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kjmetal
what a mess!!!!!! our whole yard is a marsh...

Hello
I have attached a few pictures of our yard after it rains. Every year the standing water gets worse. The thing is it's our whole yard. We can't afford a landscaper or even sod to rebuild the whole .58 acres. So I thought by some miracle, someone had some ideas.

We live right by the Chesapeake Bay and have a very high water table but no other neighbors yards are this bad.

We reseed every year and I added clover to the mix b/c it's supposed to help with nitrogen levels. I don't mind weeds.

I look at the yard and want to weep like a child. The dogs aren't so thrilled either.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks so much,
Kim

kjmetal
Re: what a mess!!!!!! our whole yard is a marsh...

The water does not run off anywhere.

I can't even fathom how one would begin to tackle this.

So you recommend grading the entire yard? For instance making a slope away from the house all over the yard? Sorry to be so daft...
And by dirt work you mean just bringing in a lot of dirt to do the grading is that right?

Thanks for the reply
Kim

kjmetal
Re: what a mess!!!!!! our whole yard is a marsh...

Thanks for the link. Perhaps I can just fill those areas a bit at a time...when $ permits.

Thanks again.

goldhiller
Re: what a mess!!!!!! our whole yard is a marsh...

kj,

May seem like an odd question, but..... did anyone (previous owners maybe) keep horses or similar in there? If so, the puddled areas may be so compacted that they cannot absorb water. Some deep tilling (and I mean deep) may help. Fill to raise those areas wouldn't hurt a bit either.

Or....perhaps there's also alot of clay under there which is not absorbant. Remove and replace would be a potential answer to that. Depends.

Or.....regrade to create a long waterway(s).....collecting and outletting to an appropriate location......if such a place exists.

Prompted by the "it gets worse every year" comment...... Do you have a septic system? If so, how long has it been there? How long since the tank was pumped? There's chance that the drainfields are failing and that's causing or adding to the problem.

kjmetal
Re: what a mess!!!!!! our whole yard is a marsh...

We've been here for 12 yrs now, no horses just pooches. And yes we have sand and clay. Our septic is 1 year old and its not in the area where all the standing water is. It's there only when it rains, then it takes over a weel for the water to go away, the its mud for a while.

When you say tilling deep, like a foot or more?

It find it weird that it's getting worse too. It s like the yard is settling...the house was built in the 50's.

thanks for the suggestion

goldhiller
Re: what a mess!!!!!! our whole yard is a marsh...

kj,

Well if there's alot of clay anywhere near the surface.....this is certainly adding to the absorbancy problem. Can't say with any certainity from here, of course.....but if there's alot of clay near the surface, then I fear there's likely more clay under that as well. Not a good thing in this instance.

Tillage alone won't really help to any extent if there's lots of surface clay. If you had absorbant soil that was compacted for some reason, tillage would help.

Without removing vast quantities of material and replacing ($$$$$), your bestest option might be to do the regrading to create a shallow waterway and redirect to the curb or somewhere appropriate and legal. (Around here you couldn't redirect to your neighbors property, for example. Nor would you really want to unless you're looking to make enemies. )

I'm also thinking that if there's lots of surface clay everwhere and the lot is pretty flat and level in general......then simply hauling in fill to build up the low areas means that you'll just be spreading out the water over a larger area......creating lesser problems everywhere, but still having some manner of problem that will annoy you as you wait for it to absorb and/or evaporate.

A flat level lot could also be a problem if trying to take a simple waterway redirect approach. You *might* be able to redirect into a drywell and use that as the underground holding vessel. Kinda depends upon how gallons of water your'e dealing with. (How much water in average rainfall event and frequency of those events)

Tiling is another common resolution used for wet spots. A sloping trench is dug and a flexible plastic tubing (4-8" diameter) with slots in the outside (drainage tile) is buried and the end is brought to daylight somewhere......such as a waterway, creek. etc. It works very well if properly installed. But......such an approach may not be applicable for you because 1- You may not have anywhere to outlet this tile that is lower than where it collects from 2- If there's too much clay at the surface, the water won't even be able to get down to the tile any faster than it now disappears on it's own. 3- The best direction to take the tile to get to an appropriate discharge area might lead it right to/thru the area where your septic system drainfield is and at a depth that would foil the plan, Stan. 4- All those tree roots. 5- The high water table.(depends upon how high it is)

Bottom line here is that most every situation is unique to one degree or another and options offered from afar may or may not be applicable. I think that's the case here as I look at the pics. On site is always the best place and frequently the only place that a workable plan can be established.

Do you have such things as county extension services out your way? If so, you might consider contacting them. They would/should send out an agent and the consulting is free......sorta. You've already paid for it with your tax dollars. Or at least that's how it works out this way.

