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jonathan03 04-24-2011 10:19 PM

Best Way to Catch Water Coming Down a Hill?
I have a fairly steep hill behind my house (100 feet long by 25 degrees) and I want to collect and differ water coming down it to the street. My basement gets wet and I think this is the main issue. The hill and all the way up to my house is grass except for a 2' flower bed against the house.

What is the best means to collect the rain water? My plan was to buy 40' of channel drain to collect the water into a 4" PVC pipe and diffuse it past my house. my house is only 33' wide so there will be overhang on each end.

Would the perferated sewer pipes be just as good?

mickey cassiba 04-24-2011 11:42 PM

google 'terrace' . We had some pretty steep fields back home, and the old farmers created shallow terraces ti divert the runoff th the edges of the fields.

DUDE! 04-25-2011 09:06 AM

although my hill is not as steep, I had the same problem when we moved in. seller had started digging a trench to get the water to front of house, to go downhill. I hand dug the trench vs using a trench digger, why? I wanted to see how to lay out the trenches to get best results. Used perforated pipe, dug laterals connecting everything. Going horizontal to the hill, layed the pipe, covered it with river rock, its like a walk way going sideways, me and the missus like it, have been asked when I'm going to cover it up. I did this so any run-off coming down the hill falls into the trench, has greatly reduced the water build up in the back yard. I did this over a 4-5 month period, in the spring so I could add more pipe where water was building up. Both backside down spouts are also connected into system, using two small catch basins from box store, this also helps when I had water build up near the house. Water goes to front of house, flows out onto the lawn toward the street. Has worked for the last 5 years. good luck with your project.

CMHbob 04-25-2011 04:08 PM

Also google 'french drain' which describes the trenching system that previous poster mentioned. You will get over 1M hits. You should find a solution to your problem in one of them. I had to install this once where an apartment parking lot drained into my back yard and I had to divert the flow around the foundation to the street.

sippinjoes 05-09-2011 12:53 PM

I installed a retaining wall behind part of my house with a drain built in. I also have a pathway that goes accross the entire back of my house that I dug out and put a french drain in (layed weed mat in a trench, added 4" currugated, perforated pipe, added a small amount of #57 stone, shifted pipe around to get proper slope, then finished filling trench with #57). The stone soaks up the water like crazy and during hard rains the end of the pipe looks like a fire hose. I have some flagstone laying on the path now and the pipes just empty to the side of the house. Still not sure how to finish out the stone path, it is line with long rough limestone bricks. I am going to eventually extend my drains to the ditch out at the road.

Put a french drain stradling the edge of the flowerbed: 1. Dig a trench; 2. Lay down weed barrier; 3. lay in 4" perf corrugated pipe; 4. backfill with washed gravel (use a level or straight line to make sure drain slopes properly first); 5. lay weed barrier accross top of french drain; 6. finish out your flowerbed and grass edge on top of french drain.

Also might want to 'ine your flowerbed with something that will stop the water and let it fall through to the french drain. Be sure to tie in any downspouts with proper connectors from local hardware store.

pls8xx 05-10-2011 09:23 AM

jonathan03 said:

My basement gets wet …

Say that again … MY BASEMENT GETS WET

Your basement problem is caused by excessive water in the soil outside the basement wall.

When a French drain is installed, the soil above the bottom of the drain becomes dryer. But the soil below the drain becomes wetter, especially if the drain backfill is of a permeable nature. For this reason, French drains should be lower than the basement footer, or else the wet basement problem is likely to be made worse. In the graphic below, I show the relative soil moisture with shading.

The last thing you want to do is ‘catch’ the water or allow it entry to the subsoil. Seek to keep the rainwater on the surface and re-grade to control the path it takes. Adjust the slope to ‘hurry’ it past your house.

AllanJ 05-10-2011 01:48 PM

Sometimes you may want two level terracing, for example a ditch right at the property line and a second ditch near the house to catch the rain water that fell in the yard proper.

sippinjoes 05-10-2011 02:22 PM

Jonathan. Never thought of that before. I recognized surface water and soil water, but never connected the difference in application of a French drain.

user1007 05-10-2011 05:46 PM

Careful. Racing too much water from your drainage problem to the street and ultimately your municipality sewer system could get your hands slapped or worse. And french drains and so forth are not legal in many parts of the country. And you might annoy a "downstream" neighbor if you are too aggressive with this.

I would definitely think through grading issues including terracing before just collecting water and moving it in a hurry.

AllanJ 05-11-2011 02:05 PM

It is common to have a French drain below basement floor level, and a pit for
a sump pump where the water all flows to. You must not connect gutter
downspouts to this and you must not channel surface water to this.

In most cases, if you want the water to flow out of the French drain into the
open a little further downhill, the French drain can't be too deep. Meanwhile
if the French drain is near the surface, it could freeze up in winter.

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