Table Drain

A table drain is a v, trapezoidal or parabolic shaped surface drain located immediately adjacent to the edge of a road.

The side slope of a table drain should be 6 to 1 where possible, but can be as steep as 4 to 1.


The function of a table drain is to collect water that has fallen on the carriageway or the batters of a cutting and flowed to the edge of the formation. Table drains are essential wherever the road is in cutting and often desirable along the shoulders of embankments. Table drains require frequent maintenance, such as grading of unlined drains to remove silt and other debris that may easily block the flow, and to restore the original shape. Scours in table drains need prompt attention to prevent serious damage that may lead to undermining of the drain lining, the carriageway, or the cutting batters.

Data Standard for Road Management and Investment in Australia and New Zealand

Section 8.3.26 of the Austroads Data Standard for Road Management and Investment in Australia and New Zealand V2 defines a 'table drain' as a longitudinal drain, parallel to the road, which conveys surface water run-off from the road to outlet drains. It is an unsurfaced alternative to a kerb and
channel system typically used in a residential street.

Related Pages


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External Links & References

  1. Google Search
  2. WA Main Roads - Geometric Design of Roadways
  3. USQ Transport Engineering Course Notes
  4. City of Brisbane Table Drain Erosion Control Measures
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