DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Landscaping & Lawn Care (
-   -   Need help making a drainage ditch (

keybrdcowboy 01-05-2009 09:31 PM

Need help making a drainage ditch
Well, I am a new home owner and have a problem. This house is slightly out in the country and so has a septic tank. When we moved in, the washing machine was plumbed to drain straight out into the yard instead of going into the septic tank. This of course just creates a large, persistently wet area that the dogs and kids always run through. So I decided to dig a 45 ft trench, install some more pvc pipe and just have it discharge into the ditch next to our house. However, the ditch doesn't actually drain. The water sits there forever, and if you do a couple loads of laundry a day, the water will cover the discharge pipe. I'm not sure if the water actually comes back into the washer, but we don't do any laundry if the water is too high. I have made the one end deeper so that the water runs that direction, but I don't think that is the solution. I have attached pics to help explain what I am talking about. Can anyone point me in the right direction for making some kind of drainage ditch so the water actually goes somewhere? I definitly do NOT want any standing water around the house when the summer (and mosquitoes) come back.... thanks for any help!!!

jenoble99 01-05-2009 09:40 PM

With all the effort put in the ditch you could have connected it to the existing house waste system. Why not do it the right way so you don't have to worry about it at all? Is the house on a crawlspace/basement? If so it would be relatively easy to hook up.

Colchicine 01-06-2009 08:58 AM

I agree with connecting it to the septic tank. If it were me, I'd be concerned about violating some sort of water discharge law, although I am unfamiliar with Texas laws. Somehow I doubt that discharging untreated laundry water to roadside ditches (and therefore to public waterways) is permissible. Sometimes roadside ditches are claimed as jurisdictional wetlands by the Army Corp of Engineers, thereby complicating the issue to the federal level.

keybrdcowboy 01-06-2009 11:08 AM

How would I go about connecting it to the main house drainage? The septic tank is on the other side of the house. Also, I have heard/read that putting laundry discharge in the septic tank kills the bacteria levels? Any truth to that? Thanks for any help....

Colchicine 01-06-2009 11:50 AM

Unfortunately, with a retrofit project like this, it make take it out of the DIY realm of possibilities. Hooking it up to the septic CAN be done, it just may need a plumber to do it properly.

Regular laundry discharge isn't really an issue. Millions of people are sending their washing machine water to septic tanks. As long as you aren't dumping gallons of bleach into it, and are still flushing #2 into the tank, you'll be ok. If laundry water was a big issue, then all of the ridiculous amounts antibacterial hand soap would be an even bigger issue.

sunthas 01-06-2009 12:30 PM

The ditches along the side of the road have one of two purposes, they are either irrigation ditches for farms & pastures that existed before the houses these are often still used for that purpose, or its a barrow pit, meaning it was created when they built the road to give place for water to go and to use to actually build the road.

If its irrigation, all the people around you and the irrigation district would be quite upset. If its a barrow pit, I guess its not really harmful, but laundry water as other posters stated isn't necessarily water that should just be dumped into the nearest ditch.

DUDE! 01-06-2009 05:32 PM

to tap into the septic, you need to find the main sewer pipe and go from there, hopefully the system was designed to hold the amount of water you want to add to it. People learn right quick how many loads of clothes a day they can do with septic system. Least of your concerns is killing bacteria. If the water is just sitting there on top of the ground, doesn't say good things about soil condition., You have your hands full.

Bondo 01-07-2009 12:53 PM


The Easiest way to cure this Issue is to install a Dry Well, between the house,+ the ditch....

Tscarborough 01-07-2009 05:50 PM

Bondo has it, but the soil in SA is not real amenable to a dry well. It would have to be pretty damn big. What part of San Antonio?

4just1don 01-07-2009 08:46 PM

just remember doing 15 loads on saturday is NOT an option any more

keybrdcowboy 01-07-2009 09:58 PM

I live in the south west part of San Antonio, close to Lacost and Atascosa.

I'm not sure what a drywell is, so I'll have to do some Googling on that one.

I was thinking I could dig the ditch out to about 3 or 4 feet deep, fill the bottom with some kind of rock or gravel, lay perforated pipe down the length of the ditch, and then put sand on top of that. Is that not a good idea?

I don't think the ditch is connected to anything besides my yard. Obviously, the ditch doesn't take the water anywhere, and if you look back past where the pipe enters the ditch, the ditch kind of disappears.... so I don't think it would be a big issue with laundry water going into someone elses fields or anything.... thanks for everyone's replies....

Tscarborough 01-08-2009 09:02 AM

That is a dry well.

Bondo 01-08-2009 10:28 AM


That's a Concrete Dry Well....

The simplest type would be the rock filled hole you talk about,...
The rocks take up valuable Space, especially if you have Low Perk Soils...

Tscarborough 01-08-2009 01:29 PM

He has low perc soils.

keybrdcowboy 01-08-2009 09:41 PM

Does that mean my idea won't work? Should I use something else instead of the rock?

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:30 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1