Types of Drainage Pipes

by Neal Litherland

Proper drainage can prevent catastrophe. Flooding, especially on roads and personal property, can lead to personal danger, and it can also damage vehicles, homes and other items of value. One way to ensure adequate drainage is to install drainage pipes to allow water to flow away from areas where you don't want it. The type of drainage pipe required will depend on the unique drainage situation.

Corrugated Polyethylene

Corrugated polyethylene pipe is a common drainage pipe. The flexible, plastic pipe can be bent into any necessary configuration to make sure that water is carried away. It's often used for drainage beneath roadways and in culverts. Strong and flexible, corrugated polyethylene is often a good choice for drainage pipes.

PVC Pipe

For projects that need strong pipes, heavy plastics such as PVC pipe are suggested. Able to withstand more pressure and weight, PVC pipes can be built to a variety of sizes. They're also durable and recyclable. One drawback is that PVC pipe is rigid and lacks the flexibility of corrugated polyethylene.

Concrete

For truly heavy-duty projects, concrete drainage pipes are another installation option. These pipes are often used for sewage and other sorts of drainage where structural integrity is paramount. Concrete can also offer structural support as well as drainage, and it may be used as an outer shell over another type of drainage pipe.

Ceramic

A more biologically friendly sort of pipe is ceramic drainage pipe. Ceramic is as strong as most plastic, but it is more biologically friendly and doesn't require the use of fossil fuels to make. However, ceramic piping may crack more easily than plastic, and it may need to be replaced more often, depending on the weather, drainage flow, etc.

Other Materials

There are many pipe materials that can be used for drainage. Steel pipe has been used in the past, as has aluminum, lead and even cast stone. The material that's used should depend on the substance being drained, how much is being drained, the path the drain needs to take, and where the substance will ultimately end up.

About the Author

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.

Photo Credits

  • "light at the end of the tunnel" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: jenny downing (jenny downing) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.