Drainage Systems - Sonrise Hardscaping for Tulsa Hardscape
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Drainage Systems

Drainage Systems

Drainage systems fall into two categories. Tightline drains and French drains. Both tightline drains, and French drains might also require a sump pump to be used in conjunction with those systems.

A French drain is typically 2’ to 3’ wide, and 3’ to 5’ deep. The French drain trench is filled with gravel, and has a socked and perforated drainage pipe enclosed. French drains are typically very expensive, as the cost of removal and disposal of that much soil is expensive. Plus, if heavy equipment cannot be used on the French drain, it all has to be excavated by hand. 5% of drainage systems are true French drains.

French drains should only be constructed in areas when clay is not present because the water is never truly removed from your property; it is just allowed to slowly leech into the adjoining soil. And with clay soil, the water will never absorb.

Tightline drains use solid 4” PVC pipe, and a combination of gutter downspout tie-ins, and 12”, or 18”, or 24” low-profile fast-flow NDS surface drains. Tightline drains use gravity to flow the water to the street, where the curb is cut, and a rectangular discharge chute is mortared in place for the water to flow. Tightline drains require a trench approximately 1’ wide, and usually never more than 1’ deep. 95% of drainage systems are tightline drains. Though many customers call all drains a French drain, what they really have or need is a tightline drain because of the clay soil.

Sump pumps are required if tightline drains cannot be gravity fed to the street, and where French drains would overflow due to the location. Sump pumps are placed in a deep hole, usually 4’ or 5’ deep, where water drains, and once the water has lifted the float (like a toilet), it clicks on the sump pump, and pushes the water to the street.

Sump pumps come in .3hp, and .5 hp engines depending on distance to the street. Plus, sump pumps burn very hot with amps, so they require their own separate outdoor GFCI (with weather proof cover) for the sump pump to be plugged into. This will insure that the breaker will not trip during peak usage.


We hope you have found this information valuable. For even more information about drainage systems, click on this link.

It will take you to our materials supplier: http://www.ndspro.com/ For even more detailed information about drainage systems, please click on this link: http://www.sonrisehardscaping.com/drainage-systems-for-monsoon-season/

For a quick video watching a drainage system in action: