If your property has a lot of extra rainfall after snowmelt or a significant storm, think about constructing outdoor drains.

Considering the outdoor drains as soon as possible is a brilliant idea since excessive water that comes into contact with your home’s foundations might result in extensive damage or basement leakage.

Alternately, you might find yourself calling plumbing services or your neighborhood plumbers too frequently during the rainy or snowy seasons to assist you in draining the surplus water that has been standing about your property for an excessive amount of time; this is a good indication that outdoor drains are needed for your house.

Even if you want to install a driveway snow melting system, all that melted snow still needs to be drained away from the main structure to lessen the risk of flooding. We hope this article will provide you with general information about outdoor drains and four of the most commonly used types.

As a result, when you call a plumbing service to hire a plumber, you will understand how each type of outdoor drain works. Then you can install the one that is in accordance with your demands by professional plumbers.

common types of outdoor drains

Here are The Common Types of Outdoor Drains That You Will See In Your Daily Life

Stormwater that has nowhere to go may spill out, cause structural damage, and destroy your driveway, sidewalk, garden, or lawn. Outdoor drains can help you prevent this sort of damage.

The residential plumbing specialist that you employ will be able to divert the water and fix the drainage issue, which might end up saving you a lot of time and money over time.

Depending on your individual area and requirements, there are different types of outdoor drains available. The most popular outdoor drains are catch basins, French drains, dry wells, and trench drains.

French Outdoor Drains

French Outdoor Drains

French drains, also known as sub-surface or perimeter drains, are outdoor drainage systems that redirect water away from a specific area. They are particularly effective in managing excess water around foundations, preventing water buildup in low-lying areas, and mitigating the risk of water damage. Here’s some information about French outdoor drains:

Design and Construction:

French drains typically consist of a perforated pipe, a layer of gravel or crushed stone, and geotextile fabric. The drain is installed in a trench that slopes away from the problem area, allowing water to flow naturally through the perforations and into the drain. The layer of gravel or stone surrounds the pipe, providing a conduit for water movement and preventing soil from clogging the system. Geotextile fabric is placed on top of the rock or gravel to prevent fine particles from clogging the drain over time.


The installation process for French drains involves excavating a trench in the desired location. The channel is typically sloped to ensure proper drainage. The perforated pipe is placed in the track with the holes facing downward. The layer of gravel or stone is then added around and above the pipe, ensuring it covers the entire length. Finally, geotextile fabric is placed on top of the gravel or stone to prevent soil intrusion while allowing water to pass through.

Water Flow:

The primary function of French drains is to capture and redirect water away from an area prone to excess moisture. Water enters the perforated pipe through the holes and flows along its length, ultimately reaching a designated outlet point, such as a storm drain, dry well, or a suitable area where it can safely disperse without causing any damage.


French drains are used in various outdoor settings, including residential, commercial, and agricultural properties. They are beneficial in situations such as preventing water seepage into basements or crawl spaces, managing excess water in low-lying yard areas, redirecting surface or subsurface water away from buildings, and controlling water runoff from slopes or hillsides.


Proper maintenance of French drains is essential to ensure their long-term functionality. Regular inspection and cleaning are recommended to remove debris or sediment accumulating in the system. The geotextile fabric may need occasional replacement if it becomes clogged or damaged. Additionally, monitoring the outlet point is crucial to ensure water is adequately discharged and not causing any issues elsewhere.

Consultation and Installation:

Given the technical aspects of designing and installing French drains, consulting with a professional engineer, drainage specialist, or a reputable contractor experienced in drainage systems is advisable. They can assess the specific requirements of your property, provide expert guidance on design and installation, and ensure compliance with local building codes and regulations.

Dry Well

Dry Well

Drywell drains, or drywall or soak ways, are drainage systems designed to manage and distribute excess water underground. They commonly handle stormwater runoff from roofs, driveways, or other paved surfaces. Drywells help to prevent water accumulation, reduce the strain on municipal sewer systems, and minimize the risk of flooding. Here’s some information about drywall drains:

Design and Construction:

Drywells consist of an excavated pit or chamber filled with coarse aggregates, such as gravel or crushed stone. The size of the drywall and the amount of total used will depend on factors such as the expected water volume, soil conditions, and local regulations. The pit is typically lined with geotextile fabric to prevent fine particles from clogging the system.


Installing a drywall drain involves excavating a hole or pit in the ground. The size and depth of the pit are determined based on the anticipated water volume and soil absorption rates. Geotextile fabric is placed in the hole to create a barrier between the surrounding soil and the aggregate. The pit is filled with coarse aggregate, ensuring it covers the entire volume. The drywall may be topped with a solid cover or lid to prevent debris from entering the system.

Water Distribution:

Excess water entering the dry well percolates through the aggregate and infiltrates the surrounding soil. The total provides storage capacity and allows for gradual water dispersal, promoting infiltration and preventing overwhelming the drainage system. The water absorption rate depends on factors such as soil type, saturation levels, and underlying groundwater.


Drywells are commonly used in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. They are particularly beneficial in areas with limited space for conventional drainage systems or where stormwater management is a priority. Drywells can handle roof runoff, driveway or parking lot drainage, or collect and distribute water from other surface areas.


