An important element of well-designed pools and spas, surface water management ensures safety, health, hygiene and sustainability at aquatic facilities of all sizes. How the immediate landscape is designed plays a major role in keeping the pool safe and visually appealing for a long time. Factors such as the pool deck or patio design as well as pool area drainage contribute to the long-term enjoyment of the pool and must, therefore, be carefully considered by designers when specifying for applications involving high volume water flow.

When designing a pool, the continuous walkway around the pool should slope away from the rim towards the grated drains to prevent muddy or objectionable matter from entering the pool. By directing the water splashed out of the pool into the grate, the landscape or pool designer can prevent multiple problems including fall hazards caused by slippery decks; algae and mildew growth occurring due to water ponding; and water wastage caused by insufficient or improper drainage.

Pool area drainage – legislative considerations

The Australian Code of Practice for the design, construction, operation, management and maintenance of aquatic facilities requires compliance with regulations for backwash water, wastewater disposal and surface finishes. For instance, backwash water from the pool should not be allowed to enter natural waterways through stormwater systems, and must instead be directed to the surface water management system on the property. The backwash disposal method should additionally have the approval of the local authority. The Code also requires pool surfaces to be smooth, impervious and easily cleanable with non-slip characteristics and completely finished without protrusions to avoid injury to pool users.

Specifying pool drainage systems

Drainage grating is available in traditional widths of 200mm and 300mm as well as the more modern slimline models ranging in width from 21mm to 100mm. Stainless steel and uPVC plastic are the two most common materials for drainage channels, with 316 marine grade stainless steel being the preferred choice for designers for its visual appeal as well as durability, performance and ease of maintenance.

In terms of styles, pool deck drainage systems offer a choice of spot drains and linear or trench drains. Spot drains are smaller single drains connected underground by PVC pipe, and are often quite ineffective in water removal. Linear drains are long, narrow grates very popular in commercial as well as residential pool settings for their ability to combine a modern aesthetic design with high volume water removal. These drains are particularly suited to wet-edge or infinity pools with the grate running parallel to the length of the pool.

Specifying Stormtech pool drainage

Stormtech’s patented manifold drainage system is a key differentiator with its Special Assembly reducing the need for wider grates. Composed of a PVC channel with outlets every 200mm connected via downpipes to the corresponding sockets in the pipe below, the Special Assembly system allows the channel to be installed level with sufficient fall given to the pipe for self-cleaning. The system is topped with a stylish slimline stainless steel grate.

Stormtech’s Watermark certified Slimline 38G90 and 65AG100 Special Assembly products provide narrow profile, high capacity drainage systems that allow for flexibility in pool design, especially in wet-edge and infinity pool applications. The stainless steel grates in 38mm or 65mm widths are available in wedge-wire as well as a more budget-friendly punched hole or slotted version.

The versatility of Stormtech’s Slimline range allows the drainage grates to be used for pool surrounds, within or around the coping to prevent pool water contamination in the grassy or garden areas, and to reduce the impact of stormwater on pool water.

Stormtech’s stylish drainage grates are made from high quality Australian manufactured stainless steel and supplied in stock widths of 38mm, 65mm and 100mm. The grate fits into a shallow PVC or stainless steel channel as part of a ready-to-install kit. Addressing the high end of the architectural design segment, Stormtech’s pool drainage systems can also be customised to specific project requirements.