Surface water management; slot drain vs channel drain

Surface water management; slot drain vs channel drain

Surface water management is the process of managing the course water takes over land to prevent flooding. Various linear drainage systems can be used such as channel drainage, slot drains, traditional gullies, open dish channels, and French drains. 

Whilst the terms slot drainage and channel drainage are often used interchangeably to describe linear drainage systems, there are in fact distinct differences between them. Here’s our guide to these:

Channel Drain

Slot Drain

  • Removable grate
  • Wider open channel 
  • Mainly used for domestic properties for drives, patios etc.
  • Made with a lightweight plastic - sturdy construction and chemical resistance
  • No grate required - aesthetically pleasing 
  • Narrower than channel drain
  • Easy to clean and maintain due to no grate
  • Ideal in areas of heavy loading

Channel Drain

A channel drain is designed to remove large amounts of water from paved, tarmac, or concrete surfaces.

Channel drains typically consist of an open channel covered by a removable grate. The channel itself is longer than it is wide, with a cross-sectional design that effectively contains the flow of water from the surrounding surface. Although they play a vital role in the overall performance of the drainage system their load-bearing capabilities may vary depending on the specific surrounding detail.

The applications for channel drains include pathways, driveways, car parks, commercial settings, swimming pools, sports areas and many other areas where effective water removal is necessary.

Slot Drain

A slot drain is a type of linear drainage system that is specifically designed for collecting surface water. Unlike traditional drains, a slot drain does not feature a removable grate. Instead, it has a narrow slot-like opening that allows water to flow into the drain. The absence of the removable grate gives it a sleek and unobtrusive appearance when installed making it the ideal choice when aesthetics are a priority as they blend seamlessly into the ground. 

Slot drains are particularly useful in areas that experience heavy loading, where it is crucial to eliminate any moveable parts that may be damaged or displaced. The lack of removable grates reduces the risk of any parts being dislodged due to heavy loads.

Like channel systems, slot drains can be manufactured using various materials such as polymer concrete, plastic, and steel. The versatility allows for customisation based on specific needs and requirements of different applications.

The applications for slot drains are diverse and widespread - they can be utilised in pathways, driveways, car parks, commercial settings, airports, ports and many other locations where effective surface water management is crucial.

How can we help?

At Cotterill Civils, we supply a wide range of surface water management systems. These include both channel drainage and slot drain systems from some of the UK’s leading manufacturers.

To view our surface water management products click here.

Speak to our team of specialists to get expert advice on which system is best for your application. Call us today on 0121 351 3230

Alternatively, fill out our enquiry form: