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Creating Safe Storm Drain Systems

August 21, 2012

Storm drain systems are used throughout the world to provide a way for excess rainwater and groundwater to drain safely to designated runoff areas.  Storm drains are located on streets, freeways and anywhere else that water can puddle and potentially cause flooding.   Usually storm drain systems are separate from sanitary sewer systems.  Drainage areas for storm drain systems are typically rivers, streams or lakes and the water is usually untreated when entering these areas.  Sanitary sewer systems allow for the water in this system to flow to wastewater treatment plants to be treated and released back into the system.  These are typically kept separate so the wastewater treatment plants are not inundated with water each time it rains.

There are two types of inlets for storm drain systems, side inlets and grating inlets.  Side inlets are typically built into curbs or are located just adjacent to curbs.  A portion of the capture area of side inlets is lower and allows for water to flow easily into the drain.  Grating inlets are pieces of grating located in parking lots, streets and other open areas that are not near curbs where water puddles.  The grating is typically wide enough to let water flow through, but small enough to catch large debris before it passes through.

These inlets are located in areas where pedestrians frequently come into contact with the surfaces, so making sure the grating inlets are safe is necessary.  Grating is available in a variety of sizes and spacing’s, including ADA compliant styles.  ADA compliant grating allows for wheelchair wheels and high heels to pass across the surface without becoming trapped between the crossbars.  Using corrosion resistant gratings for these applications can also reduce maintenance and frequent replacement.  Most ADA compliant gratings can be ordered in stainless steel or aluminum alloys.  Applying a slip resistant surface to the grating can help increase safety as well.  Slip resistant surfaces that retain traction in water or snow can provide a safe walking surface in any type of environment.  Plasma spray metal coatings are bonded to the surface, eliminating the risk of flaking and/or chipping.

SlipNOT® Metal Safety Flooring applies a slip resistant all metal plasma spray surface to storm drain grating products.  The non skid surface is bonded to the grating at over 4,000 PSI.  The peaks and valleys of the coating produce a high traction surface that will keep anyone on their feet in snow, water and other types of moisture and debris that may be found around drain inlets.  Cities and towns utilizing slip resistant grating inlets can provide safety and security to residents utilizing public areas in any type of weather conditions.

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