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soggy front yard dilemma

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by bunkers, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. bunkers

    bunkers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    The city just recently completed a drainage project through my property.

    The is both an underground drainage systema and above ground drainage swale (emergency swale).

    The emergency swale is rock lined in my backyard with a catch basin, then becomes a 12" deep (by 20' wide) grass-lined swale in the front yard.

    They added a double curb chase drain, which allows for draining right into the street drain, but the drain seems on ly drain till the last inch.

    So the last inch of water remains in my yard, resulting in a super soggy center part with is about 3' wide by maybe 10-15 into the yard.

    The sod looks green but is difficult to mow and isn't rooting like it is everywhere else. It's starting to look black in a few spots. I also spotted a small toad the other day when mowing. The water depth by the curb is about 1" deep. Its progressively less deep as you go further from the curb and seems mowable 10-15' into the yard.

    I also don't have enough drop in my yard for them to correct this issue.

    When me or my neighbor irrigates our yard, the water can flow all the way from the back to front in some instances. So this area seems perpetually wet, even during weeks when no rainfall has occured at all.

    So my question is:

    - do I try to pump this water out?
    - do I try to convert some yard to water loving plants than can be overrun
    by water on occasion ?
    - do I try install veritical PVC drains to give the final 10 gallons another place to go? or a drywell?
    - do I add pourous layers, like rock into this area, to give water a new home ... or will that just make this existing puddle deeper?

    Here is a picture of my front yard before the sod was added:
  2. Newt*

    Newt* LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    If that was my yard I would have a consult from a landscape architect who knows soils and drainage issues.


    Messages: 18,668

    A trick we used on the golf course if we had a soggy spot was to plant pine trees. They will suck that water up. otherwise you may want to look into a drainage system combined with a sump pump. I would advise getting a referral on a local drainage pro since I've seen many a poorly done drain. I don't know that you need a L. A. unless you want a complete plan for the whole yard.

    Messages: 18,668

    in the future shrink the size of your pics they are larger than my laptop screen and we have to scroll to see the whole thing.
  5. bunkers

    bunkers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    The city has been out to take a look at it. I haven't heard what ideas if any they have come up with.

    It rained for about 10 minutes the other (fairly light rain) and it left this area 1-1.5 deep in water for the first 15-20' and the drains under the sidewalk were high and dry.

    I wouldn't necessarily say trees would be a bad idea, except that this is all within a 30' drainage easement -- so they discourage trees in those areas, whenever possible.

    The 2% grade just isn't cutting it, since its 2% thru grass ... and this area needs to function as an emergency swale or might someday.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Yea, that is a tough situation. I think it goes beyond just a nuisance issue, but is also a health hazard. I know it's not up to you, but I might try removing the soil in that area and put in a gravel or something suitable that will allow the surface water to drain more easily to the subsoils.
  7. ericlemson

    ericlemson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    If that were my yard, I would downsize and retire. What are those like 6000 sqf?
  8. bunkers

    bunkers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Those house behind mine are larger and more expensive than mine. I think they are between 4000 and 6500 ft -- and presently unsold.
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    You know, another option might be to compact that area, or put in some concrete so the water that does collect there will actually flow out the chase drain.

    Also, one might question the irrigation program that results in water collecting in that area. :)
  10. bunkers

    bunkers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Thanks, Yes I did question my irrigation program and only run 6 minutes per zone (PGP rotors), which isn't much at all ... but the main problem is that the swales from my house and my neighbors have been graded to efficiently, that any water in any zone, eventually flows into this swale ... and then you see it.

    Kiril, interesting you mentioned concrete. The city, engineering firm and builder that did the original project [ project not yet certified ] came out yesterday and I think they are thinking that perhaps some kind of concrete could be installed for the last 15-20' and they could make it "look nice" but overlaying it with cobbles, maybe a boulder ... and basically apply some lipstip to the pig.

    Everyone claims it is a 2% grade (barely) ... but I do think that if its ever gonna drain, then a concrete base would be the way to go, and it would also minimize weed issues that rocks on the ground alone would not.

    Now would this look decent? I'm waiting to see their proposal, but the landscaper they used did nice things over by my fence ... so I'm hoping for something kind-of decent.

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