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Old 06-08-2015, 03:50 PM   #1
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Drainage Issue Help- French Drain or Solid?


Hello,

I'm getting ready to start a DIY project to alleviate some flooding around my house and I need some advice. I've been reading as much as I can find on standing water vs. runoff and downspout water. I have had three contracts to my house to suggest solutions (they all wanted a LOT of money hence the DIY) and I've gotten three different suggestions. One wanted to do solid pipe with catch basins, another wanted to do a french drain and tie-in the down spouts (a no no?) the other wanted to install an NDS french drain solution.

It would be easiest to do the catch basins with solid PVC, but would that clear out all my water?

I'm going to attach some photos to a reply to this posting if I can.

Additional Info:

Soil is clay and VERY slow to drain. That is why I think I may be able to use catch basins if I grade everything towards them?

Yard is slightly downhill towards the rear.

My neighbor is much higher than me and dumping his downspout into the wet spot (and not in a good way).

You can see a catch basin in one of the photos, it was my first and very lame attempt at a drainage solution, I don't want to talk about it.

I'm looking for a long term solution we plan to stay in this house for a long time.

Thanks for any advice you can give me!

You can see the pics at this link:
http://imgur.com/a/LCPU0

Last edited by Jason32835; 06-08-2015 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:57 PM   #2
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Based on what I see you could use a combo of surface drains and French drains, but I also see an electric box. Before you do anything call 811
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZTMAN View Post
Based on what I see you could use a combo of surface drains and French drains, but I also see an electric box. Before you do anything call 811
Thank you for the quick reply. I am actually going the other direction away from the electrical box. The street is the highest point on my property (thanks Lennar). We recently had the city install a very nice french drain along the back of our property, which is a retaining wall. If I can direct the water to that drain it will end up in the storm drain system.

Is it OK to have the surface drains lead into the french drain? I've seen conflicting advice on this, some say the surface water will flood the soil around the french drain and some say it will not.

Here is another angle.

http://imgur.com/D7CtCjE


Last edited by Jason32835; 06-08-2015 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:11 PM   #4
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I didn't see any photos, so my comments are general rather than specific to your situation.

You may have a surface water or a groundwater problem. Groundwater is water that has percolated into the ground. Surface water is water that is on top of the ground, like a lake or a stream. You cannot develop a solution to a drainage problem until you know if you have a surface water or a groundwater problem, or both.

Typically the cause of surface water trouble is grading towards the house rather than away from the house, or water from off site that is directed towards your house. You solve these problems by grading downhill away from the house. The best way to tell what the existing grading is doing is to do a topographic survey (elevation survey) of your yard and house, which is easiest to do with a builder's level, which you can rent if you don't own one. This will establish whether water is coming towards your house (bad news) or moving away (good news). Typically you want a minimum of 2 percent slope away from your house.

If you solve your surface water problems and you still have issues, you probably have a groundwater problem. High groundwater often occurs on soil that drains poorly, like clay or silt, where the water that gets into the ground from the surface cannot move away quickly because the soil is not pervious. You can measure the elevation of your groundwater by digging a small hole four or five feet deep, and seeing how high the water stands in it. You can also drive a piezometer, which is just an open tube with a porous tip, that allows you to measure the level of the water in the tube.

If you have a high groundwater problem, that is much harder to solve than a surface water problem. You will need to direct the groundwater away from your property, which requires you to have a lower spot to direct the water to. The lower spot might be a low area on your property, a drainage ditch, or storm drains in the street. You need to check with local authorities to see if you can drain to the storm drain system.

If you can go to storm drains, you would typically install some catch basins, lay solid pipe to the storm drain system, and connect. The catch basins need to be lower than the water level you want to achieve, or you can install drainage basins which are concrete or plastic basins with holes in it, which collects groundwater. The groundwater then flows out the pipes towards the storm drain system in the street, assuming of course the storm drain system is lower than the water level you want to achieve on your property. Hence the need for a topographic survey.

Hope this helps a little, best of luck with the project.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:18 PM   #5
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Daniel,

Great info thank you! I think I've gotten smart enough to attach the photos. I think I'm dealing with surface water but it has really turned into a muddy mess at this point and I'm just not sure.
Attached Thumbnails
Drainage Issue Help- French Drain or Solid?-drain-design.jpg   Drainage Issue Help- French Drain or Solid?-drain-design-catch-basins.jpg   Drainage Issue Help- French Drain or Solid?-img_3140.jpg   Drainage Issue Help- French Drain or Solid?-img_3141.jpg   Drainage Issue Help- French Drain or Solid?-img_3142.jpg  

Drainage Issue Help- French Drain or Solid?-img_3148.jpg  
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:38 PM   #6
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Since I've figured out how to post pictures, here is one more (not perfect scale).

My struggle is that I initially wanted to install something like this, but after doing some research I'm not sure this is advisable. Or maybe I just OverGoogledŽ and this is fine? Assuming that I do everything else correctly of course.

Thank you!
Attached Thumbnails
Drainage Issue Help- French Drain or Solid?-drain.jpg  
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