Fixing Standing Water – Yard

Fixing Standing Water – Yard

 

You can view all of my Posts by clicking on the following LinkHelpMeFixHome.com

 

Fix Standing Water - Yard

Fix Standing Water – Yard

Fixing Standing Water – Yard is a post about installing an Underground Drainage System to solve the problem of standing water in your Yard. This technique can also be applied to installing this type of System to direct Gutter Downspout water away from your Home without using above ground Downspout Extensions.

 

The most common type of this System uses Corrugated (ABS) Drain Tile Pipe in the bottom of a Gravel-Filled trench. The trench is lined with a Filter Fabric to prevent the Soil from plugging up the Gravel Filter and the Pipe. The Pipe is installed to drain downhill into a Waterway, Storm Sewer, or other Outlet.

 

The Corrugated (ABS) Drain Tile Pipe is 4″ in diameter, and comes in coils of Flexible Piping, in lengths that vary from 100 ft. to 3000 ft. This is what you should use to eliminate standing water in your Yard.

This type of Drain Tile Pipe is perforated (has holes) to allow water a point of entry, and is immersed in a bed of Gravel, which facilitates drainage. Gravel types vary, but 3/4″ Washed (Clean) Gravel promotes the best water flow. Never use Pea Gravel or Compacted Stone, as these will impede drainage due to the lack of space between the stones.

 

The following are the Materials, Tools & Supplies Needed for this Project:

Materials & Supplies Needed:

  • 4″ diameter, Round, Flexible, Corrugated (ABS) Drain Tile Pipe (length equal to length of trench)
  • 1” x 2” x 24” Stakes or (1) 1” x 2” x 8’ (cut into four equal pieces – additional Stakes will be needed if you are veering around trees or shrubbery when setting up your String Line)
  • Landscape Cloth or Filter Fabric to cover the Pipe (unless your Pipe already comes with a Sock)
  • Thin Flexible Wire (for attaching Landscape Cloth to pipe ends)
  • Small bag of Lawn Fertilizer
  • 3/4″ Washed (Clean) Gravel (12” wide x 14” deep x length of trench)

 

See my PostHow to Calculate Amount of Material Needed  to help you to calculate the amount of Gravel that you will need.

 

In order to purchase any Materials & Supplies Needed, see the appropriate page in any of the drop-down pages under:  Home Products – Supplies  in my Top Menu.

Scroll down the list to find the correct item. You will find an explanation of that item, as well as, links under each item, which direct you to my Recommended Suppliers for you to check out their offerings.

 

Tools & Supplies Needed:

  • Safety Glasses
  • Work Gloves
  • Work Boots
  • Long-Handled Digging Shovel
  • Long-Handled Flat Shovel
  • Flat-Head Spade Shovel
  • Pick Axe
  • Tarps (number and size dependent on your needs)
  • 100’ Measuring Tape
  • Snap-String or Nylon String
  • Hacksaw
  • Pliers
  • Hand Tamper
  • Pieces of Cardboard (to be used between Tamper and Ground to prevent Soil sticking to the Tamper)
  • Stanley Knife with new Blade
  • 12” Metal Bow Rake
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Garden Hose

 

In order to purchase any Tools & Supplies Needed, see the appropriate page in any of the drop-down pages under:  Home – Garden:  Tools and Equipment List  in my Top Menu.

Scroll down the list to find the correct item. You will find an explanation of that item, as well as, links under each item, which direct you to my Recommended Suppliers for you to check out their offerings.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

Step-by-Step Instructions

 

Step 1 – Assess the Project

 

The best time to Assess this Project is after a hard rain which has caused standing water in your Yard. You will need to place a Stake near the center of the water, since this will be the lowest point in the area.

You will also need to determine the exit point for your water and place another Stake there. Using your 100’ Tape Measure, determine the distance from your center positioned Stake in your standing water to your exit point. Mark this down on scratch paper. This distance will be needed in order to complete your Materials and Supplies Needed sheet.

You will also need to know where you will have your Gravel dumped for this Project.

 

Step 2 – Create a Materials & Tools Needed Sheet

 

After determining the length of the trench that you will need to dig, you will use this figure to determine the amount of certain Materials Needed for the Project. If you will be veering around Trees or Shrubbery, you will also need to order additional Stakes for your String Line.

For help in determining the amount of Gravel needed, see my Post:  How to Calculate Amount of Material Needed

 

Step 3 – Calculate Project Cost

Step 4 – Order Your Materials & Tools Needed

Step 5 – Inspect Your Delivery

 

After reviewing the information here, additional information to complete these first (5) Steps is found in the page:  5 Steps for Project Management.  Simply click on that link and you will be directed there.

After completing those first (5) Steps, return to these Instructