Corrugated vs smoothwall drain pipe\ French drain vs catch basin
I know there are frequently questions regarding drainage problems on this forum, and a lot of folks recommend the "French drains". Not many seem to to care for the catch basins, for some reason.
Catch basins are nice because they allow you to collect and clean any debris that will fall into it, before entering the pipe. You can see what is in it. Yes, they do require periodic cleaning! On the other hand, it is hard to inspect French drains short of a drain camera. Also, fine silt/sediment will mitigate the water inflow as these eventually clog the sock most people install, especially with clay soils and other soil conditions with fines.
I've stated a few times in different threads that I recommend smoothwall drain pipe (solid PVC, SDR, triplewall HDPE) over corrugated. Reason being that it flows better and it is much easier to maintain a positive slope downward, being that it is rigid. Easy to get "bellies" with corrugated because it is flexible. Yes, corrugated is easier to install. I'm no expert on the subject, but I have read 2-3 ft/sec is a good velocity to obtain a "scouring effect." Basically, there is enough velocity such that pipe cleans itself as water flows. This can be accomplished with minimal recommended slope.
Here are some nice calculators:
I installed a drain system about 3 years ago. I have (2) 9" catch basins that drain into a larger 12" catch basin and that drains into 6" SDR 35 and runs about 130' or so and discharges into daylight at the back of my house. Yesterday I cut into it to tie a gutter downspout and noticed that it had no debris and was dry! We had a big storm a few days ago.
The system has works very well. I had a low area in my driveway that ponded about 4" of water in heavy storms. Eventually it would get absorbed into the soil and didn't flood the house, but was a big nuisance. We regularly get storms of 2-3 in/hr throughout the year and driveway is dry now. In this area standing water is a magnet for mosquitoes in the Summer time.
So I decided to check on the catch basins, and they had a good 1-2" of dirt. Combined, about 1/2 cubic foot of dirt. A few small roots also. First time cleaning them since installation.
Anyways, just thought it worthwhile to state that catchbasins and smoothwall drain pipe are a good alternative for yard drains and to collect storm water runoff. At one point I considered installing a French drain, but glad I went this route.
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