General Drainage

Every time it rained this playground would not be available for days. Even after relatively light rain, water would continue to seep down from adjacent playing fields and pool around playground equipment, making it inaccessible and breeding bugs.

To solve this issue, competitors would suggest a trench width of 300-450 mm and depth of 600 mm as a minimum. By comparison, Capiphon™ needs a trench only 100 mm wide. Depth will depend on the site and any proposed cultivation needed, but in a case like this can be relatively shallow. This means smaller machines can be used to dig a trench for Capiphon™, saving time and money on excavation.

Larger trenches also mean more spoil. Capiphon™ trenches can be backfilled with the spoil, leaving less waste (although if the spoil is heavy clay, sand is a preferred and more efficient option).


Retaining Walls

A lot of expense installing retaining walls comes from managing water drainage – most competitors will recommend 20cm of gravel the height and length of the wall to catch both surface water as well as underground water.

The gravel method is expensive and tedious in both materials and labour.

By contrast, lengths of Capiphon™ strip installed vertically downbehind the wall will trap and wick away any water moving towards the wall.Where significant volume of water is of concern, the strips can be inserted into drainage pipe at the base of the wall to ensure water is removed efficiently.

The capillary drainage ability is not impacted by the type of soil in the area of the wall, doing away with the most common reason for needing a gravel backfill, especially when reactive or expansive soils are present. The capillary action is so precise, the head pressure of water in the soil will cause the water to drain down the strip against the wall faster than it will react with the soil.



The construction of a new wing at a school presented the perfect opportunity to createa central lawn area – great in theory, but in practice the site was steep and built on hard unfractured rock.

In traditional landscaping methods, it would be necessary to excavate at least 300 mm of rock to apply suitable drainage for a healthy lawn – expensive and time consuming!

The architect found out about Capiphon™ strips from a landscaping consultant. He was able to allow for a much shallower excavation because the flat structure of the belt strips enable a well-drained and healthy lawn to be grown on a lower volume of topsoil.

For a garden that regularly floods or pools from rain, installing deep and wide trenches can be disruptive and destructive, needing heavy machinery and great expense to repair.


Golf courses drainage

Golf Courses represent the most precise and sensitive of landscaping conditions and drainage is an absolutely top priority. Flooded golf courses can cause serious disruption and loss of income if playing conditions are poor and only the keenest golfer will put up with the discomfort of soggy fairways, greens and bunkers.

Bunkers are the most susceptible to flooding or pooling water on a golf course. This golf course had bunkers that would remain filled with water for days after rain, causing a soggy and slippery approach from a less permeable layer of soil. Water draining through the bunker sand either from rain or irrigation would impact the approach and sometimes the green itself. This Golf Course chose to install Capiphon™ because of the minimal disruption. The Capiphon™ solution was installed at very low cost as most of the work could be done by hand or with small machines. After installation of Capiphon™ draining water no longer pools in the bunker or seeps through to the approach even in heavy rain.


Roof Top Gardens

Capiphon™ offers the best solutions on the market for situations where there is a shallow soil requirement, which is often the case with roof-top gardens with restrictions on load-bearing, structure and capacity.

Most traditional drainage systems require a significant depth of soil and rely heavily on gravity to work properly. Capiphon™ has a unique capillary action that actively siphons the water out of the soil even when it is quite shallow. Even better – the unique belt profile will never clog with roots or soil.

Capiphon™ drainage is equally suited to large installations. This case study shows Capiphon™ being used on a roof-top garden constructed over a car park. It is a large-scale project with depth of 1 metre to allow for tree roots as well as turf.Drainage has been in place for more than 5 years and is so effective that as well as healthy trees and lawn,there is no water leakage into the car park below (not even a sign of seepage through cracks that have visibly formed in the overall structure).


Road & pavement construction

Road repairs are expensive, noisy for residents and disruptive for commuters. Weaknesses in a road, especially in the sub-structure, can make a road surface dangerous and sometimes unusable over time.

Water causes erosion but also causes salt build up, which in turn exacerbates the impact of poor drainage. The location of the road is irrelevant –road failure can be caused by water issues more than through heavy usage.

