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Back filling and grading lawn

3184 Views 9 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Bondo
We recently had a concrete patio replaced and extended and need to do some topsoil back filling. In addition, the back and side yard doesn't drain well. My thoughts were to get top soil delivered and use a bobcat to get it moved around.

The yard has a lot of weeds, thatch, and low spots. Mowing is tough as the ground is so bouncy at times.

Here are some pictures of the back area that doesn't drain well. It probably needs to go up a few inches to slope properly, but the water is digging a trench. That part is on my neighbors yard. Would raising with soil be best our large rocks , softball sized in that area?


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The middle picture was after a rain, the ones with the water was in the middle of a long drenching rain.
Here's the side yard issues, a few low spots but it drains to the back yard. I'll work on getting a map and better outline.


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if you fill in those natural drain ares where will the rain water drain to? if you wanted to trench where the low spots are and put in drain pipe then rock then top soil that would give a place and way for the water to go and probably dry up the soft spots..
Good points woodchopper, let me add some explanations. If you are standing on the concrete pad and facing the shed, water naturally flows from left to right. There is just a low spot that water collects. Just want to raise that area so water continues on.

As facing the shed, the water also flows from the side of the house towards that area with a few low spots along that way
since the water did the hardest part for you, showing the best drainage route, I would dig in a drain pipe the whole run, 4 inch pipe corrugated and you wouldnt have to go that deep, and that would pretty much guarantee no issues down the road, and then you can fill in with top soil and grass seed..the low spots will hold water after you fill them in and end up with mud piles to sink into...if you dont go with the drain pipe..
Ayuh,.... In this picture, get rid of the trash in the swale, I see garabge bags blockin' the water flow,....
With a tiny bit of tunin' with a shovel, this side will drain itself, without fillin' in anything,....
Generally speakin', fillin' in the lows, dams the water up higher up the hill,...

In this picture, the berm to the left is blockin' the water flow to the property line,...
So dig it back, 'n continue the swale to the property line,.....

Once the water is to the fence line, raisin' yer side of the fence line, will force All the water to the place nextdoor,....
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Using google maps and some sketching, I have a better overhead view to show. On a side note, it looks like google got new (at least to me) satellite data from this summer. And the new 3d features are pretty cool as well. But I digressed.

The sketch drawing is as follows. The yellow line is a berm along the property line as the neighbor above is up stream of us. Without that berm to redirect the water, our house would be flooded with their run off.

The blue lines indicate how the water currently drains (except for the color photo, which is in red).

The black arrows are the downspouts, two on either end, and one in the middle. The two flows going towards the back of the property line, are both in low areas, meant for that drainage. I'd say they were swales, albeit shallow ones. Where the pad for the shed is, and where the garden is located, are on the high ground.

Overall I'm not trying to make any major changes to the flow of water. It moves well away from the house, just a few low lying areas that take forever to dry out. We get a lot of mosquitoes, and that is one of the main reasons I'd like to fix it. The drainage is a tricky issue, as the house was built a tad low. They really should have raised the foundation another foot or so when the house was built 40 years ago, would have made this a lot easier to grade and drain.

The main problem area is the upper right, the water flows down the back of the two upstream properties and then will just pool behind neighbor 3's shed. The slope drops about 4 feet over 15 feet where upstream of the large red circle. The water over time has been making a mini grand canyon between the two upstream properties.

I'd like to raise the ground by the side of the hosue an inch or so, and keep the water flowing to the front and back as indicated, then just add in a bit of fill in those low spots. The termination point up near the shed pad, upper right, is actually a bit high, only say an inch or two, that would need to be knocked down. That'll allow the side flow to move into the back drainage lane.

I'd then fill in the big low spot (circle in red on the photograph), but keep it sloping down stream. Just enough to stop the pooling and not force any into the back neighbors shed/back yard.

I like woodchopper's idea of the 4" corrugated pipe from the upper right hand corner of the house to the back of the property line. It'll have to be shallow though, as there isn't much of a slope, especially if I have to raise that big low spot. The other issue is the tree roots, not sure I could get very deep without hitting them.


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This is the side of the house. The black flat drain pipe comes off the upper right hand side of the house. I don't want to add too much here, but add some dirt between those two small ponds, so that the water flows either towards the front of the property to the drainage swale by the road, or to the back of the property. Although now thinking about it, I'm not so sure the upper left drainage goes to the street, it may actually flow towards the back of the property. If it does, that may complicate things more.

The front of the house is a bit of a mess too, although I don't have any pictures of it right now. Although here's a quick sketch.

The black is the downspout and how it moves away from the house. The green is sorta a french drain, not very deep, but green pvc (with holes in it) and rock ~1" dia., on top of it. It isn't very deep, but it collects any water that flows back towards the front of the house and diverts it to the side of the house. I was under the assumption that the water then flowed to the left and towards the swale by the road, but maybe it goes to the back yard. Ugghh, that may complicate things a bit!


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Ayuh,..... This picture says it ain't flowin' to the street,....

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