Severe Drainage Problem!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by RwADesigner, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. RwADesigner

    RwADesigner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    anybody familiar with (i think it is called VERACORE drain system)

    I have a yard that is backed up to a lake and their yard is holding water. It is holding so much water that the soil has gone rotten. Have you ever seen soil that has been so wet for so long it begins to stink and looks really mushy.

    it is so wet in areas of there back yard that the soil on the hill is holding water. I have never seen a hill with great slope hold water.

    I checked with the courthouse and engineers office to check on underground springs or streams. I didnt find a single thing. I then checked to see if it was a septic line or tank leak. Came up empty handed there. I also sent off for soil samples to check the soil. and everything came up clear.

    Yes some of these areas dont have proper drainage slope...but it isnt that bad. Like, i have seen much worse..and soil that never held water like this.

    I will post some pics later after i find them.

    Any of you guys have any ideas on what could be causing this or what might fix this. They said it has been like this ever since they moved in and is slowly getting worse. Good example hasnt rained here for probably 3 weeks and it is just as wet now as it was the last time i checked.

  2. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472


    assuming that this is a recent change, are there municipal water lines nearby that may have broken or sprung a leak? Has any construction (digging) been performed near or uphill of this area?

  3. RwADesigner

    RwADesigner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107


    No not that I am aware of. This has been like this for probably 1-1.5 years.

    When I first saw it, i immediately thought it was a septic leak or underground water leak. But all that has been checked..and that is not the problem. These are probably 1 acr lots and there is a house on each side. The thing is..that all three houses have the same problem. It is mind boggling. Now im wondering if parts of the lake were filled in to build houses closer to lake and still allow room for other houses.

    You can dig a hole with a post hole digger say about 1 ft deep and within 2-3 min..that hole will be filled with water atleast up to 6". Im looking into Vericor drainage systems....i think that is how it is spelled. I have the paper work in the truck. But it is similar to french drains but alot smaller and suppose to move underground water ALOT faster than simple standard french drain.

    It is used on golf courses, soccer fields, baseball fields..etc.
  4. RwADesigner

    RwADesigner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    The community is 10 or so years old though, and these houses i would say are probably 5-6 years old. They just moved in like 1 year ago and said it was like that when they moved in.
  5. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    My grandfather lived on a lake in Northern Wisconsin. His property, like most properties on that side of the lake was originally swamp land. What they did was fill the swamp land with sand and gravel, but sand and gravel is very porous. If you took a shovel and dug 12 inches down you would hit water. This was the height of the water table and is the same height as the lake!

    It sounds to me like you have a similar problem. Now, what kind of soil do you have in the top twelve inches? Some soils have a significant capillary action. With a very high water table, these soils will wick water up and be constantly wet! Golf coarse designers use this technique to keep golf greens watered from below and it helps to prevent disease because the grass blades do not get wet.

    I am not an expert in drain tile. Maybe this will work, but I think your water table may be too high for this technique. You may have to dig out your top soil and replace with a soil type that will not allow the water table water to wick upward. Have your soil tested by a soil engineering firm. Good luck.

  6. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Messages: 270

    Ditto, had similiar circumstance years ago with homes adjacent drainage lagoon. You should advise the owners of these homes to hire themselves an Enginner with proven background in these work. It can be fixed.....for a price. With Regards... devildog
  7. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    I was thinking exactly the same thing as lawnstudent.

    If the ground water is that high, there is no place to drain this water to. A French drain or drain tile will not work.

    If this is the situation, the best way to handle it is to break down the mechanism that moves the water up to the surface. That is the capillary action that lawnstudent mentioned. The smaller the soil particles - the smaller the spaces between them. The smaller the space the stronger the soils ability to pull water upward. If you put a layer of sand between the top soil and the ground water, the topsoil will not pull the water up because the clay or silt under the sand will not give water up to the sand until it is saturated.

    I would isolate a small area of the yard and try this out.
  8. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    Ditto AGLA and lawnstudent. I think youre going to have to create a barrier either from the bottom or from the lake, depending on where the waters migrating from. Pass it off to a degree holder for the diagosis and design and do the work.
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,170

    I worked on a problem like yours two years ago. The basement of a new higher end house was filling with water. No one was able to figure the problem out. A collection system with perferated pipe was placed around the house and pumped out with a sump pump. The problem I believed was from a neighbors sprinkler system which had a nasty leak saturating the ground. I don't know if that solution is applicable to your problem or not. I would be curious to know if the subwater has risin in neighboring areas as well. If it is isolated to that house I would say that there is a problem other then sub. I deal with subwater in my area, but I have never seen hills that held water. Although I sure my soils are more porous then yours would be in Mississippi.
  10. RwADesigner

    RwADesigner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    I have contacted Vericore systems. I think I am going to do a test area (20' x 20'). I will post the results.

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