Standing water in back yard - Dry Well or French Drains to culvert??

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Old 03-18-11, 02:21 PM
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Standing water in back yard - Dry Well or French Drains to culvert??

Hello,

My back yard is about 150 feet away from the culvert in my front yard (no storm sewer on our street).
I was curious if anyone had any advice on how to get the water out of our back yard. After a decent rain the ground will stay pretty saturated for about a week after. Puddles do form but they are usually drained out with in a day.

I was thinking about either buying some long french drains.... digging and burying it under the ground and having them exit in the culvert (which is again about 150 feet away).
Someone told me to not do that but to dig a big whole in my backyard and fill it with small stone.... and then on top of that stone put about a foot of dirt on top and re-sod.

Would someone be able to refer one over the other.... or provide a different approach entirely?

Thanks.
 
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Old 03-19-11, 03:24 PM
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Can't you just correct the pitch of the yard? It sounds like there are hills a valleys & the water is going nowhere.
 
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Old 03-19-11, 08:41 PM
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The least effective method is to run drain channels inside to an inside sump with a pump. This method usually does nothing to reduce high relative humidity inside the basement. The best method is to use a proprietary wall waterproofing method on the outside wall along with a drain tile (continuous perforated plastic piping) that runs to daylight prior to backfilling. This second method is the most expensive of all retrofits but it DOES work. Grading the ground around the house to direct water away will always help but may not be enough by itself.
 
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Old 03-20-11, 11:51 AM
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I have the same problem and I'm planning to install 4" "drain pipe". But the question is how big area can be drain by each pipe? Other words: what would be the maximum distance between pipes? If my back yard i approximately 50x50 feet can I install only 1 pipe in the middle?
 
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Old 03-21-11, 02:54 PM
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The area that each single pipe will drain depends entirely upon the porosity of the soil, the depth of the water table and the amount of surface water you need to re-direct. If your soil is mostly sand then the drains can be farther apart but if your soil is mostly clay then you will need the drains closer together.
 
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Old 03-21-11, 03:32 PM
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Ok, but how close is close
My soil is mostly clay.
 
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Old 03-21-11, 07:16 PM
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Dig a hole, maybe six inches deep and then move over a few feet and dig a second hole. Fill the first with water and see how long it takes to migrate to the second hole. If almost immediately then you can space the drain pipes further apart, if not at all then you need to space the pipes closer or maybe even dig up the yard and add sand and peat moss to break up the clay.
 
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Old 03-24-11, 05:21 PM
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To answer your original question, I would say french drains are the way to go. Digging a hole with gravel works fine for a specific drain, but draining to a culvert will be a much better long term solution.

I'd highly recommend you use the double-wall plastic pipes. They are typically white on the outside, but aren't that real flimsy white PVC that used to be used (and probably still is). I'm sure you've seen the cheap flimsy stuff around, usually compressed into an oval shape or cracked horribly. I'd also stay away from black corrugated pipe. It's pretty much impossible to snake out if needed and tends to crush easily as well.

Other suggestions:
- Place the pipe in with the holes to the sides (not facing down or facing up). This will allow the water to enter the pipe, then once it enters, it will run all the way down and out the pipe as opposed to filling up the rest of the french drain.

- If you can, terminate the end of the pipe closest to the house to a cleanout just above ground level. If you need to snake it in the future, you'll be able to get a snake down it, and snake it all the way to the culvert.

Good luck!
 
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