Q: Is there a better way to disperse water runoff from gutters outside of downspout extensions?

— Jacque Brath, LaPorte, Ind.

A: Roger Cook replies: The extensions that empty onto the lawn can be eliminated fairly easily b connecting the down spout to a buried drain pipe that leads away from the house. If you're lucky, you'll be able to lead the pipe to daylight.

If not, connect the end of the pipe to a drywell—basically a plastic barrel with holes in its sides—buried 10 to 20 feet from the house. Before setting it in place, wrap the drywell with a landscaping or filter fabric to prevent soil from clogging he well over time. Fill around it with clean drainage stone, and cover it completely with soil. it's also a good idea to run a piece of pipe from the drywell up to lawn level and cover its end with an overflow cap. This allows excess water to flow up and out of the well in the event of a large downpour.

If all that seems like to much work, check out those plastic extension coils that roll out when water comes out the downspout. They coil back up when the water stops flowing. I've never tried one, but you migh want to see if it works for you before you start digging.
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