Register free!
Search
 
     

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-28-2011, 07:01 PM
Grendel0501 Grendel0501 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Memphis, Tn
Posts: 9
Drainage options in Red Clay; Please help me fix my disaster of a yard

Hello everyone,
I bought my first house alittle more than a year ago. It's small but I love it, I just wish I loved the yard. It has some issues.... I know very little about landscaping/gardening, but I am going to try and fix these issues over the next few months.
1.) Drainage; My house was built on a hill, slooping downward from the street to the backyard, with retaining walls in the backyard to try and work with the slope. Whenever it rains I get puddleing along my main flower bed wall and also along the right side of my house. I haven't seen any puddling in the backyard, but there is no grass and maybe 1 to 2 tons of 2"-3" gravel placed along erroded areas of the backyard. (which I guess was the previous owners solution to the problem)
2.) Erroded areas and no grass; because of the drainage issues, there is a rain made trench between both neighbors. Soil has wash away and there are low areas. The backyard has no grass at all, just weeds that have popped up over the last few months.
3.) Retaining wall: The backyard has 3 tiers to try and compensate for the steep grade. The wall itself is made of treated timbers, but is probably as old as the house itself (17 years). The wall is rotting and leaning, and I can't see any sign installed drainage to the wall.
4.) Flower beds; need complete overhaul. Lots of weeds, problem is the main bed stays in shadow most of the day.

For now I am working on #1, drainage. I've done some reading on French Drains, Dry Wells, Dry Creek Beds, Catch Basins and afew other drainage topics. What I was planning to build was a basic French Drain with catch basins at my downspouts that terminates into a 3-4' dry well in my backyard, but I forgot to take into account that Memphis is mostly clay once you get below the first foot. This really messes with my plans, because I am at the low point of all surrounding yards, and the only way to get it to the closest street/stormdrain would be to pump it back up to the street level.
So a french drain/dry well setup sounded perfect for me, until the soil came into question... I'm lost now, and looking for a way around this. Can anyone help?




-------------------------------------------------
Pictures!!
Front flower bed alot of puddleing against the flower bed wall
Right side of house, 2nd area of puddleing Also not the area slope eroded between the two house
Left side of house
Right side of house, from backyard
Retaining wall; rotten and leaning
Eroded slope on left side of backyard
Eroded areas in backyard before slope

I've read through acouple of older related topics, where pea gravel with no sock or liner, was suggested for the trench, this could help from the clay clogging the french drain, but if the soil won't take any of it back, it would make more sense to use catch basins and pvc instead of the french drain setup. Without a place to for the water to go, channeling it only gives me a muddy backyard instead of a muddy front.
I am debating on going ahead and digging my dry well, to see if the clay does go all the way down. Would be nice to find a break about 4' down.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-28-2011, 11:59 PM
joshua joshua is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: northeast ohio
Posts: 1,204
pictures of the grade of your property would be great. also how much of slope are you dealing with?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-29-2011, 01:37 AM
Grendel0501 Grendel0501 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Memphis, Tn
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshua View Post
pictures of the grade of your property would be great. also how much of slope are you dealing with?
Sorry for the dumb question, but aren't slope and grade the same thing?
One being a measure of the other.

It's hard to get a picture to show the slope of the yard. Since it is such a small yard/cove lot. I'll try and get a decent picture tommorrow, but for now, here's three I found that give a small idea of the slope of the property.
Front yard #1 Front yard #2 cars in the driveway give you some idea of the slope, not that steep, but more than enough to channel water towards the house.
Backyard its small, really small.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-29-2011, 10:18 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 9,805
If you don't get into drainage soil by digging various drainage areas, can you simply raise the grade in specific areas to push the water into the channels on either side of your house?...
__________________
*
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-29-2011, 10:32 AM
Grendel0501 Grendel0501 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Memphis, Tn
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
If you don't get into drainage soil by digging various drainage areas, can you simply raise the grade in specific areas to push the water into the channels on either side of your house?...
I could. But once it gets to the backyard, I don't really see it going anywhere else.
The channel on the left side rides all the way to my backyard.
The channel on the right side of the house travels into the neighbors backyard, along both our fence lines. I intended to build one of my trenches along that channel terminating into a dry well (I was going to build) in his backyard, that way everything from the right side of my house follows the path it already does, just more efficently.

Last edited by Grendel0501; 03-29-2011 at 10:37 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-29-2011, 12:29 PM
Capemay Eagle's Avatar
Capemay Eagle Capemay Eagle is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Capemay NJ
Posts: 1,738
I don't know anything about this, but I have read about tiling a farm, could you drain tile it?
__________________
John Deere X300 42"
Craftsman YT3000
Echo PB413
Echo SRM-210
Stihl BR-600 Magnum
Stihl FS90
AMSOIL In Everything I own
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-29-2011, 04:28 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 9,805
If you have a pooling spot go ahead and lift the sod, dig a hole, refill with sand/gravel, then a little compost to set th sod back on... How deep and wide is determined by what you find under the pooling spot when you dig and just how critical it is to get rid of every last drop of water... that new space should become the richest, fastest growing spot on the lawn, if you do it right... early spring will always be goofy, but don't let that bother you...
__________________
*
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-29-2011, 04:58 PM
Grendel0501 Grendel0501 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Memphis, Tn
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capemay Eagle View Post
I don't know anything about this, but I have read about tiling a farm, could you drain tile it?
I haven't read alot about drain tiles, but when I looked up a definition it sounded alot like a French Drain. What's the difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
If you have a pooling spot go ahead and lift the sod, dig a hole, refill with sand/gravel, then a little compost to set th sod back on... How deep and wide is determined by what you find under the pooling spot when you dig and just how critical it is to get rid of every last drop of water... that new space should become the richest, fastest growing spot on the lawn, if you do it right... early spring will always be goofy, but don't let that bother you...
That sounds alot like a dry well, just individual dry wells for each area, instead of a main dry well piped to from the wet points of the yard. I intended to make a dry well for the end of my drainage run, but that comes back to the soil, if I can't get past the clay, it will just be a temporary stop until it filled with water, and then the puddle would return.

The one I was going to make was going to be a 50gallon food grade barrel with the bottom cut out, and large holes cut into the sides to perculate water back into the soil. Basically a poor man's copy of NDS's Flo-Well. NDS Flo-Well Info

Last edited by Grendel0501; 03-29-2011 at 05:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-29-2011, 09:26 PM
jbc1013 jbc1013 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Roanoke VA
Posts: 23
Agree that pictures would help. One way to handle it is to make it a wetland, or at least plant things that like the water and intermittent flooding. In my experience, the best way to drain areas like that is with drain openings that then connect to a pipe that carries the water away to where it can drain. Berms and swales can direct the water to these drains. French drains have not worked in my experience- they simply don't have the capacity. The problem isn't the clay, its the lack of runoff and gravity driven areas to drain to.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-29-2011, 11:30 PM
Grendel0501 Grendel0501 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Memphis, Tn
Posts: 9
I do have some pictures posted above, I just left them in link form to keep the page from stretching.







Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:34 AM.

Page generated in 0.11622 seconds with 9 queries