Retaining Wall/French Drain Issue

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by andersman02, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Alright so we have a long time customer of ours who has been having us do some small landscape jobs lately (company just started hardscapes and softscapes, been complete fertilize/pestide/herbicide company before i graduated) and she has been having this problem with her retaining wall.....

    - wall was built around 7 years ago, builder used sufficient drainage on all walls
    - all of the walls and down spouts drain to this spot
    - all the walls eventually drain to the same spot
    -Spot gets extremely flooded during any rain and for a few days after

    If you look at the picture, the spot where the mulch and wall gets flooded, all the way to the right of the edging and about 10ft into the yard.

    a few years back someone put in a french drain and the right side (cant see, with 2 drains where the water enters with it daylighted way in the back yard in a wooded area.
    It should be noted that just beyond the wooded area is a pond

    My question is she really wants to figure out a way to stop this area from flooding, I feel one of the only ways to do this is put in a larger french drain and increase the grade but she wants something not as drastic......

    My first thought was to take out 2 of the spruce trees she has along the right (cant see, theres a line of them going back to the wooded area) that are dying very fast due to the amount of water, and replacing with something that can withstand and help take up some of that water, along the lines of a willow or river birch

    Then i thought this may be a good place to put in a rain garden/ small retention pond

    My question i guess is would it be ok to have the rain garden start at the retaining wall? My concerns is grading a good amount from the wall may take awayfrom the integrity of the base under the retaining wall, but i would hate to have a strip of grass then start the rain garden

  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    no location on your profile? We may be helping our competition.
  3. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,051

    Do not use a willow tree in there.
    Can u extend those pipes all the way to the woods?
    If so I would put a catch basin in there and then use a 6" pipe all the way to the woods
    Rain water harvesting would be another option but the expense would be greater
  4. alexschultz1

    alexschultz1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,588

    What type of "French drain" was installed? If someone put in a French drain properly then no water should be ponding up. If she wants to put a bandaid on the drainage system then just run the pipes out to the woods and let the current French drain do its job, even if it does it very slow
  5. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    I talked to the guy who put in the french drain, sounds like it could be a perched water table or spring that was exposed when the retaining wall was built... Aztlan and alex it sounds like those may be the best bet, maybe instead of having those pipes drain to one spot and empty out, have them go the distance to the woods?
  6. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    I would just dig back a little bit, cut the pipes, attach 4" flex and pipe it elsewhere.

    these guys took daylighting to the next level

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