Catch basins are often replaced every decade or so in busy areas where storm water systems take a lot of heavy use. In rural areas or municipalities with low budgets, these basins may have to last for 20 years or more between replacements. While concrete is sturdy and durable, it’s still prone to damage from freeze cycles, soil movement, and general breakdown over time. If you have a damaged or leaking catch basin that’s still structurally intact, you have a few options for renovating it or giving it a full replacement.
Leaks require a multi-pronged approach to treatment, even if you plan to add an impermeable flexible liner over the interior surface. Large cracks and gaps in the concrete must be patched first with a matching cement bonding material. This usually requires completely cleaning out and drying the basin, especially if the crack is located under the regular surface of the water. Filling cracks and gaps whenever possible prevents them from growing larger, which can destabilize the entire basin.
Adding New Liners
Installing a new, flexible liner is a quick way to refurbish an old or damaged catch basin. If the basin is still perfectly intact but starting to break down from constant exposure to water, a liner can extend its lifespan for at least a few more good years. However, don’t confused a flexible liner for other forms of repair. Adding a liner to the interior won’t stabilize shifting or sinking basins. You may need to combine this addition with other repair work to ensure your investment isn’t wasted.
Relocating and Replacing Basins
Some catch basins are too unstable or badly damaged to salvage. At this point, it’s best to re-survey the storm water management area to see if the basin needs changing or re-positioning before it’s replaced. It’s easier to combine replacing and relocation at the same time. Paying workers to pull up and move a basin only a few years after initial installation is wasteful. If the system can handle waiting for routine replacement, try to use the existing basins until that time. Relocating basins means reworking most or all the connected drainage pipes, so make sure a move is necessary before adding it to your improvement plans.
Expanding the Size and Depth
Many catch basins eventually become undersized as development increases around them. New roofs and paved areas increase run off, overwhelming smaller basins that were once perfectly sized. Precast basins are pulled up and replaced when there’s a need to increase their size and depth. If you build a custom basin with a flexible liner and concrete blocks, it’s usually possible to remove just one wall or the base to expand size and depth. Fitting a new liner goes quickly, allowing the catch basin to return to its usual duty as soon as possible.
Catch basins are one of the most sensitive parts of a storm water management system. Since they’re used for separating trash from water, they’re prone to clogging and need plenty of maintenance and inspection. Don’t skimp on the basins in your system or you’ll end up with problems in every other part. Protect your retention ponds and culverts from damage by building custom catch basins complete with multi-layered RPE products from BTL Liners.