Was there was a heavy rainstorm that resulted in standing water on your property and now you are looking for some creative drainage options? Spring rains bring a flood (see what I did there) of calls into the office seeking help to mitigate standing water. Whether your yard is too squishy for the kids to play in, your neighbor rerouted a sump pump to face your foundation or the whole neighborhood pitches to your yard, there are options.
Here are 8 effective backyard drainage solutions
1. Rain Barrels
Collect rain water from your roof in rain barrels. More than likely, this isn’t going to solve the issue, but it will harvest 50+ gallons of water from the property to be reallocated to your vegetable garden or annual planters.
2. Bury your Downspouts
This is a real common way to redirect water from the foundation and keep it from overwhelming your sump pump. This option also allows us to control the roof runoff and redirect it to a point within the property where it can continue along a predetermined path towards a retention pond, city sewer, rain garden or dry well. Most cities have ordinances regulating where these subgrade downspout pipes can emerge, so check your local building codes.
3. Install a Rain Garden
You can embrace a low spot on your property or grade your yard to redirect rainwater to a localized rain garden. Again, this may not solve the problem, but combined with other efforts, a rain garden will allow for a diverse planting opportunity and encourage water to trickle into our reservoirs preventing unnecessary runoff into our sewer systems. A rain garden is a great solution if you have an existing low spot on your property and water relocation is not cost effective.
4. Create a Swale
Most towns require a swale between properties when permitting new construction homes. This allows cities to manage water movement and direct water towards retention ponds or city drains. If you live in an older home, built without modern grading plans many times we can redirect water away from the trouble area with a simple swale.
5. French Drain
This is essentially a swale where collected water rests in the swale and can quickly trickle below the surface through a permeable gravel system. This method keeps water on your property and replenishes our aquafers.
6. Install a Dry Well
Now we are starting to get involved here. This requires a massive property excavation with a large quantity of soil being extracted and hauled off site. A city approved container or a system of open cell blocks with perforated pipe is set below grade and installed with a permeable gravel system to collect roof and/or property runoff underground. This is a great way to minimize the impact on your neighbors and feed our area aquifers.
7. Dry Creek Bed
This is a way to redirect water with a swale and/or French drain covered in decorative stone. By using varying rock styles and sizes and strategically placing plants along a meandering dry creek, we are able to manage water during high run off periods and add a unique feature to the landscape.
8. Connect to the City Sewer System
Many towns have cost sharing programs where they help offset the cost of water mitigation if the water issue is impacting multiple properties. Connecting personal downspouts and sump pumps into the city system requires cooperation and approval from the city and should only be done by approved vendors like American Gardens.
Our spring and summer rainfalls are becoming increasingly extreme. Extraordinary amounts of rain over shorter windows of time can overwhelm properties and sewer systems that were not designed to manage such intense downpours. You do have options, so if you know that April showers bring water sorrows, then reach out and let’s see if we can create a solution that best fits your yard!