Drainpipe
Cover and fill in the rest of the trench with the previously removed soil. Simply place the soil in an even manner over the PVC piping and compact it back down once again. If you the grass is still intact, place this back on top. However, if the grass if a bit to ruined, feel free to lay down some seed to regrow and fill in the patchiness.
That pretty much sums up building your own driveway drainage system. If you have any questions, FIRE AWAY!