These days, you hear a lot about ADA compliance and how important it is to meet those requirements. It is just one of the many factors that business owners and public spaces need to keep in mind during construction or renovation. But it is not just the way a building is built or set up that requires ADA compliance. ADA drainage solutions are another important factor that need to be kept in mind at all times, including creating the proper slope to the drain that will enable it to function properly, while still making the area safe for users.
What is ADA Compliance?
The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA for short, is a civil rights law originally signed in 1990. This Act was created to help protect American individuals that have disabilities from any form of discrimination. While a large part of the anti-discrimination policies that the ADA implements are concerned with ensuring people with disabilities have an equal chance at jobs and public services, they also cover a number of other areas. Overall accessibility is another major factor covered by the ADA.
It is due to the ADA that buildings and business have various requirements to meet, to ensure their space is easily accessible to all Americans. Things like disabled parking spaces, the height of service counters, and wheelchair ramp requirements are just a few of the things covered by the ADA. In essence under the Act, all businesses and places that are open to the public should be easily accessible to everyone, including those with a disability.
Failure to Meet ADA Compliances
The standards set forth by the ADA are all mandatory. Failure for.a business to properly comply with the requirements can lead to hefty fines, which will increase with each new offense. Initial fines can range anywhere from $55,000 up to $75,000, depending on the level of the offense and what the government determines from the noncompliance case. A second offense by the same business will lead to a $150,000 fine.
What Does ADA Compliance Mean For Drainage Systems?
While some areas of a building that require ADA specifications are clear—for example, having wheelchair ramps, providing disability parking, or making countertops accessible—others are not so clear. Businesses also need to be sure to have an ADA trench drain system installed in their business. While it may seem like a trivial thing, having an ADA drainage system is essential for any business, particularly if they use a grated system. There are specific ADA grate requirements that must be followed to be within code.
One of the main issues to keep in mind are the requirements for ADA compliant grating. ADA grate requirements state that all floor grates must have openings that are no wider than half an inch wide. The longer side of the grate openings should also be perpendicular to direction of the pathway.
An ADA trench drain system must be installed anywhere where drainage may be a concern. This means parking lots, parks, community pools, and other publicly accessible areas require some sort of efficient drainage solution. Drainage systems will allow any water to easily be drawn away from the surface, creating a safer environment, especially for those with disabilities that rely on walking aids and wheelchairs. Additionally, a drainage system will allow for easier cleaning and removal of waste.
Choosing the Best ADA Drainage System
While there are many systems that meet the ADA drainage requirements, there are some things to keep in mind. For one, drainage systems that have grates require more work: the heavy grates must be removed in order to clean the actual drain channel, which can result in worker injury. Additionally, grates wear out over time and break under constant use, which means they require replacing every couple of years, otherwise they can also result in injuries. All of this makes a grated drainage system more costly to both install and maintain.
A better alternative to traditional grated drainage systems is a grateless slot drain system. With a slot drain, the concerns about ADA compliant grating are a thing of the past, as it is a pre-sloped system that is completely level with the floor. This means that there is no concern for changes in floor levels that could cause someone to have issues walking over it. A slot drain offers three different ADA drainage systems that can be used in a wide range of applications.
When it comes to choosing the right ADA drainage system, the biggest factor after meeting the correct slope of ¼-inch a foot to keep in mind is the grate system. It is essential that any grated systems meet the ADA grate requirements as set forth by the ADA, in order to avoid any fines. But, instead of going through the struggle of getting the right ADA compliant grated system, just go for a slot drain system. It is easy to install, cost effective and, best of all, meets all of the ADA requirements.