Tag Archives: dry well
I kept putting off this 2 huge projects (front yard + back yard) for many years, because it’s very low priority. Now, it’s time to do it. Before jumping into landscaping, I need to fix one huge problem – Our backyard has drainage problem due to grading, the grass near the fence is so wet after raining that you can’t even walk on it, it’s like a swamp.
What caused this problem?
This drainage problem DID NOT exist when we first got the house, however after 4-5 years this problem becomes more serious. The causes are:
- My downstream neighbors raised the grading by putting flower beds, or simply adding sod or top soil to level their lowest point that blocks the drainage
- After putting up the fence, the lowest point in my yard is fully shaded. Without enough sun light so water doesn’t evaporate fast enough
Analysis of Problem and Interesting Findings
Before fixing the problem, let’s examine how much water there is. I excavated the lowest point by hand manually and interestingly I found that the water actually flows from one house to another: First, water flows from my left hand side neighbor (my upstream) to me, then continue to flow to my right hand side neighbor (my downstream). You can see it was pretty horrible after a huge storm, it was like a creek and the water was not going to evaporate or drain fast enough.
For some houses, there is an option to re-route the water to the front or the street. However, in my case it is impossible due to the huge slope (8′ in height) resulting back yard being the lowest point. To fix the problem, I bought 20 bags of 3/4″ clear gravel, 100′ filtered weeping tile and a Rhino Bag.
Solution – Weeping Tile, French drain/trench and Dry Well
I spent quiet some time looking for solution on the Internet, the French drain + Dry Well is the best option in my case. After I installed the weeping tile with the gravel, as you can see in the picture - left hand side was no longer flooded with water, all the water went to the right hand side (lowest point). Next, I dug a 3′ deep dry well. Ideally, the dry well should be 6′ deep and much bigger in diameter. But due to many limitation, that’s all I could do. That should fix 80% of the water problem, the rest will flow slowly downstream to my neighbors (this is by design from the original grading that the builder put it together).
The other problem is because of the fence, my yard’s lowest point does not get enough sun to evaporate the water. So, some water that flows to my downstream neighbor’s highest point should actually benefits his plants, and his highest point should get tons of sun light.
During my investigation, I also found this water problem was caused by the 3 downspouts (2 mine, 1 neighbor’s), the water collected from the roof eventually ended up at the lowest point of the backyard! Now that I installed one huge rain barrel 219 L, hopefully that can help a bit, see Rain Barrel Project.
(All Photos were taken using iPhone)
To read all parts of this DIY landscaping project: