ACO Construction & Building Products

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Custom Trench Drains

ACO Construction & Building Products

Custom Trench Drain Introduction and Overview Catalog

Custom Sizes

Special Materials

Double Containment


2 2 Installa tion anchor s Visual access port Primar y trench Secondar y trench

ACO recognizes that in some applications an off-the-shelf product will not solve the user’s drainage problem. For these situations, ACO has a separate division - Aquaduct. Aquaduct solves drainage problems on a project-by-project basis using FRP (fiber reinforced plastic), stainless steel and other materials.

The ACO Group

Founded in 1946, the ACO Group is the world leader and pioneer of modular trench drain systems. ACO drainage systems are used in a variety of applications from domestic environments to airports, and have been used at many prestigious locations.

ACO USA was founded in 1978 and is America’s foremost manufacturer of trench drainage products.

Aquaduct -

Custom Drainage Solutions

Aquaduct engineers are involved from the outset providing industry knowledge and experience, designing a solution that meets specific site requirements within the project budget.

Aquaduct also provides on-site technical service to advise on installation of these custom products.

Aquaduct solutions are used extensively by industries such as: chemical manufacturers, food processing plants, auto manufacturers, shipyards and airports.

Sales support for Aquaduct custom drainage systems is available from ACO Polymer Products’ area sales managers.


3 3 Installa tion anchor Annular space for leak s Visual access port Primar y trench Secondar y trench

Aquaduct offers a custom design and manufacturing service that provides a quality drainage solution for applications where a standard ACO Drain product is not appropriate.

Common requirements for a custom trench system include:


Custom sizing

Page 4

Aquaduct will design and manufacture trenches to virtually any width, depth, slope or shape. The invert slope can be varied to account for an uneven finished grade, or other site-specific requirements. Custom catch basins with inlet/outlet pipe connections are also available.


Special materials

Page 6

Aquaduct will manufacture the trench system from different materials, depending on the liquid medium being handled. Aquaduct works with many different resins, as well as various grades of stainless steel and other metals dependent upon site requirements. Aquaduct will provide suitable gratings in appropriate material for the application requirements.


Double containment

Page 8

Aquaduct will design and manufacture custom double contained surface drainage systems for areas with high sensitivity to ground contamination. Environmental problems can create substantial cost implications for any industry. Double contained trenches provide an extra measure of security required by many industries conscious of EPA regulations.


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Hydraulic capacity

When draining large, impervious paved areas, the hydraulic requirements of a trench system can go beyond the capacity of standard ‘off-the-shelf’ products. Aquaduct can vary many dimensional factors to meet the required hydraulic performance of a project.

Factors that can affect hydraulic performance include:

Slope - the % of built-in slope to the trench unit can be altered to create a short and steep run, or a long run with a small grade. Slope can also be altered along the run.

Length of continuous slope - Aquaduct can produce as long a continuously sloping run as required.

Width of channel - wider channels usually offer greater hydraulic capacity, but wide grates can add significantly to project costs - particularly if heavy loadings are involved.

Depth of channel - the depth of the channel allows more liquid to flow before flooding and is often a more economical solution as narrower, industry standard grates can be used.

Custom sized trenches

On occasion ‘off-the-shelf’ products do not meet the design requirements of a project. The common response is to try to adapt a standard product to suit, or ignore certain project requirements.

The Aquaduct solution removes the need for compromise. To enable budgetary as well as design requirements to be met, Aquaduct utilizes over fifteen years experience in the design, manufacture and installation of trench drainage systems. Common design requirements that necessitate the use of a custom solution include: • Hydraulic capacityDesign layout Custom profiles - depth - width - length - shapeInstallation restrictions

Design layout

In many industrial applications, machinery is discharging liquids that need to be removed. Complex layouts may be necessary to fit around equipment, accept unusual inlet or outlet pipes, and deal with changes in floor elevation.

Where possible, all Aquaduct parts are shipped assembled with angles and junctions manufactured in the factory. This saves valuable time assembling and producing complex fabrications on site. Finish is also of a higher, consistent quality.

