Identifying Drainage Systems on Your Property

Understanding the types of drainage systems on your property might not be something you think about every day, but it can be crucial in certain situations. Imagine you’re planning to add an extension to your home. To ensure a smooth project, you’ll need a clear understanding of your drainage system to prevent issues like cross-contamination. Similarly, if you encounter a drainage problem, having some knowledge about your system can help you diagnose issues more quickly and accurately.

At Drainflow, we’re experts in drain clearance, serving Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, and North London. With years of practical experience in handling drainage systems, we understand the importance of our clients being informed. The more you can tell us about your specific system, the faster and more cost-effective we can be in resolving blockages and other drainage issues.

In this guide to different types of drainage systems, we’ll break down the basics of drainage in an easy-to-understand manner, so you can be well-prepared for any drainage-related situation that may arise.


Understanding Your Home’s Drainage Systems

Drainage systems are the unsung heroes of our homes. We rarely notice them, but they play a vital role in keeping our surroundings dry and our lives comfortable. Let’s break it down in the simplest way possible.

1. Surface Water Drainage. These are the pipes that deal with rainwater from your roof, downspouts, and gutters. Its job is to whisk away excess water from your property, preventing it from pooling on walkways, driveways, or rooftops. This not only stops potential flooding but also keeps your home safe from rot, mould, mildew, and structural damage caused by water buildup.

Surface Water Drainage

2. Foul Water Drainage. This takes care of water from toilets, showers, and even washing machines. The crucial rule here is that foul or waste water should only go into a main sewer. Why? Because these sewers lead to sewage plants where the water gets treated before returning safely into the environment. If you live in a rural area, you might have a septic tank or cesspit in your garden doing the same job.

So, there you have it – two types of drainage systems, making sure your home stays dry and clean. Remember, they’re there when you need them, quietly working behind the scenes to keep life flowing smoothly.

Types of Drainage System

Your home’s drainage system might not be the most exciting topic, but it’s essential to know the basics.

  • Downspout and Gutter Systems: These manage water from your roof. Downspout and gutter systems collect water from gutters and guide it safely to the ground. The downspout is typically connected to the gutter system, ensuring water flows smoothly from your roof to the ground. It’s all cleverly designed on a slope, so there’s no chance of water hanging around where it shouldn’t.
  • Slope Drains: Slope drains are like water slides for excess water. They use pipes to direct water away from structures and down a slope. A pipe is installed and connected on a slight incline, letting water flow smoothly through the pipe and away from your home or building. No more puddles under your structure!
  • Surface Drainage Systems: Think of these like the highways for rainwater. They’re shallow ditches dug in parallel, designed to channel rainwater and runoff. These ditches act like water canals, guiding the water into the main drainage system. Their job? Prevent water from pooling and causing flooding around your property.
  • Subsurface Drainage Systems (French Drains): Subsurface drainage systems are hidden beneath the top layer of soil. They work to remove excess water at the root level via underground pipes. These pipes lead to a big collector drain, gathering water from the underground pipes and preventing soggy messes in your yard.

Now, you’re in the know about the key players in your drainage system. They might not be the stars of the show, but they keep your property dry and cosy when the rain comes pouring down.

Your Responsibility for Drainage: What You Need to Know

As a property owner, you’re in charge of your drainage system. If it gets clogged or causes issues for others, you’ll need to handle the repairs. But, if the blockage is deeper in the main sewer, it’s usually the local authority’s concern.

To find out more about who is responsible for blocked drains, read our helpful guide

Before you dive into DIY fixes, it’s crucial to seek advice from an expert. Some drainage systems pose health risks and should only be handled by qualified and experienced professionals. Your safety and the well-being of your property come first.


Need Help With Your Drain Systems?

Managing faults, blockages or changes to your drain systems is a job for an expert, and Drainflow is happy to help. If you’re having difficulty identifying your drainage systems, we can carry out a CCTV drain survey that will map your drainage system for you.

Drainflow is available 24/7 to deal with pooling, sink blockages, toilet blockages and leaking drains.


If you need help with your drain systems give us a call and we’ll do the rest – 01525 718500