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Getting rid of a swamp

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by kc2006, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Got a call today from a woman that has drainage issues in her back yard. I went and checked it out, the yard is pretty flat, a few low spots but not bad (2"-3" low at most). These low spots of course collect water, but as I walked the property I discovered the whole yard holds water.

    Both neighbors have had drainage systems installed, the house behind hers is a slight hill (I'd contribute this to the problem) so they don't have a problem. I took a couple of plugs out of the ground, 8" deep, the soil isn't hard clay, but its typical soil for ohio. The turf is starting to take a serious beating from all the water too. I expected the ground would be frozen (my yard is) yet here the ground is mush in most spots. The very back of the yard is so bad that I was standing there and sunk about an inch and displaced little pools of water around my shoes. So this is a very bad spot.

    I have alittle knowledge on drainage systems, but never have done a large system. The back yard is 19,500 sq ft.... So this is going to be a big job.

    The good part is, theres a storm sewer on the one edge of the property in the center of the yard. So i have somewhere to drain to.

    Now for my questions. On a job this size, how would you run all the piping? How many pipes would I need to install? Like I said, the whole yard gets water, she said the middle of the yard will hold a pool of water if it rains hard enough, so its going to need piping through out the whole back yard.

    I planned on running it from side to side of the yard and would need mutliple rows....I'm just not sure how close or how many rows i'd need to achieve proper drainage.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Can you get any picks of the area?You will need to fill the areas and then grade the areas to drain into the main drain.You will for sure need one at the bottom of that hill.Your looking at pretty much tearing the whole area up I hope you customer knows that.We could really use pics it is so much easier to see what you are dealing with if you provide some for us.
  3. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I was going to bring my camera for this purpose and I forgot it.

    The customer isn't totally concerned with price, she's lived at the house since she was a child and decided it was time to get it done. She originally wanted just dirt brought in and fill the area in more. I advised that this probably wouldn't help the situation.

    What I was thinking of doing was placing a few drains throughout the lawn and making it all a seepage style system. I could get a pic probably monday, I was going to head back over. I originally wasn't going to take on the job but the customer wants me to do it and I figured I'd probably loose the lawn install if I gave the irrigation work to someone else.
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    OK well do that..I know what you are talking about I just need some good pics of the whole area to help advise on what you need to do.This is good expierience don't pass it up.
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    1 main 6" with 4" lateral lines every 10' - trench the lines 12" deep add 4" hole pipe add with 4" of river stone and cover with straw [stops dirt from leaching in and filling the lines] within 2" of the top and then cover with soil and replant lawn
  6. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Consult with a drainage consultant or engineer. This problem is beyond a simple drain and could get you and the homeowner in a lot of trouble if done incorrectly. Best to seek the advice of an expert and follow their recommendation if they sign off on a drainage plan, you are released from the bulk of the liability.

  7. Duck Dodger

    Duck Dodger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    You might want to consult with the Weasley twins. I know they make a good swamp and are supposed to know how to get rid of one as well.
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I would sub this out to a professional drain company.

    First off, the property is flat, so your going to either do a lot of work trying to pitch the drain pipe right with a level, or you can have someone with a laser do it quickly.

    Second,there may be reasions why the yard is swampy (Failed storm drain, neighbors drains failed?), and all your work could possibly not fix the problem.

    Third, with drainage you can do a lot of work, have it not work, and then be liable for it.
  9. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    i agree with getting a geotec engineer to design the system. It will not be that much to have done.

    also check with the municipality to see if you are allowed to discharge into the storm drain.
  10. LandscapePro

    LandscapePro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138


    What are the chances of bringing in topsoil and changing the grade of the property? I don't see where laying pipe would be the first choice. Could be a "regional" thing I guess.

    I agree with some previous post. Unless you're familiar with drainage issues, get someone that is. You can get your fanny in the proverbial crack in a heartbeat......

    La. Landscape Contractor #2576

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