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Water Management

Document imprimable.pdf
Make a careful observation of the general drainage patterns at the site. Note the amount of area above the wall which will shed surface runoff toward the wall. Note the type of surface (i.e., paved surfaces, sodded areas, etc.) to determine the water flow and volume. Note any concentrated sources of water flow such as runoff from parking lots, roof drains and scuppers, drainage swales, creek beds, ground water, etc.


Develop a grading plan that routes water around the walls as much as the site will allow. Provide swales above and below the wall as required to accommodate water movement. Divert sources of concentrated water flow from the wall. Retaining wall designs must prevent the pooling of water above or below the wall.



Proper drainage planning considers water flow and volume above, below, and behind the retaining wall.
  • Most Allan Block gravity walls (lower unreinforced walls) will drain adequately on their own.
  • If a large area sheds water to the wall (i.e., parking lot), added drainage will be necessary.
  • Concentrated sources of water must be planned for and managed.
  • Reinforced walls will need added drainage for the backfill zone and the wall base.
  • Major wall structures, roadway and municipal projects, and walls built in extreme rainfall or wet environments will need a thorough hydrology analysis prior to construction.

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