Landscape Drainage – The Do’s and Dont’s

Many home owners are overwhelmed with problems of proper drainage. When the heavy rains come their yards become lakes causing many issues such as, grass and plants dying from too much water, water entering their homes through weep holes or other areas where there is access, and just not being able to enjoy their property until the water dissipates and even then it is a mud hole. These situations become tiresome and many of the owners look to contractors for a solution to fix the problem. In a perfect world where everyone is honest and all the people that have companies are experts in their field this would work out fabulous. Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world and their are landscape contractors that either one do not know proper drainage techniques or two try to do the job cheaper because the customer wants a better price or the drainage contractor is trying to make more money. This article is to inform you so you will know the consequence and try to avoid them First and foremost you must have positive grade on your property meaning that if you are putting a drainage system in your backyard then the backyard must be higher than where you want the water to drain (most of the time the street). How much higher the backyard needs to be depends on the length of the drain system because to have proper slope you must have one inch of drop per ten feet of drainage pipe so if you are installing a hundred foot of drain pipe than you need the street to be ten inches lower than where you place the first drain box (Catch Basin). If you do not have the slope needed than this is when you must look in to other options such as, bringing in soil and raising the backyard (only when you have enough foundation showing, you do not want to raise the ground higher than the foundation you need at least one inch showing at all times), draining into a sump pump box and pumping the water out (this option requires electricity and a much larger drain box where the pump will be located), and the final solution that I will mention is installing a series of 30 gallon landscape Drainage London basins and having the drains throughout the yard drain into them. The last option requires a hole twice the size of each drain basin that you will be installing because to ensure proper landscape drainage you must install pea gravel around the drain basin so the water can seep out.

These solutions are usually only used in worst case scenario situations but I wanted you to know the true options that are available that work. In most cases where there is a landscape drainage problem and let’s say there is only five inches of slope when you need ten inches a good drain expert can install a drain that will work by creating slope from the back yard to the front then leveling out to the street because water that is level still flows but not as fast. They will also be able to incorporate your downspouts from your gutter into the system so that the head pressure (the water pouring down the downspout from the roof) will help push the yard drainage water out. These are options that a good drainage contractor will be able to see, and then he will be able to let you know which drainage option will work best for you.

Now let’s say you have enough slope to do a regular drainage system in your yard. The question than is what does a regular drainage system consist of? A regular drainage system consists of catch basins, fittings and pipe. Let us look at drainage catch basins first there are many type of catch basins that drainage contractors use and all but a few are in accordance with good landscape drainage practices.

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