Drainage question (too much to dig?)

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by ccas, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. ccas

    ccas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    So I have an area in my lawn that collects a ton of water. It will usually dry for about 2 months of the summer. This summer has been extremely wet and I still have about 6 inches of standing water on top of really soft soil.

    My plan for the summer was to rent a mini excavator and dig a trench. However, with all the mud and water there is noway I can do that. It will just get stuck.

    Option #2 was to dig it by hand. That doesnt work either. Too much mud, it just fills itself back in.

    What are my options?

    I had thought about keeping the excavator on a piece of plywood reinforced with a few 2x4's. Would this keep it from getting stuck? I am doubtful

    Do you guys have any ideas? Dont say hire a professional, it's definitely a job I can do.

    NIXRAY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    I had a similar problem with a property, This is what I did...
    Property was the lowest in the area, so I rented a transfer pump and pumped all the standing water out of the area, then I excavated 3'' and installed a complete drainage system (corrugated pipe) also ran off the gutters and installed a yard drain, than ran it to a pop-up emitter. Then Finally brought in fill and regraded the entire yard.
    Hopefully this helps
  3. ALLPro Landscaping

    ALLPro Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    Some how some way you will have to dig it out, how big is the area where it floods, also is it ground water, or is it puddling cause it has no where to drain. if the area needs a french drain, you will have to dig it up, you can take 3/4 ply wood or a few 2*8 and sit the machine on them, if the area is puddling cause of a low spot, just raise it with some fill and slope it in the proper direction.
  4. ccas

    ccas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Its more seepage Not just from runoff. Its on an old logging road that was just covered with soil. A car can drive down the road. About 75 feet long. Right now there is only about 6 inches of water in a few spots, but its mostly mud. I think I may get a few 2X8's and hope I dont drive the thing off the side of them. Maybe I should put 2 of them on each side? I have some erosion fabric, scheduled 40 with holes in it and an area to the side with a big hole to drain it off to. I figure I ill use 3/4 inch stone? Should this work?
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    If it's really wet, can't see lumber / wood being much help in mud.

    We did a job recently where the Mid Size excavator and even the compact track loader got stuck all day long. For the CTL, we kept a chain connected to the bottom at all times so when it got stuck we would just connect the chain to the excavator and with a slight tug it was home free.

    Most of the time the excavator could pull or push itself out, but there where a couple times we had to pull the excavator with the track loader.

    Also, wanna know a sweet, inexpensive drain system that will fix that??

    Google: Lun-drain
  6. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    Sometimes you don't have to go to extremes for drainage. Try this: Get a gas powered drill, with a 1/2" chuck, and get a 2 or 3" bulb planting auger. Drill down as deep as the bulb auger will go, about 18"-24", depending on the auger. Take some coarse, sharp mason's sand and fill the hole you just drilled up. Sometimes this works, sometimes you have to get a bigger auger, and go deeper, all you have to do is to punch through the compacted area, and get the water to percolate down.:waving:
  7. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,051

    I don't think this would solve the problem that much water sounds like a really clay soil.

    Usually a tracked mini excavator would do the trick but if it's really as bad to the point of not being able to, get 4 8 x 8 and frame them like a box or square to the width of the tracks this is to avoid the 8 x 8 to move to the sides.
    If your soil it's a lot of clay make sure to use a really good quality geotextile non woven.
    I would do it with no fabric on the sides just on the top and bring sandy loam to spread 5" on top of the fabric
    I have found the hard way fabric becomes clogged over time when there's lot's of clay.

    Last note make sure whatever you send the water there's not going to be problem involved with town requirements.

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