Schedule Fall Clean Out for Your Catch Basin

Catch basin with poor drainage system left water near catch basin drain inlet on a concrete road.

Catch basin with poor drainage system left water near catch basin drain inlet on a concrete road.

Catch basins are an integral part of the drainage system that directs water away from an area, such as a building or parking lot, to a reservoir or sump.  They are commonly used on commercial and industrial properties to protect them from flooding during heavy rains.  Catch basins need to be cleaned out periodically to keep them functioning properly.

How do they work?

A catch basin is normally placed on the lowest part of the property.  It consists of a large underground box with a grate on the top.  When water runoff reaches a certain depth in the box, the water is directed out through an underground drainage pipe.  Some catch basins have a sand trap to capture sediment and debris.  This prevents sand and floatable items from entering the outgoing drainage lines.

Why do they fail to function properly?

Eventually catch basins and sand traps get clogged with debris.  This may include trash and organic debris, such as leaves, grass clippings, sticks, and small branches.  When accumulated debris prevents water from exiting through the pipe, water will back up onto the property causing a flooding issue.  Too much water collection around the catch basin may cause a sinkhole to form.  Chemical pollutants including motor oil, antifreeze, pesticides, and fertilizer can also collect in the catch basin when it’s not draining properly.  This may result in an odor around the area.  Clogged drains are also a breeding ground for mosquitos.

How and when should catch basins be cleaned?

McKenney's hydrovac truck

Catch basins should be inspected and cleaned out at least annually.  Some municipalities, including metro Atlanta’s Cobb County, recommend cleaning twice a year.  Ideally, this would be performed in spring and fall.  Because the solids removed during cleaning may contain high levels of pollutants, it’s essential that this waste be disposed of safely.  Hiring a professional service to provide the maintenance helps ensure the waste is disposed of without causing environmental harm.

Clean out of catch basins and sand traps involves removing built up debris and sediment.  Professionals like McKenney’s have hydrovac trucks that can provide this service.  High pressure water jets wash down the structures and drain lines to remove debris and sludge.  Industrial strength vacuums suck out the loosened debris so that it can be safely removed from the site.  In addition, McKenney’s crews are able to make any needed repairs to the box, grate, or cover.

Schedule an inspection today.

Don’t wait until flooding occurs to schedule maintenance on your property’s catch basins and sand traps.  Flooding can result in unexpected and costly damage and repairs to the property.  If it has been a while since the last inspection and clean out, contact McKinney’s today to schedule a service call.    

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