Gravel Drywell


Old 02-05-06, 05:49 PM
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Gravel Drywell

I have a downspout that empties into an azalea bed that is raised about 15 inches up from my paved driveway. I am in the process of clearing and re-mulching the azalea bed and thought now is a good time to build a gravel drywell for the downspout. I figured if I don't, then the rainwater will wash away my new mulch.

First of all, to do this, the drywell would essentially be dug out right next to the foundation of the home. Because of the azalea bed (and cement driveway), there can be no piping away from the house. Actually the drywell would be about 6 inches from the foundation (taking into account the elbow at the bottom of the downspout). Is this okay?

Also, would the drywell have to be deeper than the azalea bed? I had considered using something like a bucket or kitty litter box filled with gravel and buried up to the rim. The container would have holes at the bottom so water can seep out into the ground. Am I doing more harm than good?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-06-06, 11:37 PM
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its always better to keep water away from your basement walls then inclose
Old 02-07-06, 07:54 AM
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If I were doing this, I would first see if there's a way to pipe parallel to the driveway edge to a spot where a drywell could be placed further from the foundation. If that's not possible can you make your drywell horizontal, 4" in diameter and whatever length you have room for?

For example, can you dig up the azalea bed and place a length of 4" black corrugated, perforated, sock-covered drainage pipe under the surface? If you calculate the holding capacity, you will probably find that the pipe would hold as much as or more than your bucket or litter box, and it will increase the area over which you can disperse the water.

You can get a downspout connector for this stuff, but I would use a 45-degree elbow, connecting the angled port of the elbow to the downspout, aiming the unconnected port straight up and capping it for use as a cleanout. The sock should help reduce the infiltration of roots and silt into your pipe. Also make sure you have a screen at the top of the downspout to keep solids out of the system. At the far end of the corrugated pipe you can install a popup drain for overflows.
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