Soggy Lawn with Drainage Issues Help Needed.

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by new_homeowner, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,263

    This is assuming you can run the water this way. This can be done with a small trencher. The hardest part is getting rid of the excess soil. That pine tree need's to go. It look's like it's in the way of the drain. You can lose all that river rock on the ground. They were put there to cover up bare soil. The catch basin's are not optional. This site will get you started with drainage component's. http://www.ndspro.com/ Good luck.
     

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  2. new_homeowner

    new_homeowner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Kiril, by fix the soil, I am guessing you mean kill the existing lawn, and rototill with some organic matter (compost) essentially ammending the soil to a loamy healthy type that will actually drain properly as opposed to the clay i have now?

    I admire my neighbor to the rears lawn. They have a landscape crew come every wednesday to maintain it. That being said, when I went out to take pics in the rain the other day, I was surprised to see all the standing water as seen in this pic behind the fence. I mean, their lawn looks healthy, and still holds the water.

    [​IMG]

    Thoughts???

    So you are proposing a french drain system. I appreciate you taking the time out to look over my pics and put the drawing together. One question, what about the standing water in the rear corner?? You have the french drain running to the low spot and then exiting my property to the rear to the river rock on the other side of the fence? You propose exiting my property to the rear as opposed to the left side?

    Also, when laying the perforated pipe, the slots in the pipe should face down correct?

    Can i put topsoil (and grass) over the peagravel and conceal all of this (except for the catch basin of course)?

    Thanks again for the help guys. Just looking for ideas and what you pros suggest before I call a couple of local guys and see what they have to say. I am an engineer, and mild OCD, I like to be informed before I drop major coin lol.
     
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    It will help reduce your surface water accumulation and alleviate any compaction problems that may exist. You need to establish what type of soil you are dealing with and the physical & chemical status of that soil. Anything short of that beginning step will most likely result in a waste of money. Once you have established that, you can make a more informed decision on how to proceed. Based on your pics, I have my doubts if a french drain will work very well at all.
     
  4. new_homeowner

    new_homeowner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I'm going to do the soil jar test today. I will post a pic later.
     
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    That will not get you far. You should do a proper soil audit or hire someone to do it for you.
     
  6. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,263

    A minor point - "I" call a drain without pipe in it a "french" drain. Anything with pipe in it is a drain line. It doesn't matter for this conversation but it might in another situation.

    That drawing isn't set in stone. It can be changed to fit any scenario. That is just a rough first draft.

    You can put soil on top of a drain but, it (especially clay) will seriously impair the drainage.

    I think you are thinking of this kind of pipe. - picture on the left.


    This is the kind of pipe i am talking about. - picture on the right.
    The perforations go all the way around the pipe on that. But if you were using rigid perforated pipe then yes you would put the hole's facing down.

    Genova_Pipe_40041_4-inch_x_10-foot_Perforated_Schedule_40_PVC-DWV_Pipe.jpg
     

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  7. new_homeowner

    new_homeowner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    No, Im with you, the pipe on the right was what I had in mind as well. I was under the impression thought that it was only slotted on one side.

    And you say no soil on top? I have seen a bunch of videos on youtube with folks putting the soil/sod back on top to conceal the drain. Hmmm not sure my wife is going to be happy about peagravel trenches all over the yard.
     
  8. new_homeowner

    new_homeowner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I stopped by both big box retailers for a soil test kit, but its winter time and the garden centers werent stocked. So the soil tests will have to wait until I can find one.

    That being said, here is a shot of my soil in a jar test. This is about 30 hours.

    Thoughts??

    [​IMG]
     
  9. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,263

    Unless your back yard has a lot of shade in the summer you can grow a proper stand of grass and hide those drain line's.

    That's a nice jar of red water you got there. Your state university will do real soil test for 5-10 dollar's, it may take a little while to get the result's back but it is worth it.
     
  10. new_homeowner

    new_homeowner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I could literally throw a rock to my closest university. I'll have to make a few calls and see about getting it tested.

    That being said, your "red water" comment, is that good? Bad? WHat do you make of the sample? From what you can tell anyway
     

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