Commercial sites often have open spaces that are exposed to the elements. The gradual accumulation of storm water (caused by rain, melting ice, or snow) or a sudden deluge of floodwater can all start to exert slow pressure on the ground.

Commercial properties without proper drainage solutions might soon find themselves suffering issues with structural integrity, lost customers, and potential lawsuits. Installing catch basins takes advanced knowledge of the sensitivity of asphalt and concrete, particularly in Maryland’s climate. This guide will spotlight how catch basins operate, detail the key steps for their successful installation, and highlight some potential risks to avoid.

How Catch Basins Work

Catch Basin Installation for water excess

Commercial catch basins have essentially two parts. The upper portion consists of a grate, and the lower portion contains an underground outlet trap.  The grating allows water to run through, with any solid matter (debris, litter, etc.) settling in the lower portion. Professionals can remove the grating to clean out collected solids that have accumulated to levels that could potentially inhibit the catch basin’s performance.

Water entering through the grate will collect to a certain level before it’s deposited into the outlet trap. The water then enters underground pipes to be transported and safely discharged into a natural water body or a sewage treatment plant. Successfully installed catch basins are essential for these reasons:

1. They Prevent Damage to Surrounding Property

Effective drainage is key to preserving the safety of commercial sites and those nearby. Catch basins combat the threats of standing water, including surface damage, soil erosion, and the creation of threats like slip-and-fall hazards for pedestrians and skidding dangers for drivers.

2. Catch Basins Protect Your Aesthetic 

Removing excess water prevents unsightly pooling, which negatively impacts the perception and usability of a commercial space. It’s a fair bet that no customer wants to slosh through large puddles to get to your front door.

3. They Promote Good Hygiene

Standing water quickly becomes a magnet for dirt and insects and creates an unhygienic environment that can easily deter customers or expose them to hazardous bacteria and bites.

Catch basins are an investment that keeps people and property safe while protecting your image and reputation. This makes it so important to get installation right the first time by speaking to a team that considers how every key design factor relates to your unique premises.

6 Steps to Successful Commercial Catch Basin Installation

concrete catch basin

Catch basins are more than grates and pipes. They need to be designed as an organic part of a commercial site and should factor in everything from the local ecosystem to the potential weaknesses of the necessary materials. Here are some best practices for building them right:

1. Perform an On-Site Size and Slope Assessment

Commercial sites come in all shapes and sizes, and none are 100% level. Assessing the direction of site slope is essential for the proper positioning of catch basins, and measuring the space itself is necessary to decide how many to install.

2. Factor In the Natural Environment

Any structure is vulnerable to the elements. The average local precipitation rates or freeze/thaw cycles help determine the expected level of storm water flow that any commercial property will face. Maryland has a varied topography and hard winters, while summers can exceed 100 degrees, meaning temperatures can fluctuate and cause structural problems.

3. Accurate Sump Measurement

Sumps in catch basins must be greater in depth than width to ensure rapid water removal from top to bottom. This helps to keep lighter and larger debris at the top for easier cleaning while allowing solid debris to sink quickly for later disposal.

4. Apply Quality Asphalt for a Solid Grate

Asphalt is responsible for holding the catch basin’s upper grate in place. A top-class installation will see the grate fixed firmly, allowing water to enter only through the allotted spaces. A bad installation will leave you with weak asphalt, which can let water in or collapse into the concrete box below to create blockage.

5. Install a Solid Concrete Basin and Outflow Pipe(s)

The catch basin is typically made of concrete and helps create a strong frame that prevents the surrounding soil from collapsing inward. At least one outflow pipe is required to transport water to a safe deposit location. Some may need at least two, as some designs incorporate another pipe that funnels in water from an underground source.

6. Lay Down Liners

Concrete is durable and relatively water-resistant, but it’s not invincible against moisture. Liners provide a sealant layer that helps concrete do the job of keeping water out of the surrounding soil and property. Occasional replacement of catch basin liners is much less expensive than repairing water-damaged concrete.

There are many benefits to installing commercial catch basins, all of which can be compromised or lost when site managers lack the proper motivation or advice. Consider speaking to a qualified drainage team, or you may be setting yourself and your customers up for future trouble.

Potential Pitfalls of Poor Catch Basin Care

Commercial Catch Basin Installation

Standing water does eventually go away, but not before it lays the groundwork for potentially disastrous consequences. Getting catch basins installed and cared for quickly eliminates danger factors that could cost you dearly:

  • Standing water or improperly directed flows can slowly soak underneath parking lots, sidewalks, and even building foundations to weaken structural stability.
  • Catch basins and their connected pipes require expert mixing of reliable concrete. Weak blends and poor work can lead to collapsed basins and sinkholes.
  • Commercial catch basin installation isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it solution. Professionals should inspect and clean them regularly to ensure unimpaired performance and public safety.

An experienced drainage team can stop all these problems before they start. A quick consultation or on-site inspection can make any commercial site manager fully confident of receiving a competitively priced catch basin design that will perform reliably for years.

Contact the Experts With Any Questions

Commercial catch basins can be a robust drainage solution for any business concerned with the well-being of people and property as well as public perception. Having the right partners with years of concrete, asphalt, and drainage experience can provide all these benefits in a quick and cost-effective manner.

Limitless Paving & Concrete has completed successful commercial and residential pavement projects across Maryland. Contact our team today to speak to an expert with any of your catch basin questions.

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