How to Install Residential Yard Drainage Systems

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A yard with bad drainage is a big problem with a simple solution. Flooding can kill plants and trees, threaten the foundation of your home and draw mosquitoes. Installing a drainage system is a do-it-yourself task that takes about a weekend to complete. Once you identify the soft, waterlogged areas, dig a trench for drainage pipes to carry excess water from wet areas to a designated drainage outlet.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood stakes
  • Rope
  • Shovel
  • Crushed rock
  • Perforated drain pipe
  • Pipe sock
  • Sand
  • Grass seed
  • Walk your yard and plant wood stake where puddles remain for more than an hour after a rainfall. Mark soft, waterlogged spots and areas with exposed, eroded dirt. Lay a rope between the wood stakes to create a direct path for drain pipes.

  • Remove a channel 6 inches wide and about 18 inches deep from the path with a shovel. Dig the bottom walls on a curve in a U shape. Dig down 1 inch deeper at every 8 feet of length to slope the bottom of the canal so water runs toward the outlet.

  • Dump 6 inches of crushed rock into the canal. Spread the rock level with the back of the shovel.

  • Place perforated drain pipes over the gravel base with the holes facing up. Use elbow connectors to join lengths of pipe at curves. Cover the pipe with a sock to protect the pipe from debris. The sock is made of mesh fabric that allows water to pass through and blocks dirt particles from entering and clogging the pipe.

  • Add another 6 inches of crushed rock over the pipes.

  • Pour dirt into the remaining canal. Add sand to the dirt if it has a dense, clay consistency. Cover the dirt with grass seed and lay 1/2 inch of straw over the seed.

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