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Old 08-14-2008, 11:01 AM   #1
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Drainage drainage and more drainage...


I live in a very hilly development and my house sits on a slope. As a result, rain tends to run off the road, onto my front yard, and then pools near my foundation at the front of the house. I have two sump pumps and the basement is dry, but we'd eventually like to finish it and would like more of a guarantee. My initial thought was to mound up soil at the foundation wall to create a berm around the corner of the house, but unless I raise the level of practically the entire front yard 12-18" I believe that I'll still end up with a low spot where water will collect about 10 feet in front of the house.

With respect to that I've now begun thinking about building a dry creek as a decorative feature/drain in the front yard. My thought was to dig the creek across the yard diagonally so as to create a barrier between the road and the house. This way the water would run off the road, across the lawn, and into the dry creek where it would be directed around the house and into the backyard. Please see the attached diagram for a clearer picture.

The creek itself would be about three feet wide, 18" deep, lined with landscape fabric and then filled with a local stone/gravel mix. Eventually we would do small plantings around the edge. My main concern is getting the water to flow "around the corner." In what I've read about dry creeks I've not found anything that really says they NEED to be straight, but I'm wondering how well it will work considering that the water will always take the path of least resistance.
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:25 AM   #2
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Drainage drainage and more drainage...


is your backyard also slope down and water will continue leave from there? if not if water stay in your backyard. your backyard will become a pond, won't it?

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Old 08-14-2008, 11:56 AM   #3
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Drainage drainage and more drainage...


Hadn't really gotten to that point yet. I guess a dry well could work if I laid pipe in the center of the creek and plumbed it into the well at the end.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:23 PM   #4
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Drainage drainage and more drainage...


A few quick thoughts..

Dig a shallow trench in your river bed and use 4" perforated pipe, sloped at 1/8" to 1/4" per foot in your front yard and follow the grade on the side and backyard. Transition to a solid pipe at the rear of the house. Use a sock on the perf. pipe and surround with clean # 2 stone. I'd use perf. white PVC as it has a smooth inner wall; the water will flow better and there is less chance of the pipe becoming plugged. Limit the amont of fine gravel (may clog the sock) and use more natural looking river rock over the # 2's. If you design it right, the water will be taken by the pipe and the river bed will be a landscape feature. You could then add larger rocks, boulders... as accents.

You could also tie in your downspout water into the solid pipe under the bed. Do not run the downspouts into the perf. pipe.

Disadvantage of the pipe, you will may have to end the pipe into a drywell, create a mini leach field or daylight the end.

Slope the grade from your house to the bed, but leave your siding exposed by about 12".
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Last edited by 47_47; 08-14-2008 at 03:19 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:33 PM   #5
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Drainage drainage and more drainage...


What's beyond your property line -- further down hill? Neighbors on all sides?

I would build the berm like you say, then run a plastic tile with a surface inlet around the house on the left. I might consider running non-perforated around the house, then switch to perforated that could terminate in a large dry well. While your at it, you could also put your downspouts into the tile...get as much water out of the area as possible. Depending on your house size, you may have to run a couple of tiles below the house to handle the volume. You wouldn't have to terminate the tile in a dry well either...they could hit daylight and function well.

IF you have neighbors blow you, you have to be careful and not create larger problems by dumping all the water right at your property line. Not that you can't but to be neighborly you would not want to.
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Old 08-15-2008, 08:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RippySkippy View Post
What's beyond your property line -- further down hill? Neighbors on all sides?

I would build the berm like you say, then run a plastic tile with a surface inlet around the house on the left. I might consider running non-perforated around the house, then switch to perforated that could terminate in a large dry well. While your at it, you could also put your downspouts into the tile...get as much water out of the area as possible. Depending on your house size, you may have to run a couple of tiles below the house to handle the volume. You wouldn't have to terminate the tile in a dry well either...they could hit daylight and function well.

IF you have neighbors blow you, you have to be careful and not create larger problems by dumping all the water right at your property line. Not that you can't but to be neighborly you would not want to.
I do have neighbors on all sides and of course need to be mindful of where the water goes. The side of the yard where the creek would terminate has 3 large trees and extensive roots along the property line. The roots are all over the surface so there's no way to mow around them. I was thinking of doing planting beds around the trees (not too deep as to smother the roots of course) so maybe I could do a "leach field" of sorts that would serve to irrigate the trees and planting beds? I would think that the combination of trees, mulch beds, and soil would absorb the water well enough so as not to create a swamp.
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:00 PM   #7
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Drainage drainage and more drainage...


raising your entire front yard for 12 to 18" may be a better idea... would retain wall sysem work for you? to me 12 to 18" is not that big a deal... but may be you have a huge front yard making you think it is....
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:47 AM   #8
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Drainage drainage and more drainage...


I like the dry river idea and it is workable. Check with your local county extension, mine has detailed instructions for creating dry-rivers and 'rain gardens'.

Good luck, sounds like a fun project.

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