Which is best? French Drain or Surface Drain

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by TURF BUDDY, Jan 15, 2005.


    TURF BUDDY LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I have a potential customer whose front yard that is mostly flat, this is in a neighbor hood where all the yards are the same. During moderate to heavy rains the entire area holds water. Thera are no draniage ditches any where, this is a rural area. I thought about a surface drain to move it away from the house but then I am just giving the problem to the neighbor. The soil is good topsoil no clay, once it gets saturated. (it stands) The house has guttering which helps but water ends up close to the house. Should I use corragated pipe hooked to the guttering and move it out away from the area or french drain. I believe the entire housing addition was poorly engineered for rain or flooding, and this is not considered a flood zone. Any help appreciated
  2. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    I would hook the corrugated to the drain spouts.Run the pipe to daylight,because the water coming off the house will be a large amount.You'll have to discharge to their lawn.A dry well will not work more than likely.You can actually run uphill slightly,since the water off of the house will have "some" pressure behind it.
    Also,I'd create a french drain along the pipe to allow for water to seap into the ground during a light rain.During a heavy rain,the water will discharge from the pipe.

    TURF BUDDY LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Thanks, NICKN Could you explain about the well system. That might work but depending on the capcity, Thanks in advance
  4. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    A dry well is simply a basin for the water to discharge to.You can use a sump pump basin and drill large holes in it,a large garbage can,a barrel, or you can buy dry wells.
    You install the well with a cover and fabric to keep out debris and surround it with drainage gravel.As the well fills with water,it seaps out the holes and into the gravel,then seaps into the soil.This can be used where water is slowly collected.I wouldn't recommend one for downspout drainage.During a heavy rain,the water collected from the downspouts will fill the well in short time.Then the soil you covered the well with will sink into the well.

    TURF BUDDY LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Thank you NICKN, for your help, Did some research, you right. I may try drain pipe from the gutters and french drain around the perimmeter of the house and route it away a good distance. thanks again
  6. nac

    nac LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    Here in NJ a drywell is the only way you can do it. Your water has to stay on your property. I am bidding on a house in Deal, NJ there are 6 1,000 gal seepage pits just for roof drainage.
  7. Henry

    Henry LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 549

    What's below the topsoil? Do a perk test to see if a seepage pit will work. If the ground is flat I think the pit is the only way to go.
  8. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    I use APC Strip Drains for it is pretty flat here. Requires and 8-9" trench
    only 2-3" Wide and backfill with sand or existing material.

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