Shower stall question

Hi, I have an older house and was looking at one of the shower stalls recently. The stall is tiled, but I noticed that on both sides of the pan where the tile is met, there appear to be two notches cut in the upper half of the pan. A sandy grit drains out when water is splashed in the holes.
The tile needs re-grouted and some of the caulk needs updated. What are these two notches for and/or should they be caulked shut? At first I thought it might be where the caulk or tile had worn away, but the notches are there for a reason, right (i.e., they are in the pan design, not manually cut out after the fact)?
Thank you, Dave
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Dave wrote:

Sounds like a prefab fiberglass pan/base. Mustee makes one like that: http://www.mustee.com/durabase/square.shtml There is a lip which extends around 3 sides; the lip terminates in a drain opening at each side of the threshold. You can barely see the outline of it in the pic.
The design is supposed to carry off any water which migrates thru the tile joints and runs down the inner wall surface. It can also serve as a warning that there is a problem.
Jim
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