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Engineer
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Discussion Starter #1
Moved into a new home in the spring, and noticed over the course of the year that the backyard (towards the rear boundary) gets "marshy" especially after a heavy rain. There is an underground PVC pipe that evacuates there from the sump which is a large reason for this. The backyard has a nice slope away from the house, and this seems to be a nice setup to keep water away from the home. The problem is that the back 3rd of the yard can be unusable at times. This year we had very little rain, so I'm not looking forward to seeing what will happen with a rainy year. I'm looking for some suggestions to help remedy this problem. Thanks.
 

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Get to the end of the pipe where it discharges in the yard and extend it or leave it where it ends and dig and install a French drain.
 

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Get to the end of the pipe where it discharges in the yard and extend it or leave it where it ends and dig and install a French drain.
Note: That French drain needs some destination for the water it collects. It would stop functioning if it has no outlet and the ground under it gets saturated.
 

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Engineer
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Discussion Starter #4
Note: That French drain needs some destination for the water it collects. It would stop functioning if it has no outlet and the ground under it gets saturated.
And that would be a problem as there's no destination, and the ground is completely saturated in the back.
 

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Maybe that's why the yard is mushy to start with that's why a better drainage system is needed. Maybe if a French drain is installed properly with the right amount of drainage stone and dept he won't have this problem. What do you suggest Allen?

Just trying to throw out ideas, haven't heard any other idea's yet like to get stephen thinking rather than dooms day thinking. It can be fixed there's always a way. Don't say no, listen to all the answers and keep thinking.

Another thing to look at is the house drainage (gutters, roof). You might be looking at a major drainage tank installation somewhere on the property.
One other thing you have to look closely at the mushy area and figure out what to do on your own. Send pictures of the house , drainage, down spouts , property out back. You might have to live with it.
Call in an expert if need be.
 

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Engineer
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Discussion Starter #6
Maybe that's why the yard is mushy to start with that's why a better drainage system is needed. Maybe if a French drain is installed properly with the right amount of drainage stone and dept he won't have this problem. What do you suggest Allen?

Just trying to throw out ideas, haven't heard any other idea's yet like to get stephen thinking rather than dooms day thinking. It can be fixed there's always a way. Don't say no, listen to all the answers and keep thinking.

Another thing to look at is the house drainage (gutters, roof). You might be looking at a major drainage tank installation somewhere on the property.
One other thing you have to look closely at the mushy area and figure out what to do on your own. Send pictures of the house , drainage, down spouts , property out back. You might have to live with it.
Call in an expert if need be.
Thanks for the advice. Whatever route I take it's likely to be labor intensive, so I don't want to have a problem after it's done. All downpipes from the gutters run to underground pipe and an individual drain about 10' from the house. Since the backyard has a nice slope this likely also leads to the back third being "marshy."

I've considered installing a dry well, but I suspect that I would need to have one for each downspout drain in addition to the sump drain.
 

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Civil Engineer
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Since the backyard is marshy, this strongly suggests that the groundwater level in the backyard is high, probably near surface. If that is the case, installing drywells will not work effectively, since the water exiting the drywell will simply flow into the ground, and the groundwater level is already too high by your description.

The only solution is to locate a drainage point that is lower than your backyard, and either pump the excess water to that location, or better allow the water to flow by gravity. This may be a problem, since the low point may not be on your property, and you may not have authority to extend a drain to that point. In any case, it would seem that a good place to start is to determine how the drainage in your area is set up, i.e. are there storm drains you can tie into, or a swale, or something similar.
 

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Sometimes the best place to start is by talking to your neighbors. If you have this issue your neighbors might have already dealt with the same thing and they might be able to give you some time and money saving suggestions.
 

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Marshy can also mean poor septic field if you have one, or your area was once a wetland. Can you post some pictures of the area. You can also check with the state website at http://illinoisfloodmaps.org/ for the map of your area, showing if you are within a floodplain area.
 

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Maybe that's why the yard is mushy to start with that's why a better drainage system is needed. Maybe if a French drain is installed properly with the right amount of drainage stone and dept he won't have this problem. What do you suggest Allen?

Just trying to throw out ideas, ...
I guess I will throw out some ideas too. I'm not saying you have to follow them.

1. Have a dry well at the lowest part of your French drain out there and have a sump pump there that pumps the water out to the street if the level gets high enough.

2. As far a the right amount of drainage stone goes, the more you have then the longer a prolonged rainy spell can be before it overflows, assuming there is no further destination. I was going to throw out the number 8,000 cubic feet of 1/2 inch sized stone. But I don't have a quantitative handle on what corresponds to what, say whether 8,000 cubic feet will handle a "50 year storm".

(If you do #1 then you do not also have to do #2.)
 

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Is there any possibility that you could run the sump drain to the street instead of the back yard?

I had to do that with this house----
 
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