Trench layout designed for fit around machinery

Custom inlet/outlet pipes

Changes in floor elevation without discontinuing the trench


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Custom profiles

Custom profiles are available to meet unusual project requirements. Regardless how strange the circumstances, Aquaduct can custom design a system to meet specific needs.

Site-specific requirements - when a project has unusual floor levels, or the trench system has to work around already existing structures or utilities, Aquaduct can produce a site-specific solution to overcome these obstacles and produce a trench drain with the correct performance criteria.

Installation restrictions

A large proportion of construction projects are refurbishment or retrofit work. In these instances, if the facility is still operating, there is a vital requirement to minimize downtime required for the installation of a new trench drain system.

A custom engineered trench system will help reduce this downtime, and Aquaduct can manufacture units up to 20 feet in length. By reducing the number of pieces to be placed, and joints to be sealed, an Aquaduct system can reduce downtime considerably. This reduces the costly expense of idle machinery.

Modular systems have no forms to strip and concrete trench walls to finish or coat, thus reducing installation time further and adding to the cost savings.


Wide-body deicing facility

Pittsburgh Airport

Existing post tension rods run through the trench in protective sleeves

Due to large volume of liquids at

the Pittsburgh Airport deicing

facility, the hydraulic performance

of the trench system was critical.

In order to meet the hydraulic

requirements, a high capacity

trench and grate were needed

with a continuous slope up to

350ft. In addition to the hydraulic

requirements, the grate also needed

to be aircraft rated and bolted.

A custom solution from Aquaduct

proved to be ideal. The 12” wide

trench was installed in a single

pour; sections were supplied in 20ft

lengths to match expansion joints.

Wide trench opening with narrow base for optimum catchment

20 foot Aquaduct units being installed

Uneven floor grade from previous installation of area drains

Aquaduct trench compensates for floor grade and provides a continuous invert slope


Significant installation

cost and time savings


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Special materials

Chemical resistance

FRP is produced from glass fibers bonded together using resins and hardeners. The most commonly varied component is resin; however, in special situations, carbon fiber may be used in lieu of glass for the veil (a thin layer of material used to form a resin rich, corrosion resistant surface on the inside of the trench drain) and reinforcing layers. This substitution also produces a conductive form of FRP that will dissipate static electricity, which is especially useful when dealing with potentially explosive environments. Carbon fiber veil and reinforcing can be incorporated to handle special situations.

The grate, locking devices and frame should also be resistant to any chemicals present. Aquaduct offers a variety of metals, or composite grates and rails to suit.

When specifying a trench for a chemically aggressive environment, it is important to consider the following:

Type(s) & mixture of chemical(s)Concentration percentagesContact time with trench systemTemperatures of chemicals flowing in

the trench drain

Flushing system employed to clear chemicals from the system

Cleaning agents used on surrounding floors should also be compatible with trench materials

Test coupons are offered for final determination of chemical resistanceGrates, locking devices, frame and

trash bucket materials should also be checked for chemical resistanceCheck sealants for compatibility

Where certain chemicals are used, a stainless steel trench body may be necessary, as resin based trench bodies cannot handle some aggressive environments.

When dealing with aggressive chemicals and unusual fluids, isophthalic polyester and standard vinyl ester resins are not always the ideal material for the trench drain system.

Aquaduct custom manufactures every order and can, therefore, easily tailor the resins, and even the glass reinforcement, to suit a particular requirement.

There are many different resins and additives available that can be used to increase the durability of the trench system.

Common requirements that necessitate the use of custom resins, additives and reinforcements include: • Chemical resistanceHeat resistanceAbrasion resistanceFire retardanceUV resistance

Temperature resistance

Temperature is a commonly neglected issue when specifying a trench system. Liquids at extremely high temperatures can alter trench material and grate properties, leading to failure.

Aquaduct offers a number of resins that provide a much higher temperature resistance than those typically used for dirty water trench drain applications. In extreme cases, a stainless steel trench body may be necessary.

