yard holding water

mikefitter120March 19, 2014

First, this site is terribly difficult to navigate via smartphone, my only internet access, so if an Admin moves this please email me a link to where I can find this thread.

Second, my back yard. I've owned this house for 6 years. When I bought it, it was january and the ground was covered with snow so I couldn't really get a good look at the surface of the yard. When the snow melted all at once on a freak 60 degree day, I got a good look at the pond that was supposed to be my back yard. I had 4" of standing water over at least half the yard for up to a week. The same happens when it downpours.

The dirt is composed of a lot of clay. The holes I've dug for the fence posts had the dirt that stuck to the shovel in large thick clumps. My neighbors' yards are the same except the one has some sort of drain that is tied into his driveway drain that has remedied most of his issues.

I have no place to move the water to. The driveway drain is not an option. I have no natural trenches or ditches. The land is flat(slight depression in the center) and the street is only about 6" lower in elevation so I can't pitch burried drain pipe the 120' distance from the problem areas to the street drains.

I was looking into a drywell, but my understanding is that they are solely a holding cell for water before it drains elsewhere via burried piping.

I was also looking at possibly burrying drain tile and tying into the gutter downspout drain under grade, but that could present problems in the future and I'm not sure if its allowed by code. Also, i'd be directing water towards the house.

The basement gets a little wet under extreme circumstances. I've graded around the problem areas but I think if I take care of the problem all together, I won't have to worry about extreme weather swings...which we seem to be getting more of every year.

How can I fix my water retaining yard? Its fairly wide and deep property for the area so I'm not really wanting to regrade the whole yard, plus that would only concentrate the water to a smaller area.

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"...if an Admin moves this please email me a link to where I can find this thread."

You don't have E-mailing enabled.

If you don't see this, er, ah, send me an E-mail. lol

This post was edited by saltidawg on Wed, Mar 19, 14 at 20:03

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 7:26PM
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A dry well will only help if the water table is low enough and the clay that you are seeing is of limited depth so lower soil will percolate. Even in that case I'd wonder if you are allowed to to that because of regulations that might exist to prevent contamination of aquifers.

I've added a little drainage to my property recently by adding to an existing line that is involved with one downspout and was involved with a now-removed pool.

You may be able to improve your elevation differential by tying into the storm drainage under the street. That is what is done where I live. If I remember correctly, with 4" pipe you can have 1/8" per foot slope so that gives you 48 feet of run with the 6' that you posted. (Anything smaller that 4" pipe and you need to use 1/4 inch/foot.)

I have a similar situation. Without going into detail, I can not inexpensively run pipe up one side of my property to the street. My existing drain line is on the other side. I have enough elevation to, sort of, cross the back yard and maybe cure 90% of my problems. A plumber wanted $13K to 100% fix them. I'll have to be satisfied with 90%.

I don't know how difficult it might be to get connected with your storm drainage system without a plumber to get through the permit process. A lot probably depends on how much the local building department likes to work with homeowners.

For future information, your best bet might be the plumbing forum on this site. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 7:30PM
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Its an urban area. The street is about 100 feet from the furthest problem area, a little more a little less. I'm not 100% on that 6 inch elevation differential. I may be able to run burried drain tile with wye branch lines all the way into the front yard, under the sidewalk, and pop a hole through the street curb. I would have to ensure enough pitch so that if there is a street flood, my yard doesn't go all opposite and start taking on water.
I checked local codes and its actually mandated as owners resposibility to remove standing water to storm drains due to health and mosquito hazards.

Since I have no place to divert the water and the entire area(and possibly the entire city of cleveland ohio) is built on dense clay, trying to divert rainfall and runoff to the city storm drains is probably my best option. I'm able to do that just fine but I'm worried that with pitch, by the time I get to the highest point of the perforrated pipe it will only be 2 inches below grade maybe even less.
Also, I don't know how wise it is to run perforrated pipe a foot away from the foundation of the house. That is the only route I have on my property, a 2 foot strip between my house and the neighbors' driveway.

The tree feeder roots in my yard don't even go down. They're on the surface. They don't have to go down to get water, its all on top. I'm sure the big roots go down but all the smaller side ones are on the surface. I had to cut several roots out just to stop ruining lawn mowers.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:09PM
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I don't know if just running a pipe under the curb is acceptable in your locality. I would not assume that it is if you don't see it at most of the houses on your street. There is good reason to move this to the plumbing forum. Some of the regular responders over there know what national and typical local variations are.

II might have enough to bury pipe 2" under the surface near the end of the run I might make to drain near the front of my garage. I'd kill for a little more. Fortunately, the kind of turf grass that grows in S. LA will crawl over bare plastic and look just like it is on soil.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:45PM
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How can I get this moved to the plumbing forum? I felt this was more landscaping/general home repair related. I myself am a pipefitter/welder, I suppose I should have made the correlation with city drainage.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:55PM
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I don't know how to move it. I'd just start a thread over there editing your first one here. You might find good help here too, but this kind of stuff is plumbing code regulated so a plumber has to know it.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:36AM
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Facing your concerns I would have been adding soil amendments to raise the grade, which would allow the existing landscape planting to remain.Add soil to correct the grade and plant new, or sod.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Since this only happens a few times a year, can you buy a pump to move the water to the street?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 1:01PM
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annkh, a pump is what a plumber recommended for my yard.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 1:24PM
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Mikefitter You should go to the Garden Forums and then ask the same question on the Landscaping Forum. I see them discussing this type question all the time. I just think the landscape professionals over there are more experienced with this topic.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 5:34PM
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