Highways Drainage Management of surface water for all highways and trunk roads

Effective management of surface water for all highways and trunk roads is essential for safe use by both vehicles and pedestrians. As a major supplier to highway schemes across the UK for many years, ACO understands these demanding operational challenges and the importance of delivering high-performance surface water management systems.

ACO provides a comprehensive range of highways-specific drainage solutions that support essential road drainage infrastructure in highways, trunk roads, urban roads, footpaths and highways conservation. With design support and Civil 3D BIM files as well as SuDS solutions, ACO assists the infrastructure industry in making, mapping and maintaining the network.

Highways drainage solutions

Motorways and major A roads

ACO has a number of high-capacity drainage solutions to ensure road surfaces remain as free from standing water as possible on these key strategic roads and trunk roads. H Range and RoadDrain are monocast products that have been developed specifically for the highways sector with F 900 load class for dealing with heavy-goods traffic.

For highways infrastructure projects where BIM (Building Information Modelling) Digital Design is used, ACO has produced Revit & Civil 3D models of the range to support the most advanced working methods in creating and mapping the network.

On smart motorways we see ACO KerbDrain being used for ERA’s (Emergency Refuge areas), Narrow access zones (under bridges and underpasses), as well as at maintenance crossovers.

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Local highways / urban roads

An ideal solution for these roads is ACO KerbDrain, a combined drainage and kerb product that is available in both half battered and splayed options, depending on location of application. Any polluted water runoff can be managed by the ACO QuadraCeptor, which is an effective cleaning solution that removes heavy particles, silt, and dissolved materials, such as heavy metals.

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Cycle routes

Pot holes caused by standing water, and point drainage are best avoided when developing a cycle way, as both aren’t ideal for thinner tires. However if creating a truly segregated lane then some way of moving the water away is still required. ACOs KerbDrain can help take the surface water away, while leaving as much of the cycle lane for riding as possible. ACO’s proprietary Vienite® material uses recycled content, ideal for this green transport solution.


One of the ways pedestrian safety is considered in ACO drainage for road network footpaths is by offering Heelguard™ gratings, the 10mm slot widths are a more ‘heel-friendly’ option for footpaths. These are fitted to drainage channels such as ACO Multiline Sealin and MultiDrain MD or MultiDrain PPD.

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In the Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey, ACO KerbDrain has been installed on each 1.8km twin-bore tunnel carriageway. The fact that it carries the BSI Kitemark gave the design engineers absolute assurance that KerbDrain met the latest Highways Agency requirements.

Other solutions include ACO Deckline, where the product’s shallow invert channel drainage system make it ideally suited for use in structural slabs or where excavation depth is limited.

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Highways and conservation

ACO has been involved in the integration of highways and conservation, along with green corridors for many years and has a number of specific solutions to help animals coexist alongside the road network. Seasonal migration in particular, between land habitats and vital spawning grounds, offers dangers when road networks cross these routes.

The ACO guide wall and climate tunnels help guide and protect small animals around and under roads and ACO also has refuges and nest boxes to support environmental considerations as a part of new road projects.

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Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS)

ACO have developed their own unique model to reflect adoption of SuDS thinking – Collect, Clean, Hold and Release – which embraces the entire surface water management cycle, from the point where rain lands right through to where it re-enters the natural water environment.

Read more on SuDS

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Featured downloads

KerbDrain Brochure

Find out more about ACO's combined kerb and drainage system

Transport solutions

Concise case studies on drainage within transport hubs in urban environments

Highways professional development

ACO have developed Highways specific CPD content to keep those involved in the sector up to date with the latest surface water management trends. 

Accredited by the CPD Standards Office, the Highways CPD session can be delivered both in-house and as a webinar. The focus of the content is on compliance with Highways England drainage requirements and solutions, which overcome problems encountered in urban and rural highway schemes. 

Managing surface water

ACO products can be found across the UK and Ireland on strategic and local highways, from motorways, major A roads and access roads, to smart motorways and strategic crossings. As well as in villages, towns and city centres. Whatever your project we have a water management solution to facilitate “collect, clean, hold and release” of surface water.

ACO tips

Choosing a channel - overview of drainage selection for Civils + Infrastructure

Exploring different types of drainage systems in Civils + Infrastructure, how they can be selected appropriately, and the importance of training on specifying the correct products.

How we can assist you

The ACO Design Services Team is able to work closely with you through the entire airport drainage project requirements. We also offer design surface software for you to make your own calculations, as well as BIM product files to support the latest efficient project delivery methods.

Highways Drainage product search