Pavements Subsurface Drainage

Carlos Yukio Suzuki , Angela Martins Azevedo , Felipe Issa Kabbach Júnior

Pavements subsurface drainage explains the deterioration of the pavement caused by the excess of water that infiltrates the structure, presenting the benefits of subsurface drainage.

By means of practical examples, in more than 35 years of professional practice and integrated to solid theoretical foundation, the authors present the hydraulic conception and dimensioning of the subsurface drainage systems and the form of preventing water infiltration. It covers permeable pavements and urban areas, such as paved courts and parking lots. Rarely studied, it is highlighted the railway drainage, focus of chapter 7.

It is intended for engineering students and is an important professional reference in project, construction and maintenance of road infrastructure.

Original title
Drenagem subsuperficial de pavimentos
Year of publication

About the authors

Carlos Yukio Suzuki

Carlos Yukio Suzuki is a civil engineer. He graduated from Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo (Poli-USP), where he also completed his Master and PhD’s degree. He is also a professor at the same university, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on paving, drainage and topography.
He has been a consultant in the engineering field for more than 35 years, and also works as a managing partner at Planservi Engenharia Ltda. He concentrates most of his activities in projects related to transports.

Author's CV.

Angela Martins Azevedo

Angela Martins Azevedo is a civil engineer graduated from Poli/USP. She has a master’s degree from the same institution, in Transportation Engineering.
She is a project coordinator at Planservi Engenharia Ltda and a professor at Universidade Paulista (Unip), teaching courses related to highway and airport projects and soil mechanics.
She has experience in the field of Transportation Engineering, focused on projects and construction of highways.

Author's CV.

1.Water and pavement

1.1 Origin of the water in the pavements

1.2 Adverse effects on the presence of water in the pavements


2. Control of the water and the elements of the system

2.1 Criteria of control of the water in the pavements

2.2 Conception of the subsurface drainage system


3. Elements of hydraulic dimensioning

3.1 Geometric features of the way

3.2 Materials hydrogeotechnical features

3.3 Project infiltration

3.4 Comparative analysis between different procedures to estimate the infiltration of rainwater in the pavement


4. Drainage and separate layers

4.1 Drainage layers

4.2 Separate layers


5. Drains

5.1 Longitudinal trench drains

5.2 Flat transverse drains

5.3 Base lateral drains


6. Permeable pavements

6.1 Brief history

6.2 Types of permeable pavements

6.3 Advantages and disadvantages

6.4 Project and dimensioning criteria

6.5 Draining asphaltic coating


7. Railway drainage

7.1 Water sources

7.2 Problems of inadequate drainage

7.3 Project recommendations

7.4 Aspects related to the cleaning of the ballast


8. Calculation of the subsurface drainage system dimensioning – examples

8.1 Cedergren method

8.2 Moulton method




Appendix – Unity conversion table