How to fix water problems in the landscape

Do you have an area with standing water after it rains? Or maybe a spot that stays soggy even after it hasn’t rained for a few days? What is the best solution for your unique landscape?

A few solutions include the use of a drain tile system or a dry well. How does it work? Typically, a drain tile system is a solid pipe buried underground to carry unwanted water away from the trouble spot. Some systems direct water from downspouts and sump pumps through a line buried underground. This system may also utilize catch basins to collect standing water at the surface. The water flows to a storm sewer or a better-drained area of your property.

Another type of drainage system is the French Drain. The French Drain uses perforated pipe instead of a solid pipe. So, what does this look like? The perforated pipe will get buried in a trench backfilled with stone and separated from the surrounding dirt using landscape fabric. The notable advantage of installing a French drain is its ability to collect water in the ground and water from the surface. An essential aspect of both systems is that the pipe must go downhill to work. Usually, a 2% slope is optimal for the best results. A 2% slope means that in 50’, the drainpipe end needs to be 1’ lower than the starting point. If this is not feasible, a Dry Well may offer a more optimal solution. Check out this video to learn more about a French Drain Installation. 

A Dry Well is an underground structure that collects water and disperses it into the surrounding soil. A dry well can be as simple as a hole dug in the ground filled with stone. More elaborate systems retain and disperse the excess water. Many companies manufacture dry wells made of plastic that are easy to assemble and connect to your drainage system. A dry well can be installed in a low spot on its own in some situations, with a catch basin located at the surface.

Some companies specialize in drainage work, and many landscape contractors can also install these systems. If you are looking to do the job with your staff, local suppliers, and the manufacturers of drainage products, offer help in selecting the correct products and the best installation methods. 

Submitted By: Jeff Dumas, RLA, Vice President 

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