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dry well venting?

Posted by Clemford (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 9, 11 at 3:46

hello, I recently had some decorative concrete curbing/edging installed along my entrance concrete walkway and now the water puddles up when it rains heavy. There's no other way to get rid of the water so I installed a 1" channel drain in the walkway and fed it through a 1" pipe to a buried 5 gallon bucket that I drilled holes in and put crushed stone around. Filling the bucket with water perks really good since it's in sandy soil. The problem I have is when the drain is completely covered with water it seems to create a vacuum so I need to vent it. Would it be best to vent the bucket with a pipe or vent the drain pipe with a T fitting and a pipe. I'm not sure if the drain pipe would vent properly if it is filled with water. Hope this makes sense. Thanks for any help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: dry well venting?

Since none of the pro's answered -

I think your problem is that the 1" pipe is undersized for this type of use. For drainage, you would generally be using a 4" pipe. That pipe would never be filled to the top with water, so you would not run into this issue. Adding a vent to the well portion will eliminate the immediate problem, but I think any significant rainfall is going to overwhelm that 1" pipe.

RE: dry well venting?

First of all, it depends upon how the inlet pipe is connected to the bucket.

If the inlet pipe is connected to the top of the bucket as the water enters the bucket it will displace the air which would then bubble up through the inlet pipe.

If the inlet pipe is inserted down into the bucket the air will escape as long as the bottom of the inlet pipe remains above water, but as soon as the water rises to the bottom of the inlet pipe the air is trapped. The water will then rise slightly higher until the air pressure is equal to the vertical static head weight of the water in the inlet pipe.

If you were to then attach a vent to the top of the pipe the as the water rises the air will vent out and the water will rise until the water level in the vent pipe is equal to the level where the water enters the inlet pipe.


Having said all of that, in reality I think this entire project is simply a labor in futility. It is more likely that it is not accepting all the water because the volume of water overwhelms the capability of the sump. Even though you have sandy soil which you say perks well, none-the-less it still remains that it most likely takes two or three hours to perk the water.

On the other hand, a mild 1/10" rainfall will generate 5gallon of runoff for every 32 linear feet on a 36" wide sidewalk. In all likelihood the volume of runoff is produced far faster than what the sump can perk.

RE: dry well venting?

thanks guys, the drain is just for a small amount of water that puddles up because of the curbing. The majority of water is drained through gutters with 4" drains. The channel drain is only 1 ", hence the 1" drain pipe. It's not possible to hook a 4 inch pipe to a 1" channel drain. The drain comes with a 1" slip adapter. If your not familiar with channel drains, they're the 1 inch wide grated plastic drains cut to any length that fit in a slot cut in the walkway with the top grated opening sitting level with the walkway. They are also commonly used for slab decking with in ground pools to divert water away from the house. I originally had 1 bucket for my dry well drain but a nearby palm tree overwhelmed it with roots clogging it up. I've had tropical storms that dumped close to 10" of rain when I first put the drain in and it handled it with flying colors. I cut most of the roots away and installed another bucket to help handle the load. Hopefully the roots will not take over to quickly. I might try a plastic barrier but roots are pesky things. I put the vent right into the bucket the first time around and it seemed to work ok. Without the vent it just stopped up instantly way before the bucket was even full when I flooded the drain with a hose. Now I have two buckets attached to each other so I might as well connect vents to both buckets. I was just really wondering if it would work with a vent on the drain pipe rather than on the bucket for ease of installation. But your excellent tutorial(lazypup) helped me to see that the vent on each bucket is the right way to go.

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