Catch Basins

Standing water anywhere on your property can cause all kinds of issues. Whether it's in your yard, driveway, back patio, or near your foundation, you want to get that water moving and away from your house. Catch basins are a great way to do that.

What is a Catch Basin?

A catch basin is a large drain, usually placed in low areas of a yard, to catch surface runoff water. It usually consists of a surface drain that leads to an enlarged box beneath that is then tied to an underground drainage system that finally leads to downspout drains or storm sewers.

The number of catch basin drains, and the extent of the sub-surface drainage system will depend on how much water is to be moved.

Why Catch Basins?

Without catch basins, you can have standing water in your yard, or be at an increased risk of flooding in your home. The key to catch basins is the speed by which they can move the water.

Standing water will eventually dissipate into the ground around it, but if that dissipation is too slow, you can have ponds of water that support mosquito growth, or you can have water flowing into your house due to the fact it has nowhere else to go.

Properly installed catch basins should be able to move large volumes of water, quickly, even during a heavy rainstorm.

Benefits of Catch Basins

The ability to quickly move water off of your property is the primary purpose of a catch basin. This provides several benefits, including:

1. Improved Landscaping

Having pools of standing water, or even perpetually soggy soil can lead to insect growth, plants and trees that brown or die due to too much water, and mold or mildew growth which can eat away at roots and emit foul odors. Better drainage can also help prevent topsoil and mulch washout.

2. Moving Water Away From House

It is critical that water from downspouts, driveways that tilt toward your house, or any water that naturally flows toward your foundation, be captured and moved swiftly away. Catch basins can be the best solution for these issues.

3. Resale Value

Solving any ongoing issues such as poor drainage or standing water will always help with the resale value of your home. Potential buyers that see properly installed drainage systems can feel much more confident that they are getting a good value in their future home.

Catch Basin vs. French Drain

People sometimes use the terms interchangeably, but catch basins and French drains are two different systems. They are often used together in a complete solution, but it is important to understand the differences.

Catch basins are surface-level drains, tied into a basin, or box, for quickly gathering water and moving it away from low-lying areas.

French drains are sub-surface drains that are installed to gather groundwater that either soaks into the soil from above or rises from below, as the ground is saturated.

Learn more about French drains.

How To Install Catch Basins

This is a quick guide on how catch basins work, and how one will typically be installed.

1. Planning

Calculating the size and number of catch basins, as well as the size of the pipe to move the water, is critical to the project.

For larger projects, an engineer might need to be consulted to determine the size of the system needed. For residential, a professional should be able to spec out the system based on a few questions and a thorough inspection of the property.

2. Excavation

Once the system is designed the ground is trenched for the piping, and larger areas are excavated for the catch basins. It is normally not necessary to have these drain systems below the frost line because if they are installed correctly water will flow out of them fairly quickly.

The catch basins themselves should be installed at the low points of the yard, and the holes should be deep enough to allow a gravel base to be installed underneath.

3. Installation

It is important that your catch basins are placed on a compact, solid surface, and that they are level so that water flows into them correctly.

It is also important to have them just slightly lower than the ground surrounding them so that water won't build up around the edges and end up flowing under the drains and eroding the soil around them.

The drain pipes should be installed with a slight fall-off toward the direction you want the water to move so that you don't have standing water within the pipes.

Why Use A-1 to Install Catch Basins?

A-1 will evaluate your standing water issue and devise a plan for getting that water moving. This typically involves digging a trench and installing a drain and piping to move that water to local waterways, or stormwater systems. Afterward, the trench is filled in and the landscaping and lawn are replaced.

  • Multi-year warranty on all our work
  • Protect your home or foundation and remove that standing water in your yard, landscaping, or driveway
  • Drainage solutions expertly customized to solve your problem most effectively
  • Catch basins move through underground pipes keeping your property standing-water free
  • Years of experience with catch basins and other drainage systems
  • Free inspection and estimates available


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Ryan Heyob - Operations Manager

As Operations Manager at A-1 Cincinnati, Ryan knows everything about everything when it comes to concrete leveling. He keeps things running smoothly, and everybody where they need to be to get the job done right and on time. Ryan loves motorcycles, golfing, and traveling with his family.

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