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Old 09-23-2009, 02:00 AM   #1
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soggy lawn and downspouts


I wont get into the soggy lawn, I've asked about it on other lists and have a checklist of things to do. However reading some responses to similar questions on this list leaves me with a few more. is a base map something one can do on their own? I get a small amount of water in my crawl space during heavy rain. I am planning on not only grading the soil a little better, but running my down spouts out further. I plan to run them underground, can i just have them drain underground or do i have them come back up out of the soil?

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Old 09-23-2009, 08:18 AM   #2
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I wont get into the soggy lawn, I've asked about it on other lists and have a checklist of things to do. However reading some responses to similar questions on this list leaves me with a few more. is a base map something one can do on their own? I get a small amount of water in my crawl space during heavy rain. I am planning on not only grading the soil a little better, but running my down spouts out further. I plan to run them underground, can i just have them drain underground or do i have them come back up out of the soil?
I see you are in Newark, DE. that area has a big clay problem doesn't it?

What is your layout like? if you want to come back above soil, it's best if it's in a lower spot, so you don't have to turn the drain back up.

you can drain underground, but if you have a lot of clay, you may have problems with the pipe draining.

If you are unsure, drain above ground for now. go to home depot/lowes get an 8' length of the 4" black corregated drain pipe, and a downspout adapter the will pop right in. SCREW the adapter to you down spout with a screw on 2 sides. use this arrangement for a few good rains, see if it does in fact solve your problem

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Old 09-24-2009, 08:31 PM   #3
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You may want to check with your local building and codes department before determining what you want to do with your downspout runoff. Many municipalities are concerned with storm water runoff and how to deal with it. If you live in one of those municipalities, you could run into troubles by dumping your runoff on top of the ground.

Routing your downspouts into the ground without the benefit of properly installed foundation drains or french drains to receive the discharge may backfire in flooding your basement, crawlspace, or damaging your foundations.

If your municipality is not an issue, and you have clay loam soil, you might want to consider building a seepage pit or cesspool to receive the discharge of your downspouts. They are easy to build and do a good job of dispersing the runoff.

You could also utilize rain barrels that are tapped with a spout and lidded so you can use the collected rainwater for landscape, flowerbed, or garden watering. Some municipalities encourage the use of these rain barrels and may even give tax breaks for their use. Check with your local municipality for details.
Good luck! :-)
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:19 PM   #4
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You may want to check with your local building and codes department before determining what you want to do with your downspout runoff. Many municipalities are concerned with storm water runoff and how to deal with it. If you live in one of those municipalities, you could run into troubles by dumping your runoff on top of the ground
I'm confused. Are you saying you are not allowed to let your downspouts drain RAIN WATER above ground?

I use rain barrels and LOVE them, but if you are currently getting water in your basement, make sure you get ones that will give you good overflow control, or you may end up making your problem worse by using the wrong type of barrel or diverter
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:38 PM   #5
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No, I'm saying that some municipalities ( like mine) have restrictions as to where you can route your downspout runoff. In other words, say you live particularly close to a neighbor or at least the edge of your roof is near their property line. If you route your downspout drain to the edge of your property line and the runoff impacts, say, the neighbor's landscaping (washes garden bark off their flowerbed or floods out their beloved cactus garden) you might hear about it from your neighbor (if they're feeling neighborly) or you might receive a notice from your friendly local public works (or worse, city attorney's) office.
Just something to bear in mind. Maybe it doesn't even effect you because you live in the country. In which case, lucky you!
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:13 PM   #6
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I had some small amounts of water coming in my basement
I didn't bother with a base map as one side of my yard slopes down towards a stream
North side I put a splash block under one downspout that sends water 24" away from the house
2nd downspout I dug a 18' drainage ditch, 1st part was 4" solid pipe, then perforated pipe
Excess water can come up at the end of the pipe into a garden

East side I regraded the yard to have water drain away from the house

South side I put another drain pipe in that runs 35'+ away towards the stream
Part of this pipe is perforated as well

West side is sloped to drain towards the stream

You should have at least 6" between the ground & any wood part of your house if you regrade
I prefer about 12"



Downspouts usually need to daylight somewhere
A good 1-2" rainstorm can dump a LOT of water on your roof
No way a 55g rain barrel at each corner of the house can hold it
I know - I have (4) 55g rain barrels

Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 09-30-2009 at 08:26 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:08 AM   #7
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If you are unsure, drain above ground for now. go to home depot/lowes get an 8' length of the 4" black corregated drain pipe, and a downspout adapter the will pop right in. SCREW the adapter to you down spout with a screw on 2 sides. use this arrangement for a few good rains, see if it does in fact solve your problem
Good idea and try this first. Regrading around the house will do a lot. Just don't point your leaders towards your neighbors.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:58 AM   #8
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thanks guys:-) vacation coming up in a few days, looks like i have a lot of work ahead of me:-)
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:02 AM   #9
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The base map is a good idea. I assume by a base map you mean a topographic map, showing elevation. You can prepare the base map using an optical level, a transit, or a water level if you have access to any of these tools. If you don't own something suitable, you can rent a level at a tool rental store.

The point of the topo map is to insure that you are running the water downhill (that is the meaning of the term daylight). Generally speaking, you want to direct your water to the low point on your lot. However, as previously noted, you are probably going to need a permit to connect stormwater to the municipal storm drain system. You are almost certainly NOT going to be allowed to connect stormwater to the sanitary system. I have never heard of a regulation controlling where your downspouts go as long as they empty onto the ground within your property, but perhaps there is a community somewhere that wants to control that. Probably the same community has rules about what color to paint your house.

As for the rain barrels, the point is well taken about the size of them. If you have a modest roof, say 1000 square feet, and it rains 1 inch, that is over 600 gallons of water, so you would need a dozen 55 gallons rain barrels to hold it all. Similarly, if your soil has poor drainage, there is NO WAY you are going to infiltrate 600 gallons of water through a small infiltration system during a rain event. The actual computation of infiltration capacity for drywells is more complex than most people realize, but in my design experience most infiltration systems perform at about 1/2 to 1/3 the infiltration rate assumed by the designer for a variety of reasons which I will not get into here.

The best plan to manage water is the simple one, direct the flow away from your basement by gravity drainage. Make your topo map and work out the plan.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:29 PM   #10
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I had a large drywell installed. All my downspouts run down into corrugated pipes running underground with very good pitch to the drywell. Drywell cost $1,350 for 8'x4' domed. It is expensive but I had several drainage issues in my backyard, including wet basement. This solved everything so it was worth it to me .
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:48 PM   #11
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I doubt the base map will be something i can do, (cause like there's math and junk involved right?). i guess thats what a base map is, seems to make sense... I'll be having someone come out and at least consult on how to manage the water in my yard so my yard is useable for what i need it for

<<The base map is a good idea. I assume by a base map you mean a topographic map, showing elevation. You can prepare the base map using an optical level, a transit, or a water level if you have access to any of these tools. If you don't own something suitable, you can rent a level at a tool rental store.>>

I honestly am not even sure there is storm water drainage on my street. I see no sewer grates...weird, but my street is a little odd. I'll have to just run them out towards the edge of the lawn and stop short of the side walk:-( I don't want them sitting on my lawn, but hopefully i can take care of the problem and remove them at some point or shorten them.

<< Generally speaking, you want to direct your water to the low point on your lot. However, as previously noted, you are probably going to need a permit to connect stormwater to the municipal storm drain system. You are almost certainly NOT going to be allowed to connect stormwater to the sanitary system. I have never heard of a regulation controlling where your downspouts go as long as they empty onto the ground within your property, but perhaps there is a community somewhere that wants to control that. Probably the same community has rules about what color to paint your house.>>


probably no rain barrels in the near future. actually hard to find locally, but have a good source for giant barrels, they just are in high demand.


<<As for the rain barrels, the point is well taken about the size of them. If you have a modest roof, say 1000 square feet, and it rains 1 inch, that is over 600 gallons of water, so you would need a dozen 55 gallons rain barrels to hold it all. Similarly, if your soil has poor drainage, there is NO WAY you are going to infiltrate 600 gallons of water through a small infiltration system during a rain event. The actual computation of infiltration capacity for drywells is more complex than most people realize, but in my design experience most infiltration systems perform at about 1/2 to 1/3 the infiltration rate assumed by the designer for a variety of reasons which I will not get into here.>>

gotcha:-)

<<The best plan to manage water is the simple one, direct the flow away from your basement by gravity drainage. Make your topo map and work out the plan.>>

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