Return to the Basements Forum | Post a Follow-Up

A crazy plan to keep the creek out of my house:

Posted by acer (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 9, 11 at 12:00

(I can't find a forum on drainage issues so I'm trying this in several places)
We have a creek that comes down the hill and past the house, but in the heaviest cloudburst it has never left its banks. The problem is with underground seepage that goes under the house and makes our crawlspace damp. We will probably install a crawlspace liner/encapsulation system, but we still need to eliminate as much underground water flow as possible. Here's the crazy idea. It's similar to a french drain, but it's for groundwater, not surface runoff:
We want to dig a trench about 2 feet wide and three feet deep. We'll angle and place it at the best location to intercept the seepage, and give it a gentle downward grade to drain back into the creek. We'll place it so the creek doesn't back up into it during heavy rain and high water.
Here's the tricky part that I want to ask about:
I want to line the downhill side of the trench, and the bottom, with a waterproof barrier like heavy-duty vinyl or plastic.
We'll backfill the trench with gravel and put in a large perforated pipe as well. A layer of landscape fabric will go over the gravel, and over that will be ordinary soil and grass (remember this isn't for storm runoff, but underground creek seep). The main thing I want opinions about is the waterproof barrier. We really want to stop that seep, and this seems to make sense as long as we provide the drainage pipe. What do you think? And do you have a suggestion for what to use for a liner that won't rot/tear over time?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: A crazy plan to keep the creek out of my house:

Polyethylene is permanent if not exposed to light or physically damaged. Sand under and over it and no exposure to light. Use 7 1/2 mil or heavier.

RE: A crazy plan to keep the creek out of my house:

Your assumption is that the seepage is from ground water no deeper than three feet below the surface.

I've seen and have been asked to do these kind of amelioration drains a number of times. The last time was by a neighbour. Somebody else did it for him and the basement still leaked; unrepaired cracks will do that.

Before investing in a backhoe for a day, consider consulting a drainage engineer

RE: A crazy plan to keep the creek out of my house:

If you consider the hydraulic of water, what makes you think the water will not just pressurize under your 3, 5, 7 foot trench, and reappear on the other side? Best thing to do is build a keel and hull under the house Noak! Just kidding, Get that drainage engineer.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Basements Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here