Different types of drainage systems can work in different ways depending on the type of property you have and what it needs.

Drainage systems are important in whisking water away from walkways, driveways, roofs and other areas of the property to avoid flooding causing property damage and even health risks. They also help to prevent rotting, growth of mold and mildew, and greatly reduce structural damage in buildings from water or moisture buildup.

Effective drainage systems remove all excess water without causing inconveniences and disruptions in their design. For example, open drains shouldn’t be used in most residential and commercial areas.

Separate Drainage Systems

There are usually separate drainage systems for stormwater and sewers and sometimes both of these drain into the same underground drainage system. In separate drainage systems, stormwater run-off need not be treated and can be drained directly into water bodies. On the other hand, water containing sewage and industrial wastes can be toxic so they need to undergo treatment before they are drained into water bodies.

Combined Drainage Systems

While most drainage systems function to draw water away from structures; combined drainage systems use a single drain to convey water both from sanitary usage and rainwater from roofs and other surfaces to a shared sewer. It might sound expensive but is actually quite economical.

Generally, there are four types of drainage systems.


A surface drainage system utilizes shallow ditches dug in a parallel pattern. These ditches act as canals to contain and redirect run-off water. The water is then lead into the main drain to avoid water pooling and flooding in the designated area.

Subsurface or French Drain

Subsurface drainage systems are also popularly known as a French drain. This type of drain is placed under the top layer of soil. This remove excess water at the root level. Deep ditches are dug and pipes are installed underground. A large collector drain is then installed to collect water from the pipes.


A slope drainage system uses a pipe installed and anchored into a small incline. This allows the water to flow downward through the pipes and away from the structure.


These are drains that collect water from gutters and divert it to the ground. Downspouts are typically connected to a gutter system on a structure. It carries water away from the roof down to the ground. The water is emptied unto a slope so that it doesn’t pool at the base of the downspout.

The best combination is to have a retainer wall and a drainage system. For more information on which type is better to install for your property, then contact us today.