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· Registered
211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every winter/spring our backyard floods. This year was really wet and bad so I thought I might try a small dry well to possibly help drain the water. I got out the post hole digger and after roughyl 2 to 2.5 feet of clay I struck gold! I wish, more like water. I stopped digging and took the hose and filled the hole about half way with water and half hour later the water level hasnt dropped.

I figure 1 of 2 things are happening.
1) I have reached the water table and a dry well is useless in this scenerio, or...
2) There is more clay to dig through and possibly I may punch through to more permable subsoil

What are your thoughts. I am leaning more toward #1.


· Civil Engineer
5,832 Posts
Except in the unlikely case that you have a perched water table, you are likely correct that the water you see is the water table, and you are going to get a wet well, not a dry well, if you dig further. My backyard is the same way, it floods every spring due to high groundwater, and then the water disappears as the summer wears on and the groundwater drops. The only way to permanently lower the groundwater table would be to drain the water to a lower water level, say a stream or a storm sewer system. But that might require a permit, and could be expensive, and of course may be impossible if the geometry is wrong.

· Too Short? Cut it Again!
9,639 Posts
Sure you are allowed to even try to put a dry well into something that drains to the water table in NY? Lived in Manhattan but almost bought a place out of the City around the water supply. No way could I have gotten away with a dry well and the reason I bailed is even the septic system was going to cost an outrageous amount of extra money to protect the water supply.

Anyhow, if you have hit the water table it will do know good to dig deeper. Another true story, when I lived in the Bay Area Foster city was built on land fill. People like me and pool contractors almost had to look at tide charts because you would dig down for post anchors and hit salt water. Healthy trees would hit that salt water after a number of years and be killed by the salt content.

Any chance you can regrade your land to drain water flowing over it and not under it?
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