Drainage Feature

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A structure installed to intercept, divert or move water off, under or away from a path.

piped_culvert

A generic term describing a range of off-path drainage or on-path drainage features:

Practical Solutions for Dealing with Drainage Problems

Visit the path in wet weather conditions, or after a period of heavy rainfall to identify any problems caused by water. Look for clues on the path or nearby:

  • Look for problems caused by water lying on the path such as ponding, or mud.

  • Look for problems caused by water flowing onto, or under, the path from the ground such as seepage, underground springs, soft patches, or side slopes.

  • Look for problems caused by water flowing down, or across, the path such as seepage, scouring, or water courses.

Practical solutions...

The list below shows typical path problems caused by water, with examples of practical solutions that can assist in dealing with each problem. Use the list to identify any problems you may have found on your path, and then select a practical solution that can fix it.

Problem: Muddy path

Practical solutions:

  • Scrape off mud and remove overhanging vegetation to allow sunlight and wind to dry out and air the surface.

  • Clean out existing ditches/ closed drains where blocked.

  • Install new ditches/ closed drains if none currently exist.

  • Improve, or create, cambers, or cross falls, to drain water into ditches/ drains.

  • Build an aggregate path to raise surface above adjacent ground levels.

Problem: Soft, deep mud on the path

Practical solutions:

  • Find the source of water and divert it away from the path with an open ditch or closed drain e.g. French drain.

  • Improve, or create, cambers or cross falls to drain water into ditches/ drains.

  • Build an aggregate path on geotextile or geocomposite to separate and protect the path from the soft ground.

Problem: Soft mud deposited over the path

Practical solutions:

  • Scrape off mud and re-dig ditches to prevent water running onto the path, so that the problem is eliminated.

Problem: Path crosses wet ground

Practical solutions:

  • Divert the route of the path if possible.

  • If the ecological value of the wet ground is low – install a suitable drainage system.

  • If the ecological value of the wet ground is medium – build a raised aggregate path on geotextile or geocomposite to separate the path from the wet ground.

  • If the ecological value of the wet ground is high – build a boardwalk using either a timber boardwalk with recycled plastic support posts, or an entire recycled plastic boardwalk.

Problem: Water flowing onto the path from a side slope

Practical solutions:

  • If an obtrusive drainage system is suitable for the site, install a ditch to catch water with piped culvert/s to carry water across the path.

  • If an obtrusive drainage system is not suitable for the site, install a French drain, or filter drain to collect and carry water away from path.

Problem: Water running down the path

Practical solutions:

  • Install a cut off drain where water runs onto the path to catch and carry water off the path.

Problem: Water flowing across the path

Practical solutions:

  • Install a piped culvert, stone pitched ford, or simple bridge.

Problem: Water ponding on the path

Practical solutions:

  • Install a lett at the path verge or a grip through the verge to drain water off the path.

Problem: Wet, soft patch on the path

Practical solutions:

  • If the problem is caused by a seepage or spring under the path, find the source of the water, catch it and then carry it away from the path with an appropriate drainage feature. Repair the section of path affected by problem.

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