Landscape drainage is one of the most overlooked landscape concerns…until the persistent puddles and declining plants make it necessary to do something about it, we often ignore the need for good drainage.
Causes of landscape drainage problems
Landscape drainage problems can be caused by seasonal high water tables, ponding of surface water, poor soil permeability or a combination of these conditions. At some homesites, the high water table may exist for long periods – this will require good subsurface drains around the outside foundation walls to keep the house dry. Consult with local professionals and codes for specifics.
Solutions for landscape drainage problems
Further from the house, areas of poor landscape drainage can be improved with an underground collection drain called a French Drain. This drain collects water from the saturated soil and takes it (downhill) to an outlet. The link below outlines the basic construction detail of a French
If surface ponding results from natural low spots or poor soil permeability, diversion ditches or gentle swales can channel water off the lawn and driveway. During the installation of a landscape, the grade should drain away from the house at a minimum of one foot in 100 feet.
Gutters and downspouts will also help with landscape drainage problems; water from the roof can be emptied into dry wells (large hole filled with rock) or diverted to a subsurface drain.
Specific measures for insuring adequate drainage will depend on site characteristics…evaluate your soil type(s), topography, water table and climate for the best solutions.
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About Dan Eskelson
Dan has had his hands in the soil for most of his adult life as a gardener, landscaping contractor, golf course superintendent and landscape designer. When the ground freezes, he builds websites, produces video and plays the hammered dulcimer. Full bio here.