Catch Basin Dimension Calculator

A properly sized catch basin is an important consideration for a confined feeding operation (CFO). Runoff management of manure impacted water is a legislative requirement in the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA). A CFO that is using a catch basin to control runoff must meet the following design aspects:

  1. Must accommodate at least a one day rainfall that has a one in 30 year probability of occurring,
  2. Must have additional freeboard capacity of not less than 0.5 metres when full.

For more information on runoff control catch basin design consideration including liner options, catch basin protection, etc., check out the catch basin factsheet.

The following calculator may be used to design a catch basin based on catchment area and potential surface water runoff.

Land Location
Units to be used for calculation:
Estimating Runoff Potential
  1. Estimate the total area impacted with manure that will contribute to water runoff and any additional uplands that will drain to the catch basin. It may be easier to calculate the area in small pieces. Click the + to add more areas.
Area Length (m) Width (m) Paved? Area (m2)    
  Total Area        
  1. Select the nearest city/town to obtain local rainfall data for a one day rainfall event with 1 in 30 year probability. A portion of the rainfall amount will be multiplied by the runoff area (above) to determine runoff volume.
Select Town
Estimation of water runoff to be collected in the catch basin:
     Imp. Gal
Calculating Catch Basin Volume:
  1. Enter the dimensions of the proposed catch basin including length, width and total depth (0.5m will be subtracted for freeboard level). Side slopes and end slopes are set to 3 to 1 (run:rise). Berm width can be added for additional information.
Storage Dimensions

Length (m):
Width (m):
Depth (m):
Evacuation Capacity:
     Imp. Gal
Catch basin volume (minus freeboard):
     Imp. Gal
Comparing Catch Basin Volume versus Runoff Potential:
Runoff potential:        m3  ft3  Imp gal
Catch basin volume:        m3  ft3  Imp gal

Additional information is available through agricultural water specialists or on the Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation website.
Agricultural Water Specialists can be contacted through the Alberta Ag-Info Centre at 310- FARM (3276).

Prepared by Rural Water Branch
Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation

Document Last/Reviewed December 4, 2012

To calculate only the volume of the dugout/catch basin or to view the formula used to calculate the volume of the dugout/catchbasin, click here.