Best Trench Drains Ranked






The Best Trench Drains on the market for 2020.


So you need a trench drain system but not sure where to start? We've reviewed all the major professional install and DIY trench drain options to help you determine which is the best.


Whether it’s for residential or commercial purposes, selecting the best trench drain system can be a daunting task.  The availability of numerous brands in the market can make it challenging to choose the best trench drain system for your residential or commercial application. To help you choose the best trench drain for your job we go over the top trench drain systems offered.

There are a lot of systems out there, so to make it easy for you, our team has done the research across all of the top trench drain system brands  and has compared everything from their features, pricing, ease of use, durability, brand reputation and much more to determine which systems represent the best value.

The top manufacturers today are Zurn, NDS, ACO, Polycast and Swftidrain. Of these five, Zurn NDS and Swiftdrain make the top 3 list for the most functional, cost effective general use/ all purpose trench drains. The criteria we looked at are:


  • Cost to Value
  • Longevity
  • Ease of Installation
  • Quality
  • Functionality



Trench drains come in all standards, sizes and materials so looking and comparing at costs can be confusing. Comparing a stainless steel dura slope trench drain to something cheap at Home Depot or Lowes doesn’t make for a proper comparison. 


Cost to Value provided

Longevity - One of the most important aspects when installing and choosing a new trench drain is longevity. You don’t want to merely install the trench drain and have to re address drainage issues, warped grates or shifty channels in a 3 years. Proper installation is vital in the successful installation of any drainage system, yet it always starts with the product. Some drains have added features and functionalities which increase their success rate over time.

Ease of installation is critical when choosing the right drain. Sure, you can save some money on an inferior product in the beginning, yet if it takes more time, labor and building materials to successfully install than the trade off doesn’t make sense. Drains come with different features which make installation cheaper and easier. Some trench drains have anchors for rebar which prevent the drains from floating during installation.

Quality products last over time. Cheaper polymers just don’t last as long as their HDPE, cast iron and concrete counterparts. Additionally, the water drained may enter our waterways so we want to choose materials that don’t leach into the drainage systems.

These criteria points are crucial when selecting the right trench drain. Proper drainage can be a costly undertaking, nevertheless what you spend now, you will save tenfold over time. Ideally, trench drains are something you want to install once and forget about. Trench drain materials such as ductile iron, high density polyethylene and stainless steel last longer than cheaper materials. What you spend now on higher grade materials you will save in the long run with replacement costs.



Swiftdrain Sierra 600

The Swiftdrain Sierra 600 is a versatile, cost effective and offers a high degree of customization. The channel body is made of HDPE (high density polyethylene) which makes it lightweight, easy to install and highly chemical and load resistant. The channels won’t warp from harsh chemicals or crack from freeze and thaw cycles. Swiftdrain’s channel formulation yields functional strength while still being easy to handle. Each channel has a slip joint which makes it easier to connect, join and extend runs. The Swiftdrain 600 has over 20 channel height variations which make it easy to achieve varying slope configurations. There are over 15 grate options available in poly, cast iron, ductile iron, galvanized steel and stainless steel. Grate styles and slots can also be ADA. Non-conductive grates in fiberglass are also available. The system comes with construction covers which protect the channels and keep concrete and debris out of the drain. The HDPE channels are both U.V. resistant and chemically resistant. The channels have a 5” radiused bottom which allow for quick evacuation of low volume liquids. Each channel has the option for a bottom outlet or side outlet to standard schedule 40 pipe.

The swiftdrain 600 is highly customizable and can be sloped .5” – 2.0”. Accessories include optional inline catch basins, sediment strainers and debris buckets. The channels have inserts for rebar attachments. The channels are also articulated on the side of the body which forms a groove when the concrete is poured. This forms a blanket like fit which offers a high degree of adhesion and minimizes any chances of floating to virtually zero. Grates can easily be unscrewed for general maintenance and cleaning.

NDS Dura Slope

The dura slope is one of the most customizable hdpe trench drains on the market today. Its lightweight, durable and inert to most chemicals. The channel comes with a built in slope of .7% and has a modular design. The system comes with pre fabricated bottom outlet knockouts giving flexibility on whether one would like to side outlet or bottom outlet the drain. The channels are fastened with slip joints making it easier and faster than using couplers. The dura slope is highly cost effective with cast iron options starting as low as 55 dollars per linear foot. The system is highly customizable with over 16 different channel size variations, more than 10 grate options in polymer, cast iron, ductile iron, galvanized steel and stainless steel. The dura slope has anchors for rebar which will eliminate it from floating during installation.

Quick Stats

Interlocking tongue and groove joints for secure fastening without the need of numerous small size couplers
Ease of installation, two people can install this product decreasing labor costs
Less parts and lower installation cost than polymer concrete trench drains
Highly customizable with counter directional fall up to 194 ft., up to 266 ft. with neutrals added.
Blank grate inserts eliminate need for plywood and offer channel protection during installation
ADA, slotted, solid and decorative grate options
Chemically resistant and load resistant, up to Class D traffic rating

The Zurn Perma Trench is a great all purpose trench drain system. Its versatile, easy to install and has a wide range of features giving it an edge over other drains in its class.  The hdpe channel delivers great structural strength while still being lightweight and easy to move and manage. The channels wont crack under freeze and thaw cycles and are inert to harsh chemicals. Each channel is 80’ long reducing the amount of time joining and fastening channels into place. The channels come with rebar clips which make it easier for height adjustment. The leveling clips allow height adjustment every 20” for proper slope achievement. This system is easy to carry, align, set and level.

The radiused bottom speeds up low volume flow rates and reduces the chances for debris and sediments to accumulate. The slope configurations are highly customizable with options of .75% slope to neautral. HDPE is non porous and corrosion resistant diminishing chances for warping, leaks, cracks and buildup. The Z system is highly customizable offering grates in polymer, ductile iron, fiberglass and other materials to achieve any load rating specification.

Zurn Z886 Perma Trench Quick Stats:

Channel Length - 80" long

6.25" wide

4" radius bottom

Channel Material: HDPE

Weight- 2.5 lbs per channel

Ranked and Reviewed:

When it comes to selecting the right trench drain, everyone naturally wants quality and reliability, but good cost to value is an important factor too, especially because the cost of drainage can add up if not handled properly. But nowadays, efficient drainage is a lot more cost effective than it used to be. Also, most trench drain manufacturers have embraced the latest cost cutting technologies and are incorporating numerous features that weren’t available to the average consumer just 5 years ago. The introduction of high load polymers and HDPE’s have greatly reduced trench drain costs..

We’ve highlighted the trench drains with the best combination of quality and value in their respective classes.