Common Uses for Drainage Systems

While agricultural drainage systems are some of the most common uses for flexible canal liners, they’re far from the only type of drainage system currently in use. All of these various drainage management options have similar requirements for seepage control and water loss prevention. Since these systems are generally used for handling contaminated and potentially hazardous waste products, they must be designed with care to prevent spills and leaks over long distances. These other common types of drainage systems deserve consideration as well when planning a complete watershed management program.

Mining Waste Drainage

Mining and processing oil, natural gas, and various minerals generate millions of gallons of waste every year. This water is usually highly acidic, contaminated with hazardous compounds, and yet still valuable for reuse. Whether you plan to treat the waste in a constructed wetland or need to store it in a holding pond until it’s pumped and removed, mining drainage systems are necessary for moving the waste water to these secondary structures. Lined canals are essential for preventing mining waste runoff from leaking from the canals and channels connecting mines and processing facilities to ponds and wetlands.

Stormwater Control

Stormwater control systems in urban areas often rely on concrete catch basins, roadside drains, and sewer pipes to deliver the water to holding ponds or absorption fields. However, rural areas often turn to open air ditches and canals instead to connect local stormwater and flood control methods together. These open drainage ditches need low maintenance liners to encourage rapid flow and prevent erosion along the banks of these water collection features. These flood control features can protect both residential and agricultural areas from damage during heavy rainfall events, and they often connect to existing agricultural drainage systems for a combined solution.

Foundation Protection

Drainage ditches and buried drain tiles are often used to divert water away from the foundations of homes and other structures. Wet foundations are prone to uneven settling as the soil collapses around the perimeter. Keeping the water away from both the soil and the concrete prevents this settling problem in addition to drying out the base of the structure. This can solve many mold and frost heave damage problems that can be difficult to fix with any other method. Residential and commercial drainage systems last longer and perform better when lined with a product like BTL Liner’s AquaArmor.

Concentrated Feeding Operations for Livestock

Livestock farms and ranches generate even more nitrogen heavy waste water that needs the same management as agricultural runoff. Concentrated feeding operations (CFOs) are especially challenging to deal with for drainage since many animals are held in tight quarters that need constant cleaning and drainage for good bio-security. With a little extra care, CFO operators can build permanent drainage systems that connect feeding lots with manure lagoons for storage and processing. This kind of connected system reduces labor and keeps these operations cleaner and healthier for the animals being held in the space.

Waste Reclamation Canals

Other waste reclamation efforts also require secure drainage and transport canals for proper management. Contaminated sites where mine runoff or industrial processing waste was released into the soil or natural waterways can benefit immensely from manmade canals for diverting the waste. Building new and properly lined retaining ponds and processing wetlands will require a convenient way of collecting and moving the contaminated runoff. Trenches and ditches are ideal for accumulating the waste water, regardless of source and contamination type. These initial drainage structures are often left unlined so they can drain water out of the surrounding soil. But once the water reaches a connected canal for transport, those drainage system structures should definitely feature an impermeable multi-layered liner.

Coal Ash and Other Power Generation Runoff

Coal ash is a by-product of coal-based power generation that needs special handling to keep it from reaching the underground water table in any given storage area. Since coal ash contains compounds that can damage the liver or cause shortness of breath when there’s long-term exposure, it’s best kept contained from the start with a series of interconnected drainage canals and ponds. BTL Liner’s heavy duty RPE ArmorPro liner can handle this challenging drainage system installation, in addition to the uses listed above and below.

Sewage Treatment Plants

Finally, sewage treatment plants rely on a combination of closed pipes and open channels to connect the many ponds and tanks used for holding the waste water. Seepage from unlined or insufficiently lined canals and connecting ditches poses a risk to anyone living around the treatment center. This waste water is highly reactive and can possibly react with some liner materials to accelerate corrosive. Multi-layered RPE materials are the best option for any sewage treatment plant drainage system or similar challenging conditions. The combination of polyethylene materials offers high chemical resistance and low reactivity in one convenient and easy to install package.

All of these drainage systems require similar design features like slope, proper sizing, careful excavation to prevent bank instability, and a sturdy liner material. Make the most of your collection of drainage ditches and canals, regardless of what kind of waste water you’re dealing with, by enlisting the help of BTL Liners for your project.


Liners by BTL

AquaArmor Pond Liner

The most versatile liner on the market today, AquaArmor maximizes protection from harmful UV rays, tear resistance and punctures that cause leaks. Simply the best liner on the market.

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