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denemante 01-07-2013 03:57 PM

stone/brick patio in damp area and over septic fields
Hey all - I have an area of my backyard that seems to take the brunt of big rains. Thankfully, I have french drains installed in the area. But the lay of the land doesn't entirely direct the water to the drains, so I end up with some standing water. In the winter, this area doesn't get much sun, so it pretty much stays wet and sloppy longer term.

We've wanted to put in a brick-paver or big flat natural stone patio stones in this area anyway.

1. So long as I slope it away from the house and toward the drains, no problem?
2. It may cover a small section of the septic field. No problem? If anything, I'd think that would be helpful.

I was just curious what will happen to the ground under it. Even after 6 days of no rain, this area is still boggy from the last rain. So if it was completely covered with stone pavers of some sort dumping into the French drains, I presume it would remain a bit dryer underneath over the long term.

DexterII 01-08-2013 08:42 AM

I would assess the options of grading and/or additions or changes to the existing surface tile system before adding any manner of hard surface to the mix. First of all, no permanent structure should be placed above a drainfield, and your local jurisdiction would be the authority in this regard, secondly, I would not want the required soil preparation and compaction to take place above my drainfield, and thirdly, a percentage (which can vary by climate, soil conditions, etc.) of the water displacement from a drainfield, is via evaporation, and it seems to me that I have read as much as 60%, in which case you could be heavily taxing the ability of the soil alone in this area to absorb the water. I do understand the concept that a hard surface may allow surface water to run farther, but adequate slope of a stable soil can do likewise, and with minimal adverse affects. Just my 2 cents worth.

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