yard holding water
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.