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Car park drainage at Audi in Germany with DRAINFIX CLEAN

Car park drainage for public spaces, multi-storeys & undergrounds

Car parks, multi-storeys and underground parking facilities are an essential component of transport infrastructure. These type of surface areas are heavily trafficked everyday by a wide variety of vehicles within residential, retail, public and commercial sectors.

The specified car park drainage systems must account for the frequency of traffic, as well as pedestrian safety. While, multi-storeys and underground parking facilities also need to take into consideration the protection of the building’s fabrication.

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Drainage systems for car parks

There is a range of requirements for channel drainage within parking areas. Heavy or frequent traffic imposing high loads, dynamic forces, corrosive substances and installation depth restrictions are just some of the factors that need to be considered.

Car park drainage needs to consider the following factors:

Load and forces

Vehicles exert significant loads, dynamic forces and stress on surfaces when braking, turning, reversing and accelerating. The car park drainage channel must be strong and robust to withstand a variety of loads and forces, including vertical and lateral ones over a long period of time.

Pedestrian safety

A safe environment for pedestrians requires secure systems with anti-slip surfaces and heelsafe gratings. Incorporating these features within the overall project will provide safety and design flexibility.

Climate changes

Drainage systems must be resistant to frost, de-icing salts and UV-light to ensure longevity and low-maintenance costs.

Extensive surfaces

For larger catchment areas, it’s often more cost-effective to choose a car park drainage solution with a higher drainage and retention capacity. A precise and accurate hydraulic calculation will help determine the correct channel sizing and drainage system for the project under design.


Tyre wear, brake dust, fuel hydrocarbons, as well as other contaminants like petrol, oil, zinc and copper can be found on parking surfaces. These pollutants can enter local sewer systems or natural watercourses. However, by using a sustainable drainage system it can collect and treat surface water at source before being released.

Theft and vandalism

Having a parking drainage system with multiple bolt connections or anti-vandal locking handles can protect the gratings from vandalism and theft.

RECYFIX MONOTEC installed at North Tees Hospital
RECYFIX NC installed at Fox Valley Retail Park
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Surface drainage for underground parking areas

Entrance to underground car park

The presence of surface water in underground parking areas can come from a numerous sources. Rainwater or snow carried in from vehicles, testing fire sprinklers, inadequate damp-proofing or poor ramp drainage.

It can also depend upon the following factors:

  • The number of vehicle movements per day

  • The size of the vehicles and the underground parking space

  • The time of year and the length of the routes (e.g. across several levels)

  • Hydraulic performance – without an accurate hydraulic calculation and a reliable drainage system, it could increase the risk of damage to the building’s structure.

Additional challenges for underground parking:

Loads and forces:

Turning tightly around columns, ramps and small parking spaces imposes significant loads, stress and forces on the system and adjacent surface. Linear drainage across ramps is subject to high impact loads when trafficked.

Corrosive environments:

Parking surfaces and channel gratings are subject to continual attack by corrosive substances including oil, petrol, brake fluid, cleaning detergents and de-icing salts. Therefore, the drainage solution must be durable and corrosion resistant.

Installation depth restrictions:

Floor structures within underground car parks, often have limited depth available for installation of surface drainage above damp proof membranes. If there are depth restrictions, linear drainage systems will need to have shallow inverts.

High surface water run-off:

Due to the steep incline of underground ramps, surface water flows more quickly. The channel system gratings should be selected for efficient interception to avoid surface water crossing over drainage channels.

Multi-storey car park drainage

Multi-storey car park exterior

When considering surface drainage for multi-storeys, a distinction must be made between the exterior and interior. Some of the challenges for multi-storey car park drainage are consequently similar to underground parking. For example; snow accumulation by exit and entrance ramps and the protection of the building fabrication. However, the exterior of a multi-storey car park covers a larger surface area that predominantly will be more exposed to climate change.

    FASERFIX KS car park drainage for top of car park level at Korona Shopping Centre

    Challenges for multi-storey parking include:

    • Corrosive environments

    • High surface water run-off

    • Installation depth restrictions

    • Consideration of fire protection

    • Mechanical stress

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    Drainage Project

    Skypark Exeter Business Park

    Drainage solution for Skypark Business Centre

    Drainage channels for car parks, multi-storeys and underground parking

    The following solutions from HAURATON are recommended for safe and reliable surface drainage in parking areas:

    RECYFIX PRO: recycled composite channel

    Product image of RECYFIX PRO

    The RECYFIX PRO drainage system with an award-winning FIBRETEC grating is strong, durable, impact resistant and corrosion free. It combines high performance with low long-term maintenance costs.

    • Environmentally friendly material due to its high-grade recycled composite material polypropylene

    • Heelsafe grating with a high hydraulic capacity

    • Aesthetic, modern and unique design

    • Pre-assembled, lightweight and compact units for quick and easy installation on-site

    • Resistant to frost, salts, fuels, oils, chemicals, UV and is temperature stable

    RECYFIX MONOTEC: recycled composite monolithic drainage channel

    Product image of RECYFIX MONOTEC

    Installed as a single, durable monolithic unit with an integral grating, RECYFIX MONOTEC is a stable, safe and secure drainage system. The channel units are lightweight and have a large hydraulic capacity when compared to equivalent sized channels.

    • Environmentally friendly – channel unit made from 100% recycled polypropylene

    • Installation time and cost savings achieved through value-engineering on large external sites

    • Strong, rigid top-edge design; resilient to dynamic forces caused by turning wheels

    • High resistance to frost, de-icing salts and UV light

    DRAINFIX CLEAN: ecological & cost-effective rainwater treatment channel

    Product image of DRAINFIX CLEAN filtration system

    DRAINFIX CLEAN filtration and drainage system is an ideal solution to treat polluted surface run-off from car park surfaces. Fine particles are captured and retained within a carbonate-rich filter substrate, allowing cleaned water to be released back into natural water courses or sewer systems.

    • Withstands traffic areas up to F 900 loading class

    • High water retention capacity for effective cleaning performance, even during heavy rainfall events

    • Efficient treatment at shallow inverts with smaller installation footprint

    • Strong and durable with high material resistance to frost, salts, chemicals, extreme temperatures and UV light

    • Extremely low maintenance requirement

    • DIBt approved

    FASERFIX KS: fibre-reinforced concrete channel

    Product image of FASERFIX KS

    FASERFIX KS channel is particularly suitable for draining multi-storeys and underground parking facilities. It is very robust and durable due the channel base made from fibre-reinforced concrete and the extra thick side walls.

    • Shallow channel options for areas with depth restrictions

    • Gratings held securely in place with a ten-point locking system over one metre for added safety and security (SIDE-LOCK mechanism plus central locking bolt / bar arrangement)

    • Class 1A (non-flammable) fire rating (DIN 4102)

    • Material resistant to frost, salts, chemicals, extreme temperatures and UV light

    Additional HAURATON drainage systems and gratings are available for car park applications. Get in touch to discuss your project requirements.

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