Overview of Rainwater Collection and Drainage Systems

Posted by judy


Because of the nature of the weather we receive here in the UK, properties of all kinds need to have well designed and well maintained rainwater collection and drainage systems. Indeed, it is estimated that the average yearly rainfall in the UK adds up to around 750mm, so it is vital that your home or business premises has rainwater capture and transportation solutions which are efficient, effective and fit for purpose. Without doubt, your property will soon become damaged if your drainage measures aren’t up to the job!

Of course, it is important you know your way around the pipes which make up your drainage system as this will enable you to quickly identify problems and fix them before any serious damage can occur.

Below is quick overview of the main components of a standard rainwater collection and drainage system.

Gutter and Pipe Solutions
Guttering is the first line of defence against rain as it catches the rainwater as it runs off your roof and channels it into the nearest available downpipe. An average house should have gutter solutions which are at least 100mm wide as this will enable them to handle the effects of even the heaviest downpour. Downpipes on houses which have gutter measures of 100-115mm should ideally be around 75mm wide. Naturally, properties that have large roofs will most likely need bigger gutter systems to deal with the increased amount of water they will catch

Gutter Outlets
A gutter outlet is the part of the gutter which connects to the downpipe, feeding the captured rainwater directly into it. Outlets can either be straight or have a double bend called a ‘swan neck’ (if the eaves of a house overhang). If you have a roof where two slopes meet in a valley, you will most likely have a fitting called a hopper at the bottom of the channel to catch rainwater (the downpipe then runs from the hopper to ground level).

A gully is the ground-level drain into which collected rainwater eventually flows. The gully will often have a u-bend beneath the ground to stop any smells from escaping and rising back up the pipe (especially if the gully is also used to catch waste water from the house). If you live in an older property then your gullies will likely be made of vitrified clay. Newer properties generally have gullies and drains made of PVCu.

To ensure optimal performance, make sure you check your rainwater collection and drainage system regularly, more so when your part of the country is experiencing prolonged bouts of heavy rainfall. Keep a particular eye out for water leaking over the edge of a gutter as this is likely to be evidence of a blockage. If you suspect you have a blockage, get hold of some ladders and clear it out as soon as possible. Do not wait and hope for the best as this will only increase your chances of seeing ugly damp patches make an unwelcome appearance.

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