Home Improvement

How to install land drainage pipes in 5 simple steps

It’s no secret that floods are highly destructive – they drown crops, damage property, and destroy lawns. But, they’re preventable with the installation of land drainage pipes. 

Experts in plastic drainage systems BP Plastics explain the ins and outs of pipes, why they’re an important installation and how to install them yourself.

What is a land drainage pipe?

Installed below the ground, a land drainage pipe collects excess wastewater from the surface. 

There a two types of land drainage pipes; perforated and unperforated.

Perforated drainage pipes collect surface water that seeps underground through small holes in their frame. 

The excess water is either channelled into a drainage system below the ground, or slowly filtered into more permeable ground.

Perforated drainage pipes are usually found under fields in sports facilities and farmlands with no surface drainage.

Unperforated drainage pipes work differently and act as normal drainage pipes. Installed underground, they channel wastewater from surface drainage outlets such as channel drains straight into an underground drainage system.

Why are land drainage pipes needed?

Land drainage pipes provide an outlet to run excess water away from areas where it would otherwise pool on the surface and potentially cause flooding.

During heavy rain, saturated lawns and fields are unable to absorb water, which will eventually build up.

Similarly, water can’t get through tarmac surfaces, so instantly pools to create puddles which can eventually overrun roads and streets.

This flooding creates multiple problems.

In gardens, grass roots are drowned, destroying the grass, and making turf patchy and dry.

Excess water can even seep beneath homes, displacing foundations, harming electrics and flooding basements.

On sports pitches, floods cause postponement of matches at best, and rot damage to facilities in extreme circumstances.

Farmland and fields can also saturate, destroying crops and produce. 

These pipes are installed to combat flooding in homes, sports fields and across agricultural settings. 


There are plenty of benefits to using land drainage pipes to prevent flooding.

Corrosion resistant 

Land drainage pipes are made from plastic, making them corrosion resistant, flexible, and durable. Due to their longevity, they require next to no maintenance.

Easy to install

Installing these pipes is incredibly easy – as they’re lightweight, handling and fitting them is simple.

Available in different sizes 

Most reputable companies supply land drainage pipes in a variety of sizes, including:

  • 60mm
  • 80mm
  • 100mm
  • 160mm

Availability of different sizes means there’s a drainage pipe for all needs depending on the volume of water that needs channelling.

5 steps to installing:

Fitting drainage pipes is simpler than it may seem and can be done with minimal help. 

Here are our 5 steps to install land drainage pipes.

Step 1 – Create a trench

Using a shovel, dig a trench that is 250mm wide and 900mm deep so there is enough room for backfill later on. The length will depend on how long you plan to make your drain.

Step 2 – Taper the trench sides

Make sure the sides are vertical except at the bottom, where you should taper the sides inwards.

Step 3 – Line the trench with geotextile membrane

Geotextile membrane blocks soil particles from entering the land drainage pipes and subsequent drainage system, such as a soakaway. Line the trench with this membrane, leaving enough to cover over the backfill.  This will help stop the pipes from getting blocked with debris.

Step 4 – Lay a bed of shingle and backfill the trench

Place the land drainage pipe on a base of shingle gravel – this helps to keep the pipe in place and disperse water from it. Backfill the trench by laying shingle above the pipe 150mm from the surface.

Step 5 – Finishing the trench

Place the remainder of the geotextile membrane over the top of the backfill and relay the topsoil and turf that was dug up earlier.

Prevent floods by installing a land drainage pipe

Don’t sit and wait for flood damage to occur – actively protect your home, farmlands, and sports grounds by fitting a land drainage pipe.

Purchase your drainage pipes from a trusted and reputable supplier who will provide the most suitable pipe for your drainage needs.

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