Yard Flooding (Pools Of Water) - French Drains?


Old 12-09-13, 11:40 AM
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Question Yard Flooding (Pools Of Water) - French Drains?


I've been getting rain and I'm noticing that in my front and back yard water has been pooling, and just sitting for days. There is no flooding in the basement, but I constantly hear the sub-pump kick on in the basement to drain the water.

In the front yard we have trees close to the curb and then it kind of slopes down toward my front yard and then back up slightly to my house; see attached pics.

In the back yard its pretty flat, and it seem to only pool around the Willow tree that was planted there; see attached pics.

I was thinking of first trying to just put more top soil to raise the elevation, but if that doesn't work maybe try French drains.

Do you think adding top soil or French drains will help stop this water from pooling?

Also, to put a French drain in the back yard do I have to run it all the way to the front yard curb?

Thank you!
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Old 12-23-13, 12:36 PM
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Hi, does anyone have experience with installing French drains? Would installing one in the front and back yard help get rid of this pooling water?

Thank you!
Old 12-23-13, 01:08 PM
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You have a beautiful wetland in the making... French drains can help in some situations but it looks like your ground is saturated. When the ground is full there is not much else you can do other than surface grading to get the water to run off. Unfortunately it looks like your lot is rather level and the low spot for the surrounding area.

Filling in the low spots is one option but you don't want to force the water closer to the house. The front yard looks especially difficult. When it fills up where does the water run off?
Old 12-23-13, 02:43 PM
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Definitely add top soil to the side of your house so that there is a 10 to 15 degree slope. That will keep water from trying get into the basement. But as PilotDane says not much you can do. Don't feel bad my backyard is like that all winter long.
Old 12-26-13, 11:15 AM
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The water doesn't really run off anywhere; it just sits there.

It's pretty much flat there so maybe if there is a way I can do a "surface grading" this way I can create a run off into the street?
Old 12-26-13, 11:19 AM
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It's hard to tell for sure but it looks like the street is higher than your house so trying to change the grade to run this water into the street may backfire and divert it to your house.
Old 12-26-13, 11:27 AM
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To get it to drain to the street you would need the level to be several inches higher than the street and even higher near the house. It doesn't look like your house is high enough to allow that much of an increase. If your NJ soil is sand, as I was used to in Brick, you may be able to drain it down into a stone or concrete seepage pit. I installed one on a difficult lot with a steel grate on top and as of my last visit it has been working great for over 30 years. It drains the entire 1/2 acre lot. But the soil is pure sand and water table is 40 feet down.

But, since your ground probably isn't frozen as yet, what you are looking at may be your water table. Does it do this year round when you get a lot of rain?

Old 12-26-13, 11:30 AM
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Well, this may not work for everyone...but it helped me. At my last house in VA I started having a problem after a deck was built for my spa. I don't know what the cause really was, but the flower beds around the perimeter were just saturated to mush after a day of rain. Wouldn't dry out for days.

The back yard was well sloped, it just wouldn't dry out possibly due to the hard clay about 8" down and the excavation for the deck footers.

What I did was borrow my neighbors auger and drilled about four 3' deep holes where it was saturated. I inserted lengths of perforated plastic drain pipe wrapped in drain sock and filled with gravel. I left them about 8-10" below the surface with the drain sock knotted over the top. An inch or 2 of gravel then backfilled with soil.

Never had an issue again. I guess it was some sort of French drain before I even knew what that was. Or maybe just getting below the clay layer allowed drainage.

You definitely have some low spots and that should be addressed, but if you have a hard clay layer, you'll just move the problem, not solve it.

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