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View Full Version : Enlighten me on this one (drainage problem)...


RLS24
03-17-2009, 09:46 PM
First off, I'm not even sure if this is in the right forum, so mods feel free to move it as you see fit.


Ok, so I went to do an estimate for a customer today. He has a problem with a lot of water collecting in his backyard every time it rains or during the spring thaw. I have made a picture below of what the place looks like. The blue area is where water collects, the green area is a "swamp" area thats supposed to be for drainage, however it sits higher than his yard, as do all the other around it. The town engineering department has also put drainage tile in (the red line), and that doesnt do squat because the pipe is broken and the end of the pipe in the swamp area slopes up so its about 2 feet out of the ground. The town engineering department refuses to do anything about it.

The guy wants his whole yard re-graded from the house back, which is fine, but we still need to give the water a place to go. the customer wants to put a french drain in pretty much right along where the property line is and have it connect to the swamp area. He has the cooperation of the neighbors who said do whatever you need to even if it means tearing up their yards.

I was thinking in conjunction with re-grading the yard, dig a small ditch, maybe 2 feet wide by 2 feet deep, lines with crushed stone, and have a new french drain below it. This would run right along the property line and then into the neighbors "swamp," which I was thinking of putting a small percolation ditch in to collect water as well. The problem is, I think to put in another french drain and do it right, the one the town put in would have to come out. Obviously I can't just start digging it out, but they won't do anything about it either. I also assume I would need to get all kinds of permits and submit plans to the town to do this and possibly be required to have some kind of certification. I really would like to do the job because it would be a huge job and a lot of money, but at the same time I really don;t care to get involved with getting permits and having to draw up professional plans and whatnot because thats really out of my league.

Mike Leary
03-17-2009, 10:02 PM
Dump the sig; we may be able to help. :hammerhead:

RLS24
03-17-2009, 10:20 PM
Dump the sig; we may be able to help. :hammerhead:

whats wrong with it?

Mike Leary
03-17-2009, 10:24 PM
Because we don't give a rip about what kind of weed wacker you have. This is a sprinkler forum, Bob. :hammerhead:

ARGOS
03-17-2009, 10:29 PM
Speak for yourself Mike. The coming for '09 list is fun.

I also like the Craftaman Edger.

RLS24
03-17-2009, 10:30 PM
Because we don't give a rip about what kind of weed wacker you have. This is a sprinkler forum, Bob. :hammerhead:

well 99% of my posts are on lawnsite, and my sig just carried over from there. I didn't put in in just so u could see it.

Speak for yourself Mike. The coming for '09 list is fun.

I also like the Craftaman Edger.

i got it for free, and it worked for me for the the first year I was in business. I am going to buy a commercial grade one this year. Sorry I don't have all the fancy stuff you guys have....I'm just starting out but I'm sure you guys had the best of everything when you started right?

Mike Leary
03-17-2009, 10:32 PM
Speak for yourself Mike. The coming for '09 list is fun.

I also like the Craftaman Edger.

Figures with you dorks that show, mow, blow & go.

ARGOS
03-17-2009, 10:35 PM
It was a joke...geez.

Mike Leary
03-17-2009, 10:38 PM
I'm sure you guys had the best of everything when you started right?

Yup, had a pretty cool service truck, too.

ARGOS
03-17-2009, 10:39 PM
BTW the point of Craftaman was the typing error. :hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:

ARGOS
03-17-2009, 10:39 PM
And he's still driving it.

Stuttering Stan
03-17-2009, 10:43 PM
Mike RE????- I'll help you out since the morons here are too self coincided.

You're in the wrong dammm forum. Move to homeowner forum, but dump the sig for them too!!!

Mike Leary
03-17-2009, 10:44 PM
This one takes twenty foot sticks of sch 40.

ARGOS
03-17-2009, 10:48 PM
Coincided? Mike and I nearly never coincide...except on backflow and music.

Junior M
03-17-2009, 10:48 PM
Well first off, if he wants to regrade it, where are you goin to run the water if the swamp is 2ft higher than his yard? thats alot of dirt and if you bring in say, 2ft3in of dirt at the house where is the new grade goin to end up with say, spigots(sp?) steps, basement windows and things..

Depending on how much water is rolling down that hill(its hard to determine until I see it and shoot it with the lazer) it sounds like it might be able to be handled in 4in corrugated. I'd run one main trunk line, parallel to the current one, down the center of the yard and run a couple fingers off of that. Now another thing that might solve this issue is run his downspouts into 4in corrugated, this can make alot of difference.

and the depth all determines on your fall, you need to bring in a lazer and shoot it and that will determine your depth, also, no reason for it to be 2ft wide, we install french drain all the time using a 12in bucket.