Temperature issues include:

Ambient temperature of the installation - both hot and coldTemperature of liquids discharged

into trench drain - and durationOther temperature considerations

such as steam cleaning

Many food processing facilities have boiling liquids discharging into the trench


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Abrasion resistance

Certain industrial processes create wash down or slurry that has particles, such as glass or metal, suspended within it. Constant abrasion from such particles may, over time, wear through the trench drain body. Aquaduct can incorporate a special gelcoat onto the surface of the FRP that significantly increases abrasion resistance of the drainage system.

Standard FRP trench drain systems such as ACO Drain FlowDrain offer a Barcol hardness of 30-40, while the addition of this special gelcoat increases that to about 55.

Fire retardance

Some applications and regulatory bodies require all building materials to be fire retardant, such that if a fire occurs they should not act as fuel and increase or prolong the fire.

Aquaduct can include a special additive into the resin during the manufacture of the FRP trench that will give the product an ‘NFPA Class 1 Flame Retardant’ rating. This is of particular importance around aircraft fueling ramps, petrochemical plants and anywhere else large volumes of flammable liquids may be present.


Bush Brothers & Company

Dandridge, TN

The new Bush Brothers &

Company plant required chemically

resistant trench drains. Hygiene

regulations imposed on food

processing plants required floors

to be washed down regularly, and

the washing agents needed to be

drained. To comply with these

requirements, Aquaduct custom

manufactured over 2,000 feet

of 8” wide trench drains with a

chemically resistant vinyl ester

body and stainless steel frames.

With much of the project needing

strong grates to carry forklift traffic

(Class E), custom stainless steel

bar grates were required. Class C,

medium duty grates were used for

areas of pedestrian traffic.


Hygiene requirements

necessitate frequent wash

down with cleaning agents


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Double containment trench drains

Increasing governmental regulations, insurance providers and industry developments (LEED) are demanding tighter pollution controls in the area of groundwater quality. In areas of environmental concern and/or when handling particularly hazardous chemicals, a fail-safe double containment drainage system may be necessary.

While there are several double contained pipe systems and small catch basins available, these do not offer the collection and catchment performance benefits of using a trench drain.

Aquaduct’s double containment trench system is two FRP trench drains, assembled one inside the other with an annular space between where any leaks will collect.

Aquaduct will produce double containment trenches in sections up to 40 feet, as joints are easier to seal in the factory. However, field joints are almost always required and Aquaduct’s field service technician will be available on site to seal these joints to guarantee a fail-safe system.

The entire trench system is water tested prior to concrete being poured to ensure joints for both primary and secondary trenches are sound.

Once the trench is in use, should the primary trench fail or leak, a full repair is usually possible because the entire trench is accessible from ground level.

Secondary trench - fits around the primary trench and acts as a backup to contain liquids should the primary trench fail.

Primary trench - acts as the main trench drain to collect and transfer spills.

Aquaduct offers a double contained trench system with several leak detection options:

Leak detection ports - allows visual detection, positioned at various low points around the system.

Sensors can be installed within the secondary trench to identify and pinpoint any leaks. Removal of inspection covers provides visability

into the secondary trench to check for any leaks.

Leak sensors - the trench can be adapted to incorporate an electronic sensor system.


9 9


DuPont Chemical Plant

Rochester, NY

In response to increasing

governmental regulations

concerning groundwater pollution,

DuPont established worldwide

design regulations for their

facilities handling certain chemicals.

These facilities utilize double

containment drainage systems.

Aquaduct designed and

manufactured a system with a

primary FRP trench that would

drain surface runoff, encased

in a secondary FRP trench that

would act as a backup should the

primary trench fail. This system

would prevent harmful chemicals

leaking into and contaminating

the surrounding ground. DuPont

installed leak sensor cables that

would identify the occurrence and

location of any penetration of liquid

into the secondary channel.

The trench system runs all the way around the chemical vats to contain any spills or leaks Leak detection port - allows periodic visual

inspection into secondary trench.

‘Visual’ access unit - solid, sealed cover that can be removed to inspect for leaks in primary trench.

All channels and outlets are double contained and joints are guaranteed not to leak.

Leak detection ports are positioned at strategic points throughout the system to aid the location of any leakage.

