Trench keeps workers safe under foot

A wet shop floor is not only inconvenient,
it’s an accident waiting to happen

FARGO, N.D. — A clean, dry shop floor makes for a safer and more efficient workplace. But getting liquids off the surface and pumped away isn’t always easy.

Norstar Industries has a possible solution with its U-drain floor drainage system. The Morris, Man., company has developed a pre-fab system of galvanized U-shaped troughs that are installed before a new concrete floor is poured. Concrete installers screed right to top of the galvanized trough.

The troughs are fabricated with the correct grade built into them, prompting an optimal flow of water as high as 950 gallons per minute toward a central sump pit.

Each 10-foot section has an integral slope of .05 percent or a half-inch drop over the 10 foot span, according to Norstar’s Paul Wark-entin.

“It’s engineered to channel all weight down into the concrete base. So you can park machinery or heavy objects right on the galvanized drain and the weight goes down into the concrete floor,” said Warkentin, adding that rebar welded to the trough ties into rebar in the floor.

Warkentin said the U-drain sections meet the HS-20 weight bearing criteria, meaning they can support a single tire load of 16,000 pounds.

The sump pit lid meets the F900 criteria, meaning that a nine-inch by nine-inch pad can maintain a load of 40,000 lb.


“The gap at the top is one inch wide. It comes with a paddle to push heavy debris down toward the sump or to retrieve anything you may accidentally drop into the slot.

“All the components are galvanized after the welding is complete. Or for businesses handling food products, we also build the system out of stainless steel.”

Although the pre-fab graded sections normally run out to 120 feet from the sump, Warkentin said they also make neutral-grade sections so they can go further than 120 feet.

They can also run the maximum distance in four directions out from the central sump. He said life expectancy of galvanized steel in a shop floor should be 80 to 100 years.

“About 90 percent of what we sell is commercial grade for farm shops. The price ranges from US$40 to US$50 per running foot.”