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Catch Basin FAQ



What is a catch basin?


Catch basins come in all shapes and sizes, but the basic premise remains the same. A catch basins job is to collect stormwater in order to filter out dirt and debris before they end up in the drain outlet pipe. Without catch basins, drainage lines would constantly need cleaning as dirt would settle inside of the pipe. The more catch basins your property has the better since it provides more opportunities to filter out the debris.


Catch basins are often located in driveways, parking lots, low points on the properties, and of course on the streets. The surrounding areas are typically sloped towards the catch basin so the water flows inside of the catch basin.


How often should the catch basin be cleaned?


As a rule of thumb, catch basins should be cleaned once annually. If you are worried about your budget, what we suggest is next time you get your catch basins cleaned ask for a report on how dirty the catch basins were. This way you will be able to gauge how much debris collected in the time that has passed.


The time of year can also have an impact on how often your catch basin should be cleaned. During the fall season, large piles of leaves often clog the catch basin lid, which can lead to flooding. This can be cleared simply with a rake or shovel. Be sure to check your catch basins multiple times throughout the year to ensure your catch basin is not covered by debris.


What factors affect how often catch basins should be cleaned?


There are many factors that affect the frequency as to how often catch basins need to be cleaned. Some of those factors include:


  • Indoor vs outdoor catch basins.

  • Amount of vehicle traffic.

  • Amount of rain/snow.

  • How sloped the surrounding area is.

  • If there has been pressure washing done.

  • Other environmental factors.


Every property is different, and the factors that affect how often catch basins need to be cleaned is going to change with every catch basin. It is important to get an idea of these factors for your property so you can judge when your catch basins need to be cleaned.


How can I tell if my catch basins need to be cleaned?


There is a very simple test which can be conducted by almost anyone.


The steps are as follows:

  1. Get a stick that is approximately 4-5 feet long.

  2. Place it inside of the catch basin; you will be able to feel where the level of dirt is at.

  3. Once you feel the dirt, push the stick further down to feel the cement bottom.

  4. Measure the distance between the top of the dirt and the cement bottom.


This test will tell you the amount of dirt you have inside of the catch basin. The key is to not let the dirt collect too much inside of the catch basin, or else debris may start to flow inside of the drain outlet pipe. We suggest having at least 1.5 foot of space between the top of the dirt and the bottom of the drain outlet pipe.


How can I get my catch basins cleaned?


If you are looking to get your catch basins cleaned, we would be happy to provide you with a free quote. With every quote, we conduct an on site assessment to inspect the number of catch basins you have and how dirty they are. Upon inspection, we estimate how much debris are built up inside the catch basins, and how long it will take to clean them out. If you decide to approve the quotation, we will work with you to schedule a time to send our crew in and remove all of the debris. To get your free quotation, call our office at 604-526-2620.

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