Having a functional and efficient drain system in place at breweries is not only important for getting rid of excess water, but for keeping your warehouse and work area safe for employees. If water pools on the floor or drains too slowly, it will cause a higher risk of worker injuries.

A good drain system will also help you decrease wastewater, saving you money on monthly water costs and improving efficiency. With breweries wasting anywhere from 3 to 10 gallons of water per keg of beer, many are putting a focus on increasing efficiency and lowering their wastewater.

The Importance of Trench Drain Systems in Breweries


#1. The Lower Wastewater Production

Trench drains are installed to catch excess water during the brewing process. Upon installation, breweries determine where to send the wastewater and what to do with it. An improved drainage system can not only reduce wastewater and encourage your brewery to recycle it, but it can also help the environment.

More people are more concerned about sustainable practices and work toward environmentally friendly businesses. Having an excellent drainage system can set you apart as an environmentally conscious brewer.

#2. They Prevent Slips and Falls

Wet floors are a safety hazard. As breweries use a lot of water and produce a lot of liquid waste, it’s important that there’s a safe way to remove excess water from the work area without hindering machinery and workers. Sloped floors and pot drain may be one solution, but when the floor is slippery, a sloped floor can actually increase fall risks.

Trench drains do not need sloped floors to operate. They’re installed on the floor and work well even if the floor itself is flat. Many trenches drain come pre-sloped so that the channel is able to funnel water into the catch basin or water filter without increasing the risk of injuries or endangering workers.

#3. They Prevent Bacteria Growth

Bacteria love to grow in stagnant, wet areas. If your drainage system isn’t sealed and there are crevices where bacteria can hide, your brewery can quickly become a breeding ground for all sorts of foodborne pathogens. Trench drains, when installed correctly, have a smooth surface that won’t allow for bacteria to hide or grow.

Having a drainage system that quickly removes excess water from the area will ensure that there is never a stagnant water pool. As trench drains are often pre-sloped, they will always encourage water flow.

Where Should You Install Trench?

To make the most out of a drain system, install trench drains strategically. This will help remove excess water from high-risk areas as well as improve sanitation. Between fermenters, inside walk-in coolers, around storage areas, and in bottling and packing areas are some of the best places to install trench drains.

Any type of linear trench drain will work for these areas. As drainage systems are a requirement for brewers, trench drains make meeting regulations and lowering wastewater easy.

What Type of Trench Drains Are There?

There are two main types of trench drains breweries use: grated drains and slot drain. Both are trench drains but offer different benefits.

Grated Drains

Grated drains use a trench 6 to 12 inches deep and tilted towards a specific point within the factory, making it great for multi-floor sloping. They make them out of stainless steel and are easy to monitor for sludge or solids that may block water flow. 

Unfortunately, grated drains are high maintenance and should have a regular clean. While you can remove the grates for cleaning, doing so can be dangerous for workers. You can easily warp the grates if heavy machinery is routinely driven over the top of them.

Slot Drains

Slot drains can withstand a high amount of traffic from heavy machinery as they do not have grates that sit on top of them. Gravity is what directs water into these drains. Where high water volume is a concern, slot drains are a great solution as there is no added resistance like there is with grates.

What Type of Trench Drain is Better?

Depending on your warehouse practices, there may or may not be a “better” trench drain. Both drain types have their own advantages and may be beneficial in different situations, so it’s important to carefully analyze your brewery before you decide which type to choose.

In low-traffic areas where you don’t operate heavy machinery and workers won’t be passing back and forth, grate drains are a good solution. They’re relatively easy to install and can catch a lot of water. Underneath brewing equipment is a good location for grated drains.

In areas where you will be operating forklifts and other machines, as well as high foot traffic areas, slotted drains are often a safer solution. They’ll withstand the weight of forklifts and won’t be a risk to workers walking back and forth.

Whatever type of drain you install, make sure that your drainage system is large enough for your brewery. If the system is too small, then it won’t be able to drain flooded areas and may get backed up. On the flip side, however, you don’t want to install a drainage system that is too large as you’ll end up spending more money than you need to.

Final Notes

Trench drains are the most efficient way for breweries to reduce wastewater and the risk of slipping or falling. As a good drainage system will quickly and efficiently remove excess water and prevent puddling, you’ll lower safety risks and workers will be able to move about the brewery more confidently. 

To get the most out of your trench drain installation, be sure to work with trusted and experienced professionals. When installed incorrectly, trench drains can lead to bacteria growth and safety hazards. Therefore, it’s important that you work with a company that can guarantee a professional install on the first try.


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About the Author: Ashley Edwards