Could never do a Dry Well here where I live, we have a high ground water,
any hole deeper than 2 feet will fill with water in the springtime, so any
dry well will become a wet well with no room for runoff. My sump pump and
roof all drain into a culvert that runs to the street ditch. I have done it
for over 30 years and other houses have done it for years longer. Town
doesn't care, in fact they said that if/when they install storm drains, they
will divert my culvert drain into their storm drain to remove the excess
I'm in Garden City so I have both village and town to keep happy. Right now
the village is extremely concerned over ground water contamination. The last
time I asked the village engineering department, they wanted me to dump the
water into the storm drains rather than into the ground. I'm heading down
there to get some other permit information, I'll ask them again about where
I can dump the rain water.
I live in Washington state, so I don't know the particulars relating to
drain lines and frost depth. Our frost depth is only about 12", though
realistically it has never been cold enough, long enough, here for me to
see that in practice.
Our property is on a hill, but because of the topography there are some
areas (like the driveway in front of our garage) where natural slope for
drainage is not an option. So, I installed three runs of solid 4" PVC
drain lines. One is dedicated solely to our driveway, one picks up the
gutters from our garage and back of the house, and the third picks up the
gutters on the side and front of our house.
The first key issue is to ensure wherever the drain exits (to daylight in
our case) is on your own property. You don't want to dump all the water
from your roof into your neighbors yard!
As for depth, I started at the high spot and maintained a 1/4" per foot
slope till I reached daylight on the side of the hill. At the shallowest
spot at the top of the hill I'm maybe 12" down, but in some places I had to
dig down three feet and tunnel under roots and around massive boulders to
maintain the proper slope.
We installed our drainage system about 4-5 years ago and have not had any
issues with clogs. I have grates over the outlets to prevent mice and
other critters from nesting in the pipes, and screens/filters on the
gutters to keep leaves and other debris from entering the system. Some
pine needles work their way through, but so far no issues.
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