You need to look at what your downspouts are doing as well as any water
coming in from outside of your yard. Perforated pipe with crushed rock will
drain the water out. They also make a fabric sleeve for the perforated pipe
whcih you should use.
One important thing to do is to contact the utilities people in your yellow
pages that will mark where any underground utilities are buried
THIS CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE or at least a bunch of $$ in repairs.
A good landscape company can probably give you a good estate
It is probably more than you want to try yourself as it will require the use
of power equipment whcih while you can rent is a little tricky to use.
You did not mention where you lived or what kind of soil you have?
You could even have a drain pipe that it going thru your yard that is
I'd first call the city you live in and ask if they can send out a staff
member (probably a city engineer) to take a look at your yard and advise
you as to your options. My sister did that and her city's engineer
suggested she create a dry streambed to run across the lowest level of
Basically, she and her husband took a tiller and dug out a trench about
a foot deep following the lowest level across their property. They
spread the dirt from the trench around their house foundation to raise
the grade by the house. They then had a company deliver a few tons of
crushed rock, and dumped that into the trench. Runoff from the rest of
the yard now drains into the streambed, where the rock keeps it from
becoming a quagmire. The water gradually percolates down into the soil,
so the streambed eventually dries out until the next rainfall. My sister
landscaped the streambed with strategic plantings of flowers and
ornamental grasses to make it an attractive design element in the yard.
And she loves it - her yard isn't squishy anymore, and they don't have
to mow in mucky ground, since the wet area is rocked.
You can do it yourself, its not complicated at all. But its a fair
amount of labor.
1. Call city and get utilities marked
The following assumes you have a ditch to drain too that is lower than
the lake that forms.
2. Set up a string line from the lake spot in your back yard to the
ditch. Its basically string pulled tight attached to 2 stakes in the
ground with a little torpedo level dangling on the string. Adjust a
stake until the torpedo level is level.
3. Make sure you have at least 1' of drop for every 100' of travel. Or
On a 100' level string, the ground is 1 foot lower at the ditch end.
Every few feet or so along the line determine how much you have to dig
out to maintain the slope. Write this down.
4. Go here http://www.ndspro.com/Drainage_DataFormResultList.asp and
check out the drainage products. And then go to lowes and buy a
catch basin. Its about 14 bucks and is the size of a gallon of milk.
You need a grate for it to cover the basin entry also. The catch basin
will sit at the lowest point in the lake. Its where the water enters
5. While at Lowes get your PVC. If nothing heavy is going over it (
like the occasional car) get a 100' roll of 4" black plastic
corrugated PVC . (This is much easier to work with than the white
lightweight drainage PVC or the heavier schedule 40 stuff.)
6. Dig down using measurements from step 3, check occasionaly to
verify that pipe will slope in right direction. Be careful to get the
slope right. Lay some plastic down to dump your dug dirt on.
7. Tamp the bottom of the trench to compact the soil. There are
rigorous methods to do this but I would just stomp up and down the
8. Put pipe in trench dug in step 6, verify slope.
9. Attach catch basin.
10 Recess catch basin slightly in ground.
11. Check 1 more time, ( dump water in basin and make sure it exits
the other end.)
12 Cover it with dirt and tamp it down. Reseed.
If you have no slope you may try this:
2 Dig a big hole. If you hit sandy soil then:
3 Line with drainage fabric ( in drainage section of Lowes, keeps dirt
from clogging rocks)
4 Get largest rocks you can get delivered (~ 40 dollars a ton). Start
with a ton.
5 Put rocks in lined hole.
6 Buy a length of schedule 40 PVC from lowes, also get a drainage
grate from drainage section that fits the pipe. It comes green and
7 Put the length of schedule 40 PVC down in the rocks. Make sure it
ends just below the surface.
8 Wrap the landscape fabric around the pipe and tie it. ( at this
point looks like a garbage bag in ground tied around PVC ).
9 Put paper over PVC opening and put grate on ( the paper keeps dirt
out of pipe while backfilling)
10 Fill hole with dirt and then tamp it down to just above pipe.
11 Take paper out.
The next time it rains you will see if you have enough rocks.
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