ADA Compliant Trench Drain

ada compliant trench drain drawing

The term ADA compliant trench drain is utilized quite often but few fully understand this term or really know what it means.

​ADA is an acronym for “Americans with Disabilities Act”.  This is a government agency that protects the civil rights of people with disabilities.  The agency writes policies and regulations to ensure that people with disabilities have access to businesses and services just like any other person.  The ADA has made some requirements that apply to trench drains.

​There are two issues that must be considered when designing a trench drain in a public space that must be ADA compliant.  The first is the grate opening size and orientation.  The second is the slope of the area around the trench drain.

According to the ADA a trench drain grate cannot limit access of a wheelchair into a facility.  The ADA has specified that in order for a trench drain grate to be ADA compliant it cannot have openings greater than 1/2″ perpendicular to the predominant direction of travel.  The 1/2″ spacing is to keep wheelchair wheels from getting trapped in the trench drain grate.  The orientation allows larger slot openings so that the designer can still achieve the required trench grate inflow while still providing a surface that can be crossed by a wheelchair.  Visit our selection of trench drain grates and look for the wide variety of ADA compliant trench drain grates.

​The pavement our ground around an ADA compliant trench drain grate shall not have a slope of greater than 1:48.  This is approximately a 2% slope.  In other words, do not slope the concrete around a drain greater than 1/4″ per foot.  We recommend a 3/16″ slope per foot to ensure that even with poor construction and finishing practices the area will likely be ADA compliant.

​Attached here is the 2010 code compliance manual for ADA compliance and contained within are the requirements for trench drain grating and ADA compliance for slope as it regards to trench drain applications.  As always, our engineers are here for any questions you may have with regards to ADA trench drain compliance.

ada compliant grate opening for pedestrian traffic