Plazas are found all over the world, many the physical location for important civic centers and government activity. They are popular spots for gathering as they are typically centrally located within a city, surrounded by stores, eateries, and other notable hotspots within easy walking distance. Plazas are typically open spaces without protection from the elements, which leads to damage over time.
Water runoff from rain and snow can be particularly damaging with no management system in place, causing erosion, discoloration, and more. To effectively prevent this type of damage requires a reliable drainage system. You don't want to choose just any system for the job–you want one designed for plazas.
Common Plaza Drain Options
There are many options for drainage, but they are not all suited for use as a plaza drain system. Here are some options that can work:
A channel drain, or trench drain as they are also known, is the most common choice for drainage solutions in plazas. Channel drains are long surface drainage systems that can come in different widths, allowing them to collect large amounts of water runoff. For a channel drain to work, the ground needs to have a slight slope, which will allow water runoff to flow into the grate-covered drain channel. While a channel drain can be used alone, it can also work in conjunction with other solutions.
The grate helps to keep large objects from getting inside the drain channel, but it is typically unattractive, can wear down over time, and makes drain maintenance more difficult, which also means it can be more expensive. These systems also aren't always ADA-complaint, which can create safety issues for some individuals.
A French drain consists of a perforated pipe in a lined trench, covered by a gravel bed. Water collected in the pipe is then moved to an outlet like an irrigation cistern, swale, or storm sewer. Not a common option for plazas, this subsurface system works well to drain away excess water when used in conjunction with other solutions. French drains can require extensive excavation to install and are not necessarily the most attractive option for a plaza.
Catch basins consist of a grated entry point connected to a pipe that slopes in the direction of an outlet, which could be a French drain, swale, storm sewer, or somewhere similar. A catch basin typically works best when placed close to a building's downspout, where it can catch the water as it comes down.
Permeable pavers are an option that is becoming increasingly popular. These unique pavers are designed to help manage water runoff by slowly redirecting it back into the ground which lessens dependence on storm sewers. They provide an attractive drainage solution, however they require more maintenance than other options to keep from getting clogged. They also are weaker than traditional pavers, asphalt, and concrete, meaning the pores can collapse under the excessive weight, which would render them ineffective.
The Slot Drain Difference
The systems above are all effective drainage systems, but that doesn't necessarily mean they make the best option for a plaza. A plaza drain system must be effective, safe, easy to install and maintain, and attractive. The options listed above may offer some of these things, but they don't offer everything. For a better option, consider the 7,000 Series Slot Drain from Landscape Drains.
The Slot Drain is a reimagined version of the traditional trench drain. It is a sleek, linear system with a slim channel opening with the slimmest opening only 1/2-inch wide, which is also ADA compliant. This means that the system does not require any unsightly or fragile grates. Unlike other systems, the Slot Drain comes pre-sloped and pre-assembled, allowing for an easy installation or retrofit. The lack of a grate cover also means that the system is much easier to maintain. Maintenance is made easier with the addition of Flush Flo, a system that allows workers to manually flush the drain channel with water, or through a timed schedule.
It may appear to be a small system, but it is built to be strong and effective; the 1/2-inch channel can handle 11 gallons of water per minute per foot of drain. The stainless steel construction means that it has a heavy-duty load class, capable of easily supporting the weight of large vehicles and other types of heavy weight sources, like large crowds.
Choosing the Right Plaza Drainage System With Landscape Drains
A plaza is meant to be a beautiful gathering place for everyone, and it is essential to consider all aspects of the space. Having the right drainage system in place is vital; otherwise, you may spend more on repairs or be forced to replace the system entirely. The 7,000 Series Slot Drain from Landscape Drains can easily meet all the requirements for a plaza drain system. It provides effective water management with a sleek, ADA-compliant design that is easy to install and maintain.
For the best, most reliable modern drainage solutions, contact the experts at Landscape Drains today.