Need help with our Gutter Drainage Erosion Issue

piscesgirlApril 26, 2010

Hi, we live on a shadded sloped lot with a backyard that boarders the woods. Where our property boarders the woods is a very steep drop off that drops down into a valley with a stream below.

The back of the house has two gutter downspouts. We have noticed that we have a soil errosion issue. Due to the shade we don't get really thick grass and then the heavy rain comes out of gutter downspouts and rushes down the lawn to the steep drop off and the water has now taken most of the topsoil away, leaving us unable to grow grass and creating a bigger erosion issue.

My first thought was to put down river rock and create a dry river bed where the gutter downspouts are in order to stop the rain water from rushing down our lawn and instead seep into the dry river bed.

We had some landscapers come out to look at the yard (give us quotes for solving the erosion issue, topsoil, seeding, etc).

I mentioned the dry river bed and one landscaper said they were a lot of upkeep. I would have to clean them out and the rocks sink into the ground and I would have to lift them back every so often.

Both landscapers I talked to instead suggested that I install PVC downspout drainage underground and have it discharge right into the woods.

My concern with this is that we already have an erosion issue...won't I have a big erosion issue where the pipe discharges, especially if it is discharged onto a steep drop off. I don't want to start loosing our property line as well.

Any suggestions. What what would be the best option? We don't have an issue with water in the basement at all...instead we have an issue with water rushing away from the house and taking our lawn/dirt with it.

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Personally, I think the PVC underground drainage is the best option. I had a similar issue which I solved in the same manner, but what I did was dig a hole about 18" deep and 3 feet across at the outlet point, which I filled up with stones. This actually looked pretty good and prevented erosion. I also think that if the pipe will get discharged into the woods where there is lots of vegetation, you won't have an erosion issue, because the plant roots reinforce the soil.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 3:36PM
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Another vote for the PVC.

Ask your landscapers for suggestions on how to handle the issues you are concerned about at the drop off. I can think of about three different methods to deal with that, off the top of my head, but one would need to actually see the site to fix on the best method. The best method is probably as Sofaspud mentions, terminate into a dry well.

Once you trench, slope and install the PVC you are done. Any other solution presents ongoing maintenance issues of varying degrees.

Whatever you do, do install a clean out somewhere close to the house so you can "jet" your hose into it periodically to wash out debris and critter nests.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 9:11AM
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Forgot to mention:

Use 4 inch, solid pipe, not the 3 inch stuff and glue your joints, not just friction fit them.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 9:13AM
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