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Old 11-25-2008, 12:46 PM   #1
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Will a drain pit work in my courtyard?

Hello everyone -

I'm your average semi-retired guy who just can't get enough pain and never-ending dirty work - yeah, that must be what led me to my second 1920s 6-unit apartment complex. But here is a drainage problem I promised myself I would solve "before the rains came" this year. Oops! Well, maybe, if I hustle...and, with a little help from my new DIY friends - that would be you! Has anyone here built a drain pit?

Here's the problem:

30x50 cement pad courtyard sloped thus: (please also see attached photos)
\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ |
\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ |block ^
/ / / / / / / / / |wall N
/ / / / / / / / / |

That's 1500 sf of rain runoff, plus the runoff from an adjacent 2000sf flat roof. A big rain will produce a 2-3 in. avg. depth pool (100-150 cu ft) in a 20ft x 30ft pattern, deepest at the low point by the block wall. This pool will soak in and mostly disappear overnight. I can't drain the water along the block wall, either to the north or to the south. Can a drain pit do the job?

My local sources tell me: saw the concrete in a 5ft x 5ft square over the low point, dig 5ft deep and fill with 1ft sand and the rest, pea gravel of 3/4" size. Does that sound right to you folks?

If there is a better idea, I am all ears. If this sounds like it would work, are there any, um, pitfalls to watch out for?

I'm grateful for any help you can offer...

- Chuck

Last edited by chuck from santa monica; 11-25-2008 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:02 AM   #2
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Okay I i'm a little confused.
When I was watching tv I heard of them building a "dry well". It's basicly just a place where excess water can go to.
My guess is that your concrete paver or patio flooring is covered in water and you want to solve the drainage problem.
It may be because your drit is clay based. Gravel and sand might solve your problem but i'm no exspert. If its just a small area like less then 100sq feet then that should solve your problem. But if it is bigger then 100 sq feet I recommend you make an underground drainage pipe that lead to a "dry well". Make sure you have cloth lining around the drain pipe and with pitch to dry well.
I think dry well and drain pit should be the same thing.

Last edited by r3dmonk3y; 12-31-2008 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:05 PM   #3
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Hi r3d monk3y -

Thank you for your response. I had not heard of a "dry well" before, and I will search the internet to find out more about how to build one. Your experience is appreciated, and all details are welcome. Actually, I had planned to cut out the cement pad just over the low point in the diagram, and build a dry well right there, although I was calling it a drain pit.

One thing, though: I am trying to divert not just 100 sq ft of water - I have 100 Cubic feet of water after a big rain. I guess that calls for a pretty big dry well. The question is, how big?

Your further suggestions are appreciated!

- Chuck (310) 927-6101
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