FAQs

beltWater exists in a soil within the pores between the soil particles. The openings of the grooves of the Capiphon belt are similar in size to the pores within the soil, and water moves into the grooves by capillary action or “wicking”. The water held within them acts as a capillary straw. When the belt is below the water table, or when the belt is on a slope (usually 1-2%), the critical capillary head is exceeded and causes the capillary straws within the grooves to move down the belt. The movement of the capillary straw within the grooves creates a negative pressure that sucks up water from the soil. This siphoning effect continues to drain the soil for as long as there is an effective capillary straw within the soil. Capiphon literally sucks water up from the soil and syphons it off to waste or storage.
  • No need for a gravel transition layer.
  • No need for a geotextile fabric.
  • In fact, Capiphon needs to be in close contact with the soil so trenches can be shallow and narrow.
  • No need for a precisely graded trench because the siphon will operate even if there is a rise and fall along it.
  • No need for extra fittings. Simply cut a slot into the discharge pipe and insert the belt into it. Secure the two with a cable tie, and then run a bead of silicone sealant across the back of the belt.
  • Sealing the loose end of the belt with silicone helps to create the siphon.
  • If the site is particularly muddy, laying the belt on a thin layer of medium sand creates the optimum capillary conditions.
  • Then simply backfill the trench and roll. Replace turf if it has been cut prior to trenching.
No. Unlike every other drainage system, Capiphon does not block with either fine particles (reference 1) or algae (reference 2).  Particles smaller than the opening of the grooves (0.3mm) can enter the grooves but will easily pass out of the system.  The grooves themselves do not block – if one or more soil particles lodge against a groove, water can enter either side of the particle. Capiphon is still draining successfully after 15 years in the ground.
Capiphon™ (sold as Smart Drain in the USA), is a capillary drainage technology. It consists of a belt of 2 mm PVC, usually 10 or 20 cm wide, with omega-shaped grooves running down its length. In some situations, such as installation into embankments, Capiphon is wrapped around a PVC pipe and used in place of the belt. The groves are omega shaped with an internal diameter of one millimetre. The opening to the grooves is approximately 0.3 mm. Because Capiphon uses capillary action, it is in dynamic equilibrium with the moisture in the soil. Water moves into the belt as soon as the soil reaches saturation, faster than simply relying on gravity. For the same reason, water continues to flow for longer.
Capiphon™ is a drainage material made from a special formulation of PVC that remains flexible and is long lasting. Capiphon™ has a series of grooves running down its length. The grooves are omega shaped with an internal diameter of one millimetre. The opening to the grooves is approximately 0.3 mm. It comes in two forms:
  • a belt usually 10 or 20 cm wide
  • a PVC pipe around which the belt is wrapped
Capiphon™ uses capillary action and is therefore in dynamic equilibrium with the moisture in the soil. Water moves into the belt as soon as the soil reaches saturation, much earlier than when relying on gravity alone. Then syphonic action pulls the water from the soil. As a result, Capiphon™ removes 3-4 times more water than conventional drainage. Capiphon Drainage™ can be used in place of any subsurface drainage system.