Also, I am not sure you would need permits to do this, and if the water is standing in the whole backyard, what is a french drain on oneside of the yard goin to do?

Stuttering Stan
03-17-2009, 10:55 PM
Thanks Junior, thanks alot for ruining this. Let redirect this to another forum. Please:hammerhead:

Wet_Boots
03-17-2009, 10:56 PM
I say put in a swimming pool.

Junior M
03-17-2009, 11:02 PM
Thanks Junior, thanks alot for ruining this. Let redirect this to another forum. Please:hammerhead:
Sorry, just thought I'd give a serious answer for once. Plus, I enjoy doing drainage work..

Junior M
03-17-2009, 11:03 PM
I say put in a swimming pool.
sweet, I'll give ya my number! :cool2: I can get you one hell of a deal on an inground plastic pool, compliments of Walmart.. :laugh:

ARGOS
03-17-2009, 11:05 PM
I really would like to do the job because it would be a huge job and a lot of money, but at the same time I really don;t care to get involved with getting permits and having to draw up professional plans and whatnot because that's really out of my league.

I think there is always a balancing act between increasing ones knowledge and getting in over ones head.

HOWEVER getting permits and drawing up professional plans are essential to drainage. If you really "don't care to get involved with getting permits" you should probably shy away from a job with this many issues.

Getting permits and designing professional plans are part of the success of the project.

mitchgo
03-18-2009, 03:31 AM
Getting permits and designing professional plans are part of the success of the project.


Exactly.
I hardly ever actually deal with drainage for customers... But I understand the concept and basics of it all.. And discuss drainage issues all the time with customers.

To do a drainage job you have to know what your doing.. because if you don't and do it incorrectly you can really screw something up

mitchgo
03-18-2009, 03:35 AM
To mike

Okay first off.. Who does an picture elevation picture like that top to bottom.. it's always side to side man!

Second off is that swamp the city retention pound or inside the house property? Is it a natural green belt?

Junior M
03-18-2009, 08:14 AM
I think there is always a balancing act between increasing ones knowledge and getting in over ones head.

HOWEVER getting permits and drawing up professional plans are essential to drainage. If you really "don't care to get involved with getting permits" you should probably shy away from a job with this many issues.

Getting permits and designing professional plans are part of the success of the project.
I've never heard of drawing up plans, we do like yall do with irrigation, just go out on the job and go from there, no drawn up plans. And we've never had to get permits, but each state is different..

Kiril
03-18-2009, 11:24 AM
To mike

Okay first off.. Who does an picture elevation picture like that top to bottom.. it's always side to side man!

Second off is that swamp the city retention pound or inside the house property? Is it a natural green belt?

Couple of other questions.

3) Why does the water collect so quickly?

4) Where is the water coming from?

5) Where is your soil test?

6) Where is your elevation topo?

Mike Leary
03-18-2009, 11:28 AM
Couple of other questions.

3) Why does the water collect so quickly?

4) Where is the water coming from?

5) Where is your soil test?

6) Where is your elevation topo?

What he said.

Wet_Boots
03-18-2009, 11:38 AM
Maybe question one should be is there any official wetlands status to this, or neighboring dampness.

Junior M
03-18-2009, 12:20 PM
Where the water is coming from is one big question, if it is coming from the front yard and around the house you need to adress the issue in the front of the house first..

Mike Leary
03-18-2009, 12:25 PM
Where the water is coming from is one big question, if it is coming from the front yard and around the house you need to adress the issue in the front of the house first..

I don't recall any elevations, can't do squat unless there's someplace to channel it.

Junior M
03-18-2009, 12:36 PM
I don't recall any elevations, can't do squat unless there's someplace to channel it.
nevermind, I just got what you were saying.. :hammerhead:

Kiril
03-18-2009, 02:00 PM
Where the water is coming from is one big question, if it is coming from the front yard and around the house you need to adress the issue in the front of the house first..

There is more to it than just surface flow.

Junior M
03-18-2009, 05:11 PM
There is more to it than just surface flow.
Yes, I understand, we do this kind of work all the time, what I am saying is if the water is coming around the front of the house, you've got more of an issue than just water standing in the backyard..

Dripit good
03-18-2009, 06:09 PM
Yes, I understand, we do this kind of work all the time, what I am saying is if the water is coming around the front of the house, you've got more of an issue than just water standing in the backyard..

Junior.....if you do this kind of work all the time.....you would correct the OP and suggest he use pea gravel, not crushed stone. :hammerhead:

As for the rest of your probing into this ~ carry on please........

