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Lawn Drains


Do you have excessive water that lays near your home after a hard rain? Puddles in your yard? Does it take days or even weeks for your yard to dry out after a rain? Are there holes in your yard as the result of water “streaming” through, washing the soil away?


Surface drainage systems aim to collect excess surface water from walkways, patios and driveways, planting beds, window wells, and specific lawn areas where water tends to collect. Water enters a surface drainage system through catch basins, or “boxes”, which have a sump area that collects debris to prevent clogging of the piping.


Catch basins or “boxes” and the drainage grates that go on top of them are available in a variety of sizes and styles depending upon the application.


Square drainage grates are used for walkways, driveways, parking lots, around swimming pools, while round grates are most generally used in lawn or turf areas.

Atrium drainage grates have a raised "dome" design to help prevent debris from building on top of the grate openings. These are used in window wells, planting areas, and other applications where mulch, stone, or other landscape debris would tend to cover drain openings.


The size of the catch basin should be sized to the anticipated volume of water to be collected. In addition the pipe carrying the water from the catch basin should be properly sized to carry enough water from all catch basins to which it is connected. Always size a little larger than necessary for safety. The additional material cost is minimal and mistakes can be costly. If the drain will be exposed to excessive weight or traffic from above, you may consider a pre-cast concrete catch basin with a metal drainage grate. The drainage line connecting the catch basins should be of a solid (non-perforated) design. Both solid PVC and corrugated plastic piping are acceptable.


Another form of the surface drainage system is the channel drain. Channel drains are frequently used in paved areas to collect water. They are essentially an extended trough or catch basin covered by a long grate. Typical channel drains can be 10’ long and 4" wide. Channel drains are also connected together with solid piping.


Downspout Drainage


Drain lines are used to carry roof water from downspouts, away from buildings and planting beds. Downspout drain lines can be especially helpful if the grade around a building does not cause water to move away from the foundation. Downspouts can be connected to solid PVC or corrugated plastic drain pipes to carry roof water away from the building.


Sub-Surface Drainage


The most frequently used form of sub-surface drainage is the French Drain or underground collection drain. This drain collects underground water from saturated soils and carries it to a desired destination. Sub-surface drains help carry water away from low spots and can protect drainage sensitive plant material.


French Drains


French Drains collect sub-surface water from poorly drained areas and carry it elsewhere and hopefully to a main drainage line, dry well, ravine, or the street. French drains can intercept water that is draining from adjacent properties and carry it away before it enters your lawn or landscaping.


A French Drain is constructed using simple materials; pea gravel or crushed rock, woven landscape fabric, and a perforated drainage pipe (usually the corrugated variety).

To create a French Drain, dig a trench that will carry water away from the area to be drained. Ideal places to put French Drains are the bases of slopes, along retaining walls, or any other area where water tends to collect. Make certain that your trench is well sloped so that water is encouraged to move through the drain to the desired destination.


Line the trench with landscape fabric. Install a 4" or 6" perforated drain line at the bottom of the trench, and backfill with gravel. The landscape fabric should be wrapped all of the way around the gravel to prevent mixing of the surrounding soil into the gravel. If you don’t completely encase your gravel the silt from water falling into the trench will plug the gravel that is placed in the trench, eliminating the usefulness of your French drain. This is a crucial step in an effective drainage system! This will keep the porous spaces in the gravel open for the water to flow through.


In areas with severe drainage problems, multiple perforated lines are used as water collectors or interceptor drains. Water enters the perforations in the drain lines when the surrounding media is saturated and can be carried away more quickly than just by percolating though the gravel.


If feasible, you can connect the French drain perforated lines into a main, non-perforated header line to collect and carry the water to its final destination.


Drainage in your landscape is as important as proper irrigation. Standing water in landscaped areas can cause plant diseases and can even kill sensitive plants. Overly wet lawn and turf areas are prone to soil compaction and damage from footprints and mowing equipment.


In addition, drainage near buildings is important to prevent weeping and moisture intrusion into foundations and walls.


Drainage systems can use several techniques to remove unwanted water from an area. Whether a residential or commercial site, your circumstance will be dependent on which technique will be most effective.









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