Custom Concrete has completed the construction of many strip drains over the years, including the residential driveway drain pictured in this article.

Strip drains are essential tools for managing stormwater on sloped properties. In our rainy PNW, these systems effectively collect and redirect excess water, preventing water damage to homes and commercial buildings.

Here’s a detailed explanation of how strip drains work and their role in stormwater management:

Strip drain construction in process

Preventing flooding. By efficiently managing stormwater on paved surfaces that are sloped, strip drains help prevent flooding.

Water collection. Strip drains consist of a perforated pipe surrounded by a layer of gravel or other coarse material. They are installed underground in sloped areas to collect excess rainwater and topped with a metal grate when included in paved surfaces. Water follows the path of least resistance and flows into the perforated pipe when it infiltrates the ground.

Gravitybased flow. The key principle behind strip drains is gravity. Water naturally flows downhill; sloped concrete surfaces aid in this process. As water flows down a concrete surface, it moves toward the perforated pipe at the lower end of the slope.

Transport and distribution. Once water enters the perforated pipe, it is transported away from the wet area. The pipe’s perforations allow water to enter, but it also keeps the surrounding soil from clogging the system. This ensures a consistent flow of water into the pipe.

Discharge point. The collected stormwater is eventually directed to a discharge point, such as a storm drain, a retention pond or an appropriate outlet where it is safely released without causing damage.

Foundation protection. Strip drains also play a crucial role in protecting building foundations. Excess water around the foundation can cause structural damage and even lead to flooding. Properly installed strip drains redirect water away from the foundation, ensuring its integrity.

Sustainability. Strip drains can also be part of sustainable stormwater management practices, as they allow rainwater to infiltrate the ground rather than being wasted. This can reduce the burden on municipal stormwater systems and help recharge local groundwater supplies.

If you want to discuss if a strip drain is right for your commercial or residential property in Whatcom County, give Custom Concrete Contracting a call at 360-676-1665 or send us a message.