When laying down new roads, driveways, parking lots, or other impervious surfaces, it’s important to have the proper drainage. Weather happens, there’s nothing we can do about that, but flooding doesn’t need to be a major issue – with the right drainage. Once you’ve got your drainage points picked out it’s time to start working on the stormwater piping.

Stormwater piping is mainly available in three types: high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe, concrete pipe, and corrugated metal pipe (CMP). Each type of pipe has its own pros and cons, but HDPE is the most common choice these days.

Determine whether a little leakage is okay or if the pipe needs to be watertight under low pressure. Stormwater drains generally work via gravity, so the piping is going to need to be straight. A low spot will create a trap for water, whereas a high point will create a dam. Either situation could cause your drains to back up.

Storm sewer piping isn’t always given enough planning in the design process, which can cause unexpected delays in the project. Some of the most common issues that occur are:

  • Unexpected rock excavation
  • Existing pipes in the way, discovered upon digging
  • Design errors that present themselves as the project progresses.

Allowing extra time for piping work is a good idea, and if no problems pop up then you’ll be ahead of schedule.

It’s important that the construction crew or subcontractors know what they’re doing when laying the pipework. Planning and organization can go a long way towards getting the job done right. You want to see a backhoe in action, straight trenches, and pipe fitters working methodically. If the crew seems disorganized, starts and stops often, or is changing methods frequently, you may have a problem on your hands.

All in all, a little careful planning is all it takes to get the stormwater piping properly installed. Allow time for the unexpected, but be fastidious when it comes to making sure the piping is straight. This way you can avoid having to come back to the project later for repairs.