How to Install a Driveway Drainage Ditch


Creating a drainage ditch is a cost effective way to manage water buildup on your property. If you do not want rain water to pool on your driveway, consider digging a channel to reroute the water away from the driveway surface toward another more suitable area of your property. You will just need a little bit of time and a few items in order to do it.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Gravel or small rocks


  • Pick the best route for your drainage ditch. You should make it slope away from your driveway toward an area of your property that is preferably lower. The end of the ditch should come no closer than approximately 6 to 8 feet from your house.

  • Check with your local utility companies to make sure there are no buried pipes or cables along the route of the ditch. Remove any flowers, shrubs or rocks that are in the way of your plotted course.

  • Dig a ditch along your decided course. The ditch should be about 10 to 12 inches deep. You may find it necessary to make the ditch gradually deeper to encourage water flow, especially if you don't have a nearby area that is lower than the driveway surface.

  • Place a layer of rocks or gravel inside the length of the ditch. It will help prevent soil erosion and also encourage the growth of groundcover. You may also wish to include some water-loving plants at the point where the ditch ends.

Tips & Warnings

  • When planning your driveway drainage ditch, make sure it conforms to your local building ordinances and ground permeability codes, and also does not negatively impact on your neighbor's property.

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