Aquaduct’s field technician is available on-site to assist in installation and to fabricate any field joints to ensure the integrity of the system.

To create a double contained trench drain Aquaduct requires:

Chemicals present - see page 6Dimensional requirementsHydraulic (flow) requirement of


Loadings - see www.acousa.comType of sensor equipment (visual or


Other project specific factors


Engineering requirement

was for high integrity,

sealed joints and minimal



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The Aquaduct service

Design phase

When involved from the initial design phase, Aquaduct’s engineers can work with you to design a custom trench drain system that meets your exact requirements, and advise on implications for other design issues.

Manufacturing process

The process of combining glass fibers, resins and hardeners can be achieved through a number of techniques: filament winding, hand lay-up, spray-up, pultrusion or closed molding. The technology used depends upon the size and type of product to be produced and the anticipated usage. The Aquaduct division has over 20 years

experience in the design and manufacture of FRP trench drain systems. Aquaduct provides a total solution from design to product, and from manufacturing process through installation.

With any custom designed product, the optimum result comes from both parties understanding the needs and limitations of each other.

Aquaduct has in-house engineers and ACMA Certified Composites Technicians who work with clients at all phases in the construction process to provide a product that meets project requirements.

If involved early enough, Aquaduct can offer a number of options that may give significant cost and/or time savings. Our in-house engineers have extensive experience in the design and manufacture of custom trench drains. They can advise on the various resins and additives available and commonly faced installation issues. This dialogue of ideas generates the ideal solution.


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Any product will fail, or provide a short service life, if installed incorrectly. To reduce installation time and complexity, Aquaduct delivers products assembled and in as few pieces as possible. All projects are delivered with parts clearly identified and marked on a layout print. For projects that are complex or unusual in nature, Aquaduct has a CCT certified field service technician who is available to go to site to help ensure a good installation.

Pre-delivery product advice is available to ensure that the correct excavation and other details are carried out, which speeds installation once products arrive.

This on-site service provides hands-on guidance and training to ensure the contractor is capable of:

Correct assembly, layout, bracing and alignment of product - this ensures trench system is correctly positioned and setup prior to pouring concrete.

Concrete placement - this ensures correct amount of concrete surrounds the trench drain, and that concrete is poured in a manner that does not disturb the setup and alignment.

On-site fabrications - should on-site fabrications or changes be required, training can be provided to ensure these are done in the correct manner.


Aquaduct’s involvement doesn’t end once the product is installed. Support is available to answer future questions, and advise on maintenance issues. In the unlikely event that a problem arises, a certified field technician will visit the site to address any issues.


The Boeing Company

San Antonio, TX

The Boeing Company was opening

a new facility in an old aircraft

hanger in San Antonio, TX and

during the refit of the hanger,

planned to install a custom trench

drainage system from Aquaduct.

Engineers specified where the

drainage was required on the site

drawings and the system was

fabricated and sent to site.

While saw-cutting the concrete

floor the contractor discovered two

2” diameter post tension

rods running through the floor,

perpendicular to where the drainage

was to be installed. As the rods

could not be removed, an Aquaduct

field service technician went to site

to evaluate the situation.

After determining that the rods

were not in the main flow area of

the trench drain, it was decided

that two 4” pipe sleeves could run

through the trench drain which

would allow the tension rods to

be reconnected without having to

redesign the drainage system.


On-site customization of

the trench drain prevented

construction delays and

additional expenses


© February 2011 ACO Polymer Products, Inc.

All reasonable care has been taken in compiling the information in this document. All recommendations and suggestions on the use of ACO products are made without guarantee since the conditions of use are beyond the control of the Company. It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that each product is fit for its intended purpose

ACO Polymer Products, Inc. East Sales Office

P.O. Box 245 Chardon, OH 44024 Tel: (440) 285-7000 Toll free: (800) 543-4764 Fax: (440) 285-7005

Aquaduct Support Office

Tel: (800) 662-2377 Fax: (704) 568-4387 Email:

West Sales Office

PO Box 12067 Casa Grande, AZ 85130 Tel: (520) 421-9988 Toll Free: (888) 490-9552 Fax: (520) 421-9899

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