Other options might be to contact a reputable landscaping service or a soil engineer.

Area seems to be mysteriously sinking more each year? Underground river or spring is defintiely a possibility.

Your downspouts don't happen to b directed toward this problem area, do they? If so, try pointing them elsewhere.

Another thought. I wonder if *stuff* got buried when this lot was graded and the house erected. Slabs of concrete....or stuff that is now degrading enough that the surface is sinking.

Do you have a well? Are the low spots located between the house and that well? (leaking supply pipe)

Here's yet another thought. You say the septic system is one year old. Does this mean that a new drainfield was installed somewhere on the property? Or was a new septic tank hooked up to the exiting drainfields? Reason I ask is.....if a new drainfield was installed and the old one abandoned.......where is that old one located? If the old one failed, it was becassue it wasn't absorbant anymore. That area will also not want to absorb water surface water efficiently for a long time to come. Surface clay would only add to that problem, me thinks.

NOLA Darling
Re: what a mess!!!!!! our whole yard is a marsh...

Am facing the same situation here in New Orleans. Unfortunately, in addition to having extremely clay soil, and a slightly sloping lot that levels off in the frontyard--where the problem is--the yard is shaded by a huge oak tree that prevents anything from growing. After investigating the problem, I noticed that the water didn't puddle near the house, because one of the previous owners had covered the beds with bricks and planted in and around the open areas. As a result, I've decided to level out the rest of the front yard (22' X 15') and install an intricate brick patio that will cover all the areas where water puddles. Hopefully this will work.

kjmetal
Re: what a mess!!!!!! our whole yard is a marsh...
goldhiller wrote:

kj,

Well if there's alot of clay anywhere near the surface.....this is certainly adding to the absorbancy problem.

Yep we have clay and sand in some areas, but it is getting worse.

I seeded with alot of white dutch clover over the past 3 years. It's supposed to be a good lawn alternative and filler. It also is supposed to be good with adding nitrogen and now I am wondering...is that what is makind things worse? I have yet to do the research there.

I'm also thinking that if there's lots of surface clay everwhere and the lot is pretty flat and level in general......then simply hauling in fill to build up the low areas means that you'll just be spreading out the water over a larger area......creating lesser problems everywhere, but still having some manner of problem that will annoy you as you wait for it to absorb and/or evaporate.

Well this seems like the only solution at this point. At least if it is drier. The lot is pretty level really however on the topo map of our area we are the lowest in the neighborhood.

A flat level lot could also be a problem if trying to take a simple waterway redirect approach. You *might* be able to redirect into a drywell and use that as the underground holding vessel. Kinda depends upon how gallons of water your'e dealing with. (How much water in average rainfall event and frequency of those events)

This is an interesting solition. I believe we have 3 dry wells and around that area it is dry...hmmmm. However the standing water in the low spots would have to be directed uphill.

Tiling is another common resolution used for wet spots. A sloping trench is dug and a flexible plastic tubing (4-8" diameter) with slots in the outside (drainage tile) is buried and the end is brought to daylight somewhere......such as a waterway, creek. etc. It works very well if properly installed. But......such an approach may not be applicable for you because 1- You may not have anywhere to outlet this tile that is lower than where it collects from 2- If there's too much clay at the surface, the water won't even be able to get down to the tile any faster than it now disappears on it's own. 3- The best direction to take the tile to get to an appropriate discharge area might lead it right to/thru the area where your septic system drainfield is and at a depth that would foil the plan, Stan. 4- All those tree roots. 5- The high water table.(depends upon how high it is)

Ha! Sounds like you been to my yard already!

Do you have such things as county extension services out your way? If so, you might consider contacting them. They would/should send out an agent and the consulting is free......sorta. You've already paid for it with your tax dollars. Or at least that's how it works out this way.

I will check into this option. Great idea. Thanks!

Area seems to be mysteriously sinking more each year? Underground river or spring is defintiely a possibility.

Do you have a well? Are the low spots located between the house and that well? (leaking supply pipe)

Yes we have a well. But again that's not were the water is.

Here's yet another thought. You say the septic system is one year old. Does this mean that a new drainfield was installed somewhere on the property? Or was a new septic tank hooked up to the exiting drainfields? Reason I ask is.....if a new drainfield was installed and the old one abandoned.......where is that old one located? If the old one failed, it was becassue it wasn't absorbant anymore. That area will also not want to absorb water surface water efficiently for a long time to come. Surface clay would only add to that problem, me thinks.

You hit it...old system of dry wells failed and we got a new innovative system and a new drain field.

Well as the rains head my way, I will brace myself in the meantime.

Thanks for taking the time to answer. Obviously I would love for Ty or one of those types to come and make my yard a paradise and good for the Bay and the wildlife AND my sanity!:eek:

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