Drainage - dry well


Old 01-30-06, 11:05 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Southern California
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Drainage - dry well

We solved two mysteries this morning at our house:

1) The drain on the patio has always given us problems during heavy rainfall. It backs up and turns the patio into a lake in major storms. We've snaked it to 15' and dumped huge amounts of rooter and clog chemicals into it to no avail.

2) My lovely Blue Sky vine started ailing this time last year and we couldn't figure out why. I fed it, coddled it, coaxed, did everything I could think of. I finally decided to just remove it and put something else in.

So, in the process of removing the root system from this massive vine, what do we find but that the drainage pipe from patio ends in what would be a dry well right under where the root system for my vine was. So, basically we killed the vine by dumping all those chemicals into the patio drain pipe.

Now that we see the true problem, what are my best options? Obviously we aren't going undertake the expense to connect the patio drain to the rest of the drain system and need to build it a proper dry well. It currently just stops, will it be ok to dig a deeper hole, put an elbow on the end and direct the flow of water down in hopes of improving the drainage during storms?

I'm going to replant a vine over top because we need the shade on this corner of the house and I expect I'm going to have to completly remove all that contaminated soil where the old vine root system was.

Anything else we should do?

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Old 01-31-06, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: USA
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I had the same problem a couple of years ago after we moved into our house. The biggest problem is a dry well will only hold so much water and when the ground is saturated even less. I connected several dry wells together {burried 30 gal garbage cans} and still had puddling that would reach the level of backing into my house. My only solution was to have a french drain installed. I tied my patio and all the house downspots to the line and ran it into the street sewer. Of course this was done after the townships approval and permit fees. You may get lucky by extending the drain to an otherwise dryer location and sink another dry well.

Good luck,

Old 02-01-06, 10:26 AM
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Thanks Money Pit (and love the name! I have one of those too)

Unfortunately, the patio drain ends into an area that is a lone "earth" island in an area surrounded by concrete. Taking the drain anywhere else requires lots and lots of tunneling under things like the driveway

So, we are stuck with the location and are going to hope that digging deeper and creating a larger pit of rock of various sizes of aggregate will help. Being in California, we generally only have 3 or 4 heavy rainstorms a year that back this drain up, but when they do happen it is a mess. At least I can stop dumping chemicals into this drain and killing things.

Houses should come with instruction manuals. I know I will hand one off to the next owner when I sell....
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