Highway Drainage Design (Piped Surface Water Systems)

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the various aspects of new and existing piped highway drainage systems and how they can be assessed, maintained, and modified to drain the road network that they serve.

This course is available as a standalone 1-day course, or as a 2-day course combined with our Highway Drainage Design – Sustainable Solutions and Adapting to Climate Change course.

Also available as an online training course.

Please note the online version of this training course will be split into modules.


This course is targeted at design engineers and other highway construction professionals to raise their awareness, knowledge and understanding of piped highway drainage networks. 

Aims & Objectives:

The course will enable delegates to develop a deeper understanding of the assessment and design of piped highway drainage networks to:

  • Understand why highway drainage systems are required
  • Understand how to undertake a survey of an existing piped drainage system,
  • Understand the options available to maintain or rehabilitate piped drainage systems
  • Understand the parameters that are required to design a new highway drainage system
  • Consider, in the context of piped drainage, health and safety and testing.

Course Outline:

The course will include:


  • History of roads and the requirement for drainage
  • Types of drainage systems

Why do we Need Highway Drainage Systems?

  • Why do we have highway drainage systems?
  • What are the principal requirements for highway drainage design?
  • What types of highway drainage are required?
  • What happens if we don’t have (or maintain) highway drainage systems?
  • Effect of road geometry on drainage

Identifying and Recording Drainage on the Road Network

  • Tracing existing systems
  • Topographical surveys
  • Recording information
  • Components of a drainage system

Health and Safety Issues Associated with Drainage

Drainage Maintenance, Repair and Pipe Rehabilitation

  • Cleaning
  • Structural failures
  • Pipe repair and rehabilitation

Controlling Pollution from the Highway

  • Dealing with Spillages on Highways: PPG22


Sub-Surface Drainage

  • Why do we need sub-surface drainage?
  • What is sub-surface drainage?
  • How deep should sub-surface drainage be laid?
  • Design and selection of sub-surface drainage
  • Combined surface and sub-surface drainage

Surface Water Collection

  • Types and uses of surface drainage
  • DMRB CD526 spacing of road gullies

Designing a surface water drainage network (vertical and horizontal)

  • Parameters that influence a drainage layout
  • Laying out a new drainage system
  • Hydraulic pipe design
  • HR Wallingford Modified Rational Method

Designing a surface water drainage network (structurally)

  • Pipe material selection
  • Structural Design Calculations for a Single Concrete Pipe in a Narrow Trench

Pipe testing

Inspection and maintenance regimes for piped networks

Mode of Delivery:

  • General introduction followed by assessment of needs and capabilities of delegates
  • Presentation by tutor using PowerPoint, with illustrations, photographs etc.
  • Group and individual exercises
  • Course review and summary

Intended For:

Construction professionals that wish to improve their understanding of piped highway drainage systems.

Pre-Course Requirements:

  • Mathematical bias (GCSE / A level)
  • Scientific calculator
All our courses can be offered as in-house training