When installing manholes, vaults, and other buried infrastructure, it’s usually as part of a larger project. Whether it’s a new apartment complex, shopping center, or roadway, catch basins or wet wells are installed to handle excess stormwater runoff. This keeps parking lots, roads, and other areas free of hazardous standing water.

In more rural areas where roads have been in place for decades, runoff systems may need to be retro-fitted in place as soil erosion takes place. In larger cities and towns, curbs are in place to help guide the water to a storm drain. In smaller communities, curbs give way to natural waterways along roads.

That’s just a fancy way of saying ditches. As these pastoral settings give way to development, sometimes it’s necessary to interrupt these ditches with roads or driveways. A catch basin with a ditch inlet was made just for this purpose. With a ditch inlet at either side, a pipe can be installed under the new roadway, allowing the water to proceed down the line.

The ditch inlet is placed on top of a catch basin, in this case, a 3’6” by 3’4” piece that’s 3’9” tall. This allows for concrete pipes to be easily affixed and provide maximum strength. For industrial situations, this strength can’t be overlooked as hundreds of tons of equipment or materials could travel overhead.

Advantages of Precast Concrete

That strength comes from more than 150 years of engineering experience at Columbia Precast Products. From our facility, we’re able to monitor production every step of the way. The mixing process, casting, and eventual strengthening are all done in a controlled environment.

Spot-checking batches ensure every product we make meets Oregon and Washington State Department of Transportation standards – and beyond. Columbia Precast buried infrastructure products are designed to last up to a century. This applies to both standard pieces such as catch basins with ditch inlets as well as panel vaults for hard to complete excavations.

What matters most to general contractors is keeping the project on schedule – missing deadlines can be costly. With precast concrete, manholes and utility vaults are ready when you are. As soon as the excavation is complete, and proper bedding installed, precast concrete can be placed.

Backfill is performed as soon as the pieces are in place. On bigger jobs, this step can take a few days, but it is still more efficient than the days or weeks if pour-in-place concrete is used. Concrete will also last much longer than other materials, such as plastic or steel. Not only is precast concrete quick to install, but less service, repair, and maintenance are needed to maintain durability.

If you need to retrofit stormwater systems for new development – or any other project that requires buried infrastructure, contact Columbia Precast Products. Our turnaround times are fast, we manufacture both standard and custom pieces, and we’ll deliver the products to your site when you need them.

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