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Melpres28
Yard drainage

I am wondering if anyone can give me suggestions on what to do with standing water in my yard. One corner of my backyard states very damp. The area is about 21ft X 21ft. I do not know if I should try to put in a drain or plant to solve the problem.

JacktheShack
Re: Yard drainage

Melpres28:

Always try to look for a lower spot on your property to drain the water into.

Or try to drain it to the street by digging a shallow furrow with a hoe.

Remember, water flows DOWNHILL--the slightest pitch of the land downward will cause the water to start flowing downhill---away from your property.

DO NOT drain water into your neighbor's property--it's against the law.

Do you know if you have a lot of clay in your soil---most poorly draining spots have poor drainage due to clay or a rock ledge underneath.

Do you have any photos you can post??

You can try digging down with a manual post hole digger at different spots in the soggy area, and the periphery of the soggy area to see if you can find a spot that will drain the water.

Go down about a foot or two with the post hole digger & leave these holes open---pour several buckets of water in each one & time how long it takes to drain--eventually you'll find a quick-drainer.

You can then dig a dry well there & direct the standing water into the dry well with 4" perforated drain pipe.

Google "soggy yard" or "yard drainage" to get additional sites.

One of the sites offers a pre-assembled drywell for sale for $159---there is no need to buy anything---a drywell can be made by simply filling a hole with broken concrete, old bricks, field stones, broken mortar blocks, a steel barrel punched with holes, etc. (but no wood).

Some of the photos make this look like a herculean amount of work---it's really not---I find this type of work very enjoyable---it's all hidden when it is covered up, so the soil can be planted with grass afterwards.

When buying drain pipe---buy the THINNEST diameter 4" or 6" pipe you can find---it cost lots less than the thicker PVC pipe that is designed for plumbing work.

http://hometown.aol.com/eilatlog/pipeworks/pipeworks.html
http://www.rd.com/familyhandyman/content/18297/
http://www.thenaturalhome.com/drywellinstallation.htm
http://grounds-mag.com/mag/grounds_maintenance_install_french_drain
http://www.moneypit.com/ask-tom-leslie/curtain-drain-solution-for-soggy-back-yard.html
http://www.builderswebsource.com/techbriefs/drainage.htm

Melpres28
Re: Yard drainage

jacktheshack
My soil is mostly clay and rock. I have two ways that I could drain the water to the street with a dry well. Your ideas are very helpful. I have pictures but I am not sure how to add them to this post.

Attachment: 
Melpres28
Re: Yard drainage

I guess I was able to add pictures. Here are some more.

JacktheShack
Re: Yard drainage

Melpres28:

Thanks for the photos.

In your most recent post you state you have 2 ways to divert the water to the street (with a drywell).

Could you provide more info---how far is it from the soggy area to the street???

Is the street at a slightly lower elevation than the soggy area??

If you can dig a 2' deep trench without too much trouble from the soggy area to the street & install some 4" perforated pipe you wouldn't need to build a drywell.

If the distance to the street is 30' or more & the digging is difficult, you might hire a "walk-behind" backhoe to do the job.

Another option if it is too far to dig a trench to the street, would be to dig a drywell in a location closer to the soggy area that drains well (doing the perc test with the post hole digger & water buckets)---and lay some perforated 4" drain pipe from the soggy area to the drywell.

In other words, sometimes you can "punch through" the layer of clay (if it's not too deep) with the post hole digger & thus find a part of your yard close to the soggy area that drains well.

A. Spruce
Re: Yard drainage
JacktheShack wrote:

If you can dig a 2' deep trench without too much trouble from the soggy area to the street & install some 4" perforated pipe you wouldn't need to build a drywell.

Don't take this to mean that you need to have 2' of fall from the soggy spot to the street, all you need is a difference of a few inches. The depth of the trench is to get the drain pipe down and out of harms way. The water will go down the pipe, travel to the street, then back up and perculate out. I've done several drains this way and it works like a charm. The depth will also act as a dry well. :cool:

Melpres28
Re: Yard drainage

I do not have a septic system. The 2 ways I could drain the water are both most likely close to 100 feet to get the water to the road. The front yard does slope down toward the road, and I think that would be the best way. But like I said either way is going to require alot of digging. So I think I will need to rent some type of equipment to dig the trench.

JacktheShack
Re: Yard drainage

Melpres:

That's a long trench---the only consolation is that it should be once in a lifetime task---once it's done it should last for decades.

The photos you posted don't show all that much standing water--this indicates you have some drainage despite the clay---it's not like you have a large pond there.

I wonder if it might be better to first attempt a modest drywell in the proximity of the soggy area of say, 4' or 5' deep filled with broken mortar, bricks, etc., that you can mortar together into a little "holding tank"---extend the perforated pipe to the soggy area & see if it works for you----this may be all you need---just enough to hold 30 or 40 gallons of rainwater runoff to keep the yard dry.

Needless to say avoid too much digging at once & wear leather gloves to avoid blisters---Lowe's has the "white filter sock" that fits over the perforated 4" drain pipe (Family Handyman site) that MUST BE USED to keep the fine clay particles from clogging up the drain pipe.

Use plastic sheeting or a piece of 4 X 8 plywood to place the excavated dirt to keep the yard reasonably neat.

The home improvement stores have a small box of starter seed & fertilizer (2 boxes in the same package) to reseed the excavated area, so grass will grow back in within 3 weeks.

Melpres28
Re: Yard drainage

Should the pipe I use have holes in it?

JacktheShack
Re: Yard drainage

Melpres28:

yes, this pipe is sold as 4" perforated rigid plastic drain pipe.

As previously noted, you will need the white filter sock & the pipe should be laid in a thin bed of crushed stone or gravel.

Rather than buy the crushed stone or gravel, it would be less expensive to buy a small piece of hardware cloth, nail it to a 2 X 4 frame, and sift some of the excavated soil to get the small diameter stone you need for this project.

gss01
Re: Yard drainage

Hey, how about a green approach?! Try to harvest the water by means of a water barrell. Could you collect the water from a downspout that drains to the affected area, thus reducing the amount of water in your yard? With the collected water you could get your garden or shrubs a much needed drink after a rainless period or even set up a drip irrigation system. Why spend your time and money digging ditches and building drywells when you could keep the water and save money?

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