Drainage problems


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Old 06-09-07, 12:00 PM
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dmn
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Drainage problems

I'm looking at installing a french drain. My house is about 20ft away from the neighbour's on one side. Both of us have damp basements, and mine has evidence of past flooding (2-3 inches, someone jerry-rigged a sump pump with a curb along the back wall, finish wall studs are rotting out at base). We are almost on top of a hill, the top is a gravel alley about 70 ft back and 2-3 ft up from the house. The front is bermed up about 4 feet from street level. My yard has a 2' cmu wall along the street with a little 2' wide greenspace at street level. There are also some old nonfunctional clay drain pipes,

We're considering digging a french drain in a Y to help take water diagonally from the back and straight along the property line to the street. (There are gutters draining all along the street). It would be gravel wrapped in landscaping fabric below some sand and top soil.

A couple questions:
1.The lawn itself seems to have the right moisture level for the grass. Should I worry about drying out the yard?
1a. How deep/wide should it be?
2.Will a french drain blow a lot of soil onto the street?
3.Is it possible to mitigate the above concerns by building some sort of retention area/ rain garden?
4.Off topic, but the little CMU wall is starting to lean. Any ideas how to fix that?

Thanks,
D
 
  #2  
Old 09-30-07, 08:40 PM
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So, nobody responded.
I've found that grass is really hardy. You can flip it over like a rug and it will survive for a couple of days. I ended up making a trench drain on one side of the house and building gutter piping into it. 75' long, one shovel wide, 18" at the start and 3' deep at the bottom, about six feet from the street. I used landscaping fabric with gravel and perforated black pipe (you might be surprised how sturdy that flimsy black plastic becomes once it's in gravel), and then buried the gutter on top of that, Still debating wether to cover the top with grass or gravel.
Pick the top soil right off and it will be easier to dig the rest. Digging upslope makes it easier to keep a constant slope. The hardest thing was that my path went straight through an old buried stump.
Things I found useful:
-Masonry line, line-level and stakes
(you can walk along inside the trench with your hand on the string and get a good enough sense of the slope)
-breaker bar
this is useful for loosening up the soil so you can easily scoop it up, also a quick way to chop the smaller roots
-pick axe
any roots over 2" diameter you are going to need one of these, try not to kill too many trees.
-shovel.
yup
-wheelbarrow
makes it much easier to move the dirt around, keep the yard clean

Probably will eventualy have to dig up the foundation and spray waterproofing, but this should help somewhat.
 
 

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