Capiphon™ drainage can be used in new road construction, being installed on the basement sub grade. It can also be used to repair and stabilize roads. In this example, Capiphon™ drainage was used effectively for water and drainage on the runways and other paved surfaces of the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport.


Agricultural drainage

Poor soils don’t cope well with high rainfall –water retention can saturate the soil which damages plants and affects plant growth.

High clay content, low permeability, top-soils and sub-soils of low quality can all lead to soggy top-soil in cool growing seasons. Sub-soils may be dense and impermeable, such that the volume of water on the surface can’t move away without causing erosion or takes ages to evaporate, leaving minerals leached onto the surface of the soil. This is most common in the southern hemisphere in the colder months of July and August when there is slower evaporation.

When the ground is soggy, the aeration of the soil is lower, nitrogen is lost from the soil and the leaves of plants can yellow, restricting their healthy growth. Damage also occurs to the roots of the plants – water retention in the soil actually inhibits the roots’ ability to absorb nutrients and (ironically) water. These problems lie with the soil and can occur whether the ground is flat or on a slope.


Mitigating Tunnel Seepage

Tunnels have become a popular method of solving traffic and transport issues around the world. They are often constructed with a waterproof membrane to prevent water from seeping into the tunnel. But over the years it has become evident that these membranes will fail. As many tunnels are built in the rock bed below rivers, water has been, is and always will be a problem for tunnel construction and maintenance.

Capiphon™ drainage was invented by Robert (Hu Ming Chun) who is an expert in civil engineering and specializes in tunnel construction. This never-ending problem of seepage was in fact the reason he invented the Capiphon™ solution.

Ideally the Capiphon™ belt will be embedded during construction. Robert recommends that it go under the invert ring segment where it will form a blind trench. HoweverCapiphon™ can also be used to solve problems with existing tunnels. Drill holes can be used to insert Capiphon™ pipes. These will effectively drain the water that is seeping into the tunnel and maintain the integrity of the structure.

whether the ground is flat or on a slope.


Building Protection

Most large construction projects require excavation – often deep into the ground where water tables can cause problems with the build and continue to cause problems for many years to come with seepage into buildings and basements.

The Carrefour department store in Taipei used Capiphon™ belt to prevent seepage and flooding in the basement. It was laid on a bed of sand before the concrete was poured.

Capiphon™ drainage is highly effective in hillside homes. This house in Brisbane was built on the side of a steep hill. When it rains, water comes down the hill and also out of the rock surfaces surrounding the house. The owner wanted to build in under the house but was aware of the constant problems and expense his neighboursexperienced dealing (mostly ineffectively) with water issues. In this case, Capiphon™ provided the perfect solution, was relatively simple to install and ensures the water will be diverted away from the house and the new extension.


Railway Line Repair

Rail cars moving over problem drainage areas apply pressure to soil and structure that can pump water to the surface, causing pooling, rotting and stability issues.

The foundations of this railway system in Shandong, China were damaged from rainwater which consistently seeped into the sub-base. Traditional solutions requiring heavy machinery and schedule interruptions weren’t possible – the trains on this line could not be stopped or re-routed.

Capiphon™ pipes and belts were prepared in advance. In the intervals between passing trains, hundreds of labourers were engaged to lift the track, shallow-excavate ballast and insert the belt. The rails did not have to be lifted far, because of the belt being so flat and the ballast could be immediately put back in place.


Sporting grounds

Conventional ag-pipe style drains can leave obvious trenches across sporting fields, resulting in an uneven surface and dangerous footing (as seen in this photo). Turf does not grow as well because of the gravel and aggregate used over the pipe and shallower soil covering the excavated area.

Sports fields are also affected by the type of soil. Ideally a good mix of clay and silt will retain sufficient moisture for good grass coverage. Unfortunately, this type of soil may not drain well in heavy rain. The grass variety grown on playing fields can also cause water issues. If the grass is too thick, water may not drain sufficiently – pools of water may still be a problem after heavy rain, with no apparent water running from traditional ag-pipe style sub-surface drains.

Capiphon™belt requires a narrow and shallow trench, as narrow as 10 cm rather than the 45 cm needed for conventional drainage. This shallow trench can be backfilled with sandy loam or coarse sand. There is significant reduction in problems such as sunken trench surfaces or patchy grass as the grass will easily grow over the loam or sandy backfill.