While drywall requires minimal maintenance, periodic inspection and cleaning are recommended to ensure optimal performance. Accumulated sediment, debris, or fine particles in the system can reduce the drain’s efficiency and should be removed as needed. It’s essential to adhere to local regulations regarding maintenance and any necessary permits to operate dry wells.

Professional Assistance:

The design and installation of dry wells may involve considerations such as local regulations, soil conditions, and the site’s specific needs. It is advisable to consult with a professional engineer, drainage specialist, or a reputable contractor experienced in drywall systems. They can assess the suitability of dry wells for your property, provide expert guidance, and ensure compliance with local codes and regulations.

Catch Basin Outdoor Drains

Catch Basin Outdoor Drains

Catch basins, also known as stormwater or storm drains, are essential to outdoor drainage systems. They are designed to collect surface water from surrounding areas and redirect it into underground drainage systems or natural watercourses. Catch basins are crucial in preventing water accumulation, reducing the risk of flooding, and managing stormwater runoff. Here’s some information about catch basin outdoor drains:

Design and Construction:

Catch basins are typically constructed with a rectangular or circular structure made of concrete, plastic, or metal. They consist of a grate or cover on the top surface that allows water to enter while preventing large debris from clogging the drain. The catch basin is connected to a pipe network that transports the collected water to an appropriate discharge point or retention/detention system.

Surface Water Collection:

The primary function of a catch basin is to collect and manage surface water. Rainwater, runoff from paved areas, or other sources flow towards the catch basin, guided by the surrounding topography or drainage design. The grate or cover on the catch basin prevents large objects, such as leaves, branches, or trash, from entering the drainage system.

Sediment and Debris Management:

Catch basins often include a sump or sediment trap at the bottom of the structure. This allows sediment, debris, and finer particles the runoff carries to settle, preventing them from entering the underground pipes and causing blockages. To maintain functionality, periodic maintenance involves cleaning the catch basin and removing accumulated sediments and debris.

Connection to Drainage System:

Catch basins are typically connected to underground pipes that transport the collected water to a discharge point, retention pond, or other suitable outlets. The lines may vary in size and design depending on the water volume and the drainage system’s specific requirements.

Maintenance and Inspection:

Regular maintenance and inspection are essential to ensure catch basins function correctly. This includes clearing debris or sediment accumulating on the grate or within the catch basin. Routine inspections help identify and address blockages, damaged grates, or deteriorating infrastructure.

Regulations and Local Codes:

The design, installation, and maintenance of catch basins may be subject to local regulations and codes. These regulations ensure proper stormwater management, pollution prevention, and compliance with environmental standards. It’s essential to consult with local authorities or drainage professionals to ensure compliance with applicable regulations.

french outdoor drains

Trench Outdoor Drains

Trench drains, also known as channel drains or linear drains, are a type of outdoor drainage system designed to collect and manage surface water runoff. They consist of a long, narrow trench or channel with a built-in grate or cover that allows water to enter while preventing debris from clogging the drain. Trench drains offer effective water management solutions for various outdoor applications. Here’s some information about trench drains:

Design and Construction:

Trench drains are typically constructed with a durable material such as polymer concrete, stainless steel, or fiberglass. The drain consists of a linear trench or channel that is installed in the ground, sloping slightly to facilitate water flow. The top of the trench features a grate or cover that can be removable or fixed, allowing easy access and maintenance.

Water Collection and Flow:

The primary function of trench drains is to collect and channel surface water. The trench is designed to capture water from paved surfaces, walkways, or other areas prone to runoff. The grate or cover on top of the trench allows water to enter, preventing larger debris from obstructing the flow. The collected water is then conveyed through the channel and can be directed to a suitable outlet or drainage system.


Trench drains are commonly used in various outdoor settings, including commercial, industrial, and residential properties. They are instrumental in driveways, parking lots, patios, pool decks, sports fields, and pedestrian walkways. Trench drains effectively manage surface water and prevent flooding or water damage in these areas.

Load-Bearing Capacity:

Trench drains are designed to withstand different load capacities based on their intended applications. Depending on the specific requirements, they can be engineered to accommodate pedestrian traffic, light vehicles, or heavy machinery. The material, design, and grate selection are essential to ensure the drain can handle the anticipated loads.


Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure optimal performance and prevent clogging in trench drains. Cleaning the trench and removing debris, sediment, or leaves is necessary to maintain efficient water flow. Some trench drains have removable grates or access points, simplifying maintenance tasks. Periodic inspections should be conducted to identify any damage or issues with the drain or its components.

Professional Repair and Installation of Outdoor Drains

Floods, damage to property, and pest infestations can all be brought on by standing water. It is possible to lessen the risk of flooding, property damage, and pest infestation by having good drainage around your home.

However, it is a significant task that requires proper knowledge for you to be able to install outdoor drains on your own. It’s crucial to get in touch with a professional plumber prior to moving further if you find that your house needs additional drainage or driveway snow-melting systems.

Professional plumbers and residential plumbing experts are there to help you when you call a plumbing services agency. They can help you decide between different types of outdoor drains and carry out the installation correctly. They also have enough knowledge, expertise, and equipment to get the job done correctly.