Junior M
03-18-2009, 06:31 PM
Junior.....if you do this kind of work all the time.....you would correct the OP and suggest he use pea gravel, not crushed stone. :hammerhead:

As for the rest of your probing into this ~ carry on please........
Never use pea gravel, its small enough to fall into the perferations in perferated 4in corrugated and plug it, unplugging french drain that has water backed up with water standing behind it isnt fun. Always use 57stone(not sure what everyone else calls it) atleast thats what I've always been taught and always used. The only time I think pea gravel would work would be on socked corrugated. But even then I'd still use 57stone..

I must've read over the part about crushed stone.. :hammerhead:

Dripit good
03-18-2009, 06:38 PM
Washed pea gravel will not fall into the perf slots. Regardless, always use socked corrugated for the type of problem the OP is posing.

Junior M
03-18-2009, 06:41 PM
Washed pea gravel will not fall into the perf slots. Regardless, always use socked corrugated for the type of problem the OP is posing.
I am goin to start running straight socked pipe because our area is mostly sand it will plug fast. But I am just going off of what I've been taught and have learned from experience..

to the OP, let me go through some paper work, there is a new product that is the 4in corrugated and gravel all in one, let me find it and I'll post it..

Junior M
03-18-2009, 08:34 PM
I found it, finally.. :cool2:

btw, sorry about the sig, atleast it isnt a bunch of crap like before. But I got an excuse, I was on the way out to look at a job and I was rushing and forgot to uncheck it..

http://www.ezflowlp.com/prod_app.htm

ARGOS
03-18-2009, 10:53 PM
I've never heard of drawing up plans, we do like yall do with irrigation, just go out on the job and go from there, no drawn up plans. And we've never had to get permits, but each state is different..

There actually was a lot of discussion on drawing up plans in the Texas Irrigator thread. I cannot think of one time where I didn't at least have the "restaurant napkin" plan drawn up. I draw up plans or use the plan of a landscape architect on every irrigation install. And use one ESPECIALLY for drainage installs (which usually are part of the set of a working copy of a landscape plan).

Junior M
03-18-2009, 10:59 PM
There actually was a lot of discussion on drawing up plans in the Texas Irrigator thread. I cannot think of one time where I didn't at least have the "restaurant napkin" plan drawn up. I draw up plans or use the plan of a landscape architect on every irrigation install. And use one ESPECIALLY for drainage installs (which usually are part of the set of a working copy of a landscape plan).
We never draw plans, not real plans atleast, we go in shoot it with the lazer, and depending on the homeowners pocket depth we determine what needs to be done. I usually do a rough over view of the whole lot and draw where the lines are going so I can get a rough idea of where I am goin to have to dig before I get there, but that doesnt happen alot. Like I said, we usually plan it all out on the job when we look at it(something may change between the dig day and when we look at it because we may think of something better) because it depends on how much they want to spend and then of course fall and then we just start marking things with marking paint and then we are digging..

sunray
03-18-2009, 11:35 PM
We do it the old fashion way common sense and a good eye and only smooth bore pvc french drain pipe with cleanouts.
Find out where the waters coming from if it's a surface problem or ground water or combination of both.

Decide where the water can be routed too and make sure it does not cause additional problems for neighbors,county or state.
We line or trenches with sediment barrier material and use 57 stone, 4 inch pvc holes down, they work like a champ.

HokieAg07
03-18-2009, 11:57 PM
I've never heard of drawing up plans, we do like yall do with irrigation, just go out on the job and go from there, no drawn up plans. And we've never had to get permits, but each state is different..

You have a lot to learn if you have never heard of drawing up drainage plans...

I dont know who you are referring to when you say "yall" but I know I draw up plans (either hand drawn or computer aided) for each system I design and I am sure most of the real irrigators here do the same. Dont be a piker.

Have you gotten insurance yet? I sure would with that tree situation you are getting yourself into

Junior M
03-19-2009, 07:56 AM
You have a lot to learn if you have never heard of drawing up drainage plans...

I dont know who you are referring to when you say "yall" but I know I draw up plans (either hand drawn or computer aided) for each system I design and I am sure most of the real irrigators here do the same. Dont be a piker.

Have you gotten insurance yet? I sure would with that tree situation you are getting yourself into
Yes, we are now insured, jeez, who doesnt know of that job.. :dizzy:

And I am refering to Dad and what I have learned at work. And Dad has been in this line of business for goin on 30yrs and has done an assload of drainage and never drawn up plans, on bigger commercial jobs he went off of the GC's plans but never for residential. Usually he showed up dug all the utilities in to the house then went to the downspouts and found the best way to route them and get the water out of the yard.

