Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Advantages of Japanese drain:

  • Aesthetically look better
  • Avoid mosquito breeding
  • No need to provide cover or grating
  • No need routine cleaning
  • No clogging except when heavy silting, can be avoided with closed turfing.
  • User will not falls into the drain.
  • Snakes and small animal usually enter your compound through your drain , as there is no through passage, therefore it is impossible to enter.

Japanese drain construction compared to conventional drain

Construction of Japanese drain is almost the same as the construction of conventional house drain except that it is deeper to accommodate the pipes and usually it has wings on one or both side to capture the rain water from the roof.


1 Concrete drain

2 Perforated Corrugated flexible black polypipe

3 Stone aggregates

4 Rounded pebbles

5 Exposed drain edge (pebble wash finish )

6 Width of drain can varies if you choose organic and meander shape

7 Building wall

8 Planting area

9 To be closed turf and graded to enable water to flow to the drain

HDPE Perforated corrugated flexible black pipe

Barrier to be provided at the meeting point with the main drain

At the end of the drain where it meets the main drain a barrier should be made to hold the aggregate and the pebble from being washed into the main drain. This barrier can be constructed using concrete or metal plate. If using metal plate, then big holes should be provided to slot the Perforated corrugated flexible black polypipe.Numerous small holes should also be provided to cater for sudden influx of water that will also flow through the aggregates and pebbles.


1 Concrete barrier to prevent aggregates and stone pebbles from being washed to the main drain

2 PVC pipes bigger than the perforated corrugated flexible pipes embedded into the concrete barrier

3 Half inch PVC pipes to allow water flowing through the aggregate and rounded pebbles to flow out to the main drain

4 Perforated corrugated flexible black polypipes

5 Concrete drain

6 Stone aggregates

7 Rounded pebbles

How to turn earth drain to Japanese drain

Earth drain can also be made into Japanese drain . As there are no drain hard surface , the earth drain surface should be lined with geo-textile, then the pipes, aggregate, and pebbles can be laid.

Geo-textile lined earth drain

PVC pipes can also be used

If your drain is mostly straight line and not many corners, then PVC pipes can also be used. PVC pipes should be drilled all round and the holes should be smaller in diameter than the stone aggregates. We had tried to use PVC pipes before but we do not really recommend it as it took too long to drill the small holes.

Pipe sizes

Pipe sizes depend on how much surface water and water from your roof or rainwater down pipe. It should be increased in size if more water from secondary drain flow into it the primary drain.



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  1. Good info. By far more better than the conventional type of drain.

  2. excellent article! i do the same in my japanese drystreams - but your explanation is so much better.

  3. Very informative blog!Thanks for sharing..I know what to do now for my garden.

  4. good info. Can I change the pebbles (on top) to carpet grass?

    1. Yes you can use carpet grass, but absorption and drainage rate will be slower

  5. do we need to put the plastic before inserting the plastic pipe? and should do some small holes around the pipes for easy water absorbtion?

    1. If your existing drain is of concrete drain, then you only need to insert perforated pipe or PVC pipes with holes or sliced using grinder. If your drain is earth drain then you need to lined it with geotextile.

  6. If I'm drilling the PVC pipes, how do I need to drill the PVCs.. Around it or just part of it?

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