The best way to control the flow of water away from sidewalks and plants is with a culvert. The culvert is a pipe that directs the water into the nearest sewer or storm drain. They are used on everything from highways to housing development streets.
Corrugated steel culverts are lightweight and come in a variety of sizes. Unfortunately, they are prone to cracking and rusting, and if improperly set into the ground, will become distorted and could cave in, blocking the flow of water.
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Plastic culverts are very lightweight. They made of polyethylene, which is corrosion-resistant, due to a special coating, and are available in 20-foot lengths. Because they do not weigh much, they can be laid by hand, without the use of heavy machinery.
The first known reference to the word "culvert" appears in 1773. The origin of the word is unknown.