Drainage Frequently Asked Questions - ACO SWM
United States



A channel is a singular component used to create a full trench drain system which includes channels, grates, catch basins and other accessories.

A trench drain is a continuous line of surface drainage that removes liquid from a specific area. It has a continuous inlet along the entire length ensuring maximum liquid capture, typically through a grate. Trench drains allow simple, one-way grading of surfaces to be drained.

  • 4” (100 mm)
  • 8” (200 mm)
  • 12” (300 mm)
  • Custom – See ACO Aquaduct
  • Polymer concrete
  • Fiberglass
  • Cement concrete
  • Plastic
  • Metals

Polymer concrete is a composite material produced by mixing mineral aggregates with a resin binding agent. The finished material has excellent mechanical and thermal properties and offers good corrosion resistance against many chemicals.

  • Galvanized steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Ductile iron
  • Plastic

They are made of metal to give stability to the trench overall and gives protection and durability to the channel body. Wearing-edge rails can be made from:

  • Galvanized steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Ductile iron

A Polymer concrete edge or no edge rail is useful where chemical resistance or non-metal options are preferred (e.g. veterinary kennels or sport running tracks).

Sloped channels encourage the water to evacuate quicker. Sloped channels also have a self-cleansing effect extending the time between inspection/maintenance.

  • Non-sloping (ideally used when ground fall is present)
  • 0.5%
  • 1.0% (FlowDrain)
  • Custom – See ACO Aquaduct
  • End outlets ranging from 4” to 10”
  • Bottom outlets ranging from 1.5” to 8”
  • Inline catch basins (blends in with the rest of the trench drain)
  • Sump boxes (2×2, 3×3, 4×4)
  • Free flow (no end cap)
  • Custom – See ACO Aquaduct
  • Boltless
    • QuickLok®
    • DrainLok
    • PowerLok®
  • Bolted
    • 4-Bolt
  • Monolithic
    • Grate is built into the channel (see ACO MonoBloc)
  • Legislative compliance such as ADA
  • User safety such as heel resistant and bicycle safe
  • Aesthetics, because the grate will be the only part of the trench visible
  • Slip resistance
  • Anticipated vehicular traffic and associated load class
  • EN1433 the only standard written specifically for trench drain
  • ASME112.6.3
  • AASHTO HS20/HS25
  • 200,000lb proof load
  • Load class A (residential and light pedestrian)
  • Load class B (sidewalks and small private parking lots)
  • Load class C (parking lots and general commercial areas)
  • Load class D (Trafficked sections of roads and highways)
  • Load class E (Aircraft hangars, light commercial forklifts)
  • Load class F (Heavy industrial, docks, aircraft ramps and aprons)

A general purpose system with galvanized steel or stainless steel edge rails. It is available in 4”, 8” or 12” internal widths. It utilizes QuickLok® & DrainLok to secure the grates. Supports load classes from A to E.

A heavy duty system with ductile iron edge rails. It is available in 4”, 8” or 12” internal widths. It utilizes the PowerLok® system and has a 4-bolt option to secure the grates. Supports load classes from A to F.

Used when depth restrictions are present. It is available in 4”, 8” or 12” internal widths. It utilizes QuickLok®, PowerLok® & DrainLok to secure the grates. Supports load classes from A to F.

Provides an ideal solution to long runs in concrete slabs. The fiberglass channel body with steel frames provides a quick and simple way to create a smooth, corrosion resistant trench drain. Channels available with 8” internal width and grate options support load classes C-F.

  • CIP – Boxed out trench formed on-site before concrete pour.
  • Modular – Factory produced channel units that connect together to create a trench drain system. They offer consistent quality and are created with advanced shape profiles and built-in slope, providing additional benefits and savings.

While all channel and grate combinations will work with pavers, ACO offers the Brickslot system. Brickslot is a discreet system that blends in with paving joints giving a functional and aesthetic solution.

Yes, ACO can help with product selection, hydraulic design, and layout design. Site specific information will be needed for accurate guidance. Please contact ACO Customer Service for more information.

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