A Closer Look at Catch Basins: Part 1

Teri Kasprzak / February 16, 2011   |   Articles / Catch Basin

Believe it or not, spring is right around the corner and that means April showers.  As any facility or property manager can attest, excess rainwater can wreak havoc on a building.

Installation of a new concrete basin
Installation of a new concrete basin

Many facility/property managers overlook drainage on their parking lots until it is too late because, from the surface, problems are not easily identified.  But, upon closer inspection of areas in and around catch basins, potential drainage issues can be detected early and repaired before they become a concern.  Catch basins are underground chambers topped with grates.  They allow sand, sediment, and other materials to settle out of storm water before it travels to a detention basin.

Begin by assessing the number and location of catch basins on your parking lot.  During initial installation, parking lots should be constructed with a minimum of 1% slope for efficient drainage.  In many situations, this slope is not achieved uniformly throughout the parking lot and lower spots may exist.  Catch basins should be located in those areas to help water exit the surface. 

In some cases, a parking lot may have been constructed without the right number of catch basins or without any drainage system at all.  If this is the case, catch basin installation can be a possible solution.

Catch basin installation begins by excavating the area as needed and installing a pre-cast concrete catch basin with necessary adjustment rings.  Next, a cast-iron frame and lid is installed on the basin and set at the appropriate height for proper drainage.  The excavated area is backfilled with crushed aggregate, leveled, and compacted.  Finally, hot mix asphalt is compacted and rolled to form a smooth surface over the specified area.

Over time, due to wear and tear on your parking lot, catch basins may need adjusting and regular cleaning to ensure that they are properly draining water from the surface.

Check back next week for a discussion of what to look for and how to remedy the situation.

This excerpt is from an article written by Rose Paving Company.  First published in PRSM Magazine in April 2008.