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samsmith 08-23-2010 12:40 PM

What's Needed for Drain Tile / French Drain
I am getting conflicting information and I thought some experienced folks like yourself may be able to help.

We have a new home (2007) with a walk-out basement. The previous owners put in a landscaping berm with trees, shrubs, plants, etc. in the back corner of the property. The berm cuts off the natural flow of water to the main sewer drain which sits between my neighbor's and my backyard. The grass continually stays wet and swampy in this part of our yard. (Kids love all the frogs!)

We plan to put in a buried collection tub with drain tile leading from the tub to the main sewer drain. We may even bury one of our downspouts and drain tile that to the collection tub, then out to the main sewer drain.

Ground is clay. Metro area of Minneapolis. We have drain tile around our foundation with a sump pump does not run too often.

We had a few contractors out to give us quotes and we are going to be doing it ourselves. One said to dig a trench, toss in some pea gravel. The plastic tubes get clogged and don't work. The other said he would use drain tile pipe with the cloth but pea gravel would not be needed because the ground is clay.

1) Is pea gravel necessary with clay soil?
2) Can anyone offer suggestions on which method would be best? What are the steps and "layers" of liners, plastic, pipes, gravel, socks, top fill, etc.?

(Everywhere I read, there seems to be different methods.)

Thanks much for your help.

samsmith 08-24-2010 08:51 AM

Does Anyone have any ideas? Any contractors out there?
Any suggestions about the best method would be greatly appreciated.

DexterII 08-24-2010 11:20 AM

I am only working from a mental picture that my mind has created, so a fairly small work space, but it sounds like you would have a fair amount of digging and trenching to do either way, so rather than messing with a collection tub, and having to worry about roots growing into the drain tile, how about cutting a slit or burying a 6" or so plastic culvert throiugh the berm, which would more-or-less allow the water to run as the developer intended. It may take a couple of years for everything to fill back in the way that you want it, but it would give you a chance to add your own mark to the landscaping. Maybe give each of the kids their own area of resonsiblity, in regard to nuturing it along.

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