Since each job was different and builders got to the point of trusting him that they didnt even want him to come look at them anymore, just called him with an address and what they wanted done and Dad sent a crew out with no plans.

If I am a piker for doing drainage that way, so be it. I dont see the purpose of drawing up plans when its a whole lot easier to just go shoot it with the lazer and determine what needs to be done..

Kiril
03-19-2009, 09:06 AM
Usually he showed up dug all the utilities in to the house then went to the downspouts and found the best way to route them and get the water out of the yard.

Once again, there is alot more to consider here than simply surface flow, or down spouts. Any simp can drain down spouts to the street or a dry well, but draining a shallow or perched water table, or a soil with an extremely low hydraulic conductivity, is an entirely different matter.

Junior M
03-19-2009, 10:44 AM
Once again, there is alot more to consider here than simply surface flow, or down spouts. Any simp can drain down spouts to the street or a dry well, but draining a shallow or perched water table, or a soil with an extremely low hydraulic conductivity, is an entirely different matter.
Yes, which requires french drain or ezflow, which we used no plans on.. Either way, any drainage we've even done has never had plans..

FIMCO-MEISTER
03-19-2009, 10:46 AM
I think we lost the original poster...

TRILAWNCARE
03-19-2009, 10:52 AM
Yes, which requires french drain or ezflow, which we used no plans on.. Either way, any drainage we've even done has never had plans..

Never did a commercial job I take it. Or else you were not in a municipality that had ordinances, for such things as drainage and retention basins. Or just never bothered with the permits. I would think the latter.

Any piker with a shovel can put in tile for a downspout.

Junior M
03-19-2009, 11:09 AM
Never did a commercial job I take it. Or else you were not in a municipality that had ordinances, for such things as drainage and retention basins. Or just never bothered with the permits. I would think the latter.

Any piker with a shovel can put in tile for a downspout.
Look, dont call us pikers cause we arent, we dont need permits where we are and didnt need them when Dad was running the show in Ohio. So dont assume.. :nono:

And he did a few commercial jobs and if you read you would've read that on commercial jobs he ran off of the GC's, he never made his own..

Kiril
03-19-2009, 11:15 AM
Yes, which requires french drain or ezflow, which we used no plans on.. Either way, any drainage we've even done has never had plans..

It is a little more complicated than that, but whatever.

TRILAWNCARE
03-19-2009, 11:17 AM
Look, dont call us pikers cause we arent, we dont need permits where we are and didnt need them when Dad was running the show in Ohio. So dont assume.. :nono:

And he did a few commercial jobs and if you read you would've read that on commercial jobs he ran off of the GC's, he never made his own..

Which part of this didn't you understand?

Never did a commercial job I take it. Or else you were not in a municipality that had ordinances

Any piker with a shovel can put in tile for a downspout. I don't see your name attached to this Junior. If I was directing it at you I would have said something like.

"A hack like Junior could even put in a tile to a downspout with his shovel." Calm down.

Junior M
03-19-2009, 11:18 AM
It is a little more complicated than that, but whatever.
Whats more complicated about it?(I know its a little more complicated but its hard to explain it in words) If it is its not how we do it here, please, I am all about learning different ways to do this, how do you do it?

Junior M
03-19-2009, 11:19 AM
Which part of this didn't you understand?

Never did a commercial job I take it. Or else you were not in a municipality that had ordinances

Any piker with a shovel can put in tile for a downspout. I don't see your name attached to this Junior. If I was directing it at you I would have said something like.

"A hack like Junior could even put in a tile to a downspout with his shovel." Calm down.
Well I apologize, kind of a flashback from other threads, but please dont call my Dad a piker, he does a lot better work than 9 out of 10 people around us..

Crap, I keep forgetting to uncheck my signature..

Kiril
03-19-2009, 11:21 AM
Whats more complicated about it?(I know its a little more complicated but its hard to explain it in words) If it is its not how we do it here, please, I am all about learning different ways to do this, how do you do it?

Trust me Junior, it is way above your head.

Junior M
03-19-2009, 11:25 AM
Trust me Junior, it is way above your head.
Explain it, please, I'd like to learn something different, I've learned a new way to run french drain and save time here, anything is possible..

Kiril
03-19-2009, 11:29 AM
Explain it, please, I'd like to learn something different, I've learned a new way to run french drain and save time here, anything is possible..

Given you still haven't seemed to grasp the difference between surface and subsurface drainage .... I believe that would be a complete waste of my time ... not to mention you would need a good grasp of calculus, hydrology, and soil science to even understand it.

Junior M
03-19-2009, 11:32 AM
Given you still haven't seemed to grasp the difference between surface and subsurface drainage .... I believe that would be a complete waste of my time ... not to mention you would need a good grasp of calculus, hydrology, and soil science to even understand it.
whatever, just trying to learn a little something new, yet you wont even give me a chance..

As far as subsurface and surface, I know the difference, I am not a complete idiot..

Kiril
03-19-2009, 11:35 AM
whatever, just trying to learn a little something new, yet you wont even give me a chance..

OK homeboy ..... get back to me once you understand Darcy's law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darcy%27s_law

As far as subsurface and surface, I know the difference, I am not a complete idiot..

Ya think ... then why do you keep referring to it as a French drain?

Junior M
03-19-2009, 11:40 AM
OK homeboy ..... get back to me once you understand Darcy's law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darcy%27s_law



Ya think ... then why do you keep referring to it as a French drain?
Does or does not a french drain catch subsurface water? and it will also carry the water out..

when they say pore do they mean through a pipe or through a bed of sand?

Kiril
03-19-2009, 11:46 AM
Does or does not a french drain catch subsurface water? and it will also carry the water out..

Does NOT. French drains are used to drain surface water.

when they say pore do they mean through a pipe or through a bed of sand?

Did I not tell say you needed to have an understanding of soil science?

Junior M
03-19-2009, 11:49 AM
Does NOT. French drains are used to drain surface water.



Did I not tell say you needed to have an understanding of soil science?
Mkay, well what do you need to catch subsurface water?

Yeah, you did tell me, but it was a simple question, I am trying to learn, cant you give me that?

Kiril
03-19-2009, 12:02 PM
Mkay, well what do you need to catch subsurface water?

A subsurface drainage system.

Yeah, you did tell me, but it was a simple question, I am trying to learn, cant you give me that?

Yes I can, but I am not here to teach. If you want to discuss it after you understand how to design a subsurface drainage system then by all means ... but first you must at the very least demonstrate the ability to understand Darcy's Law and how it relates to determining groundwater flow

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundwater_flow_equation

Junior M
03-19-2009, 12:11 PM
A subsurface drainage system.



Yes I can, but I am not here to teach. If you want to discuss it after you understand how to design a subsurface drainage system then by all means ... but first you must at the very least demonstrate the ability to understand Darcy's Law and how it relates to determining groundwater flow

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundwater_flow_equation
Ok, one more question before I got to reading and attempt to understand this, what is a subsurface drain made up of? Or how is it constructed?

And I always thought french drains were subsurface drains because we put them behind retaining walls and then poured concrete over them? Maybe it was wrong, I dont know, it was what the wall builder told us to do since we were backfilling..

Kiril
03-19-2009, 12:20 PM
Ok, one more question before I got to reading and attempt to understand this, what is a subsurface drain made up of? Or how is it constructed?

Google is your friend.

Junior M
03-19-2009, 12:22 PM
Google is your friend.
Just seeing how it was done in your area..

Kiril
03-19-2009, 12:24 PM
Just seeing how it was done in your area..

What works in my area is irrelevant.

Mike Leary
03-19-2009, 12:30 PM
What works in my area is irrelevant.

Yup, soils and hydraulics can differ from county to county. Were I to attempt to solve a drainage problem here, I'd find a septic designer who knew his stuff. You've got to address surface and sub-surface drainage; sometimes it will be two separate systems.

TRILAWNCARE
03-19-2009, 12:36 PM
::::::: Pops some popcorn, fills large glass with Cola, sits back and waits for the Kiril vs. Junior battle to start:::::::::::;

Kiril
03-19-2009, 12:44 PM
::::::: Pops some popcorn, fills large glass with Cola, sits back and waits for the Kiril vs. Junior battle to start:::::::::::;

It will never happen.

Kiril
03-19-2009, 12:46 PM
You've got to address surface and sub-surface drainage; sometimes it will be two separate systems.

In an ideal world they should be separate, and for very good reasons which I will leave for Junior to explore.

Junior M
03-19-2009, 01:05 PM
Yup, soils and hydraulics can differ from county to county. Were I to attempt to solve a drainage problem here, I'd find a septic designer who knew his stuff. You've got to address surface and sub-surface drainage; sometimes it will be two separate systems.
I am just curious of different ways, sometimes people use the aggregate and pipe all in one, there are different methods, I am just curious..

Junior M
03-19-2009, 01:07 PM
It will never happen.
You are right, it wont, and I dont want it to, I am just trying to learn..

TRILAWNCARE
03-19-2009, 01:45 PM
It will never happen.


Perhaps I should have said "seminar"