Arguably the most frustrating and time-consuming aspect of an industrial or commercial project revolves around the construction of sloping concrete trench drains.
The ever so subtle slope required to create a positive water runoff flow creates a challenge for the most skilled carpenters and concrete crews to obtain. Pre-fabricating these trench drains often appear unthinkable as each precast section would have to be unique in order to achieve the sloping invert.
Luckily, the precast industry has made great strides in innovative mold designs allowing for efficient and cost-effective manufacturing methods in precast trench drains with an integral sloping floor.
From electrical utility trenches needing a sloping floor allowing for drainage of excess water, to concrete trench drain systems with the sole purpose of conveying sheet drain stormwater runoff from the surface down to underground drain pipe, there are various manufacturing processes to create this integral slope in the precast product.
Trenches on each project are different, but with the advances in mold equipment, the economic value has shifted in favor of prefabricated concrete segments versus in-situ concrete. This along with the inherent advantages of prefabricated construction to reduce the project duration and minimize the downtime and risk associated with weather delays has made sloped concrete trench installation as simple as laying concrete pipe or box culvert.
These precast concrete trench drain systems have started highlighting how important it is to minimize weather delays. The “excavate as you go” construction method with prefabricated trench sections is ideal for wet climates and helps reduce the amount of “mucking out” required after a heavy rain. Gone are the days of excavating and prepping subgrade for hundreds of feet at a time and praying for 2 weeks of dry weather. Now these systems are excavated and installed in half day increments with 50 to 200 feet of sloping trench fully installed each day.