Driveways and patios both require drainage in order to handle the surface water that leaks on to your driveway. The question is if it is to be natural drainage like a lawn or if it requires hard drainage like Aco drains to handle it.
Driveways and patio are target areas for rain. Regardless of the type of surface you have (excluding permeable) water has to be able to flow off of it and not stay pooling on it.
If water pools on your driveway, it can lead to damage occurring. With tarmac it can cause it to moss over and start unravelling. On block paving it will slowly erode the sand underneath the block paving.
When your driveway is being prepared from the start, the base levels need to be set as required to ensure the direction of the water flow is set. Now on larger areas, you can use a concrete channel drain to direct it along a smaller path. Alternatively you can use channel drains like Aco drains to drain it away.
If you live in England, you need to make sure you comply with SUDS regulations otherwise you might face a fine. In Ireland, they have not yet implemented SUDS but more than likely will happen as the entire process is causing problems during water recycling.
We do not recommend standard gulley’s for draining water as the area is too small and it is too difficult to guarantee the water will flow smoothly down the gulley especially as time progresses and the levels might shift slightly.
Regardless of how you catch the water, the important part is where do you send it? Do you have it flow onto your lawn area or do you need a soak away pit to handle it.
If its only a small amount of water, you can use grass or gravel to drain it away naturally. With gravel, its normally a strip of gravel which is about 50cm deep. This lets water flow into it and drain away.
The problem with both of these is the amount of water they can take in one go. On driveways or patios that will be getting heavier downpours of rain, you need to use a soak pit.
A soak pit is a hole that is dug off to one side of the area. It is back filled with rubble and coarse stone. It should be about 1m x 1m and around 5m deep. The depth is important to ensure it goes deeper than the soil and is hitting a rock bed.
With a soak pit you can have a pipe running to it from your drains and it will handle a significant amount of water.
The choice between Aco drains and concrete channel drains comes down to preference and that Aco drains can carry away more water. However if you are going to use block paving on your driveway, we recommend using them as concrete drains don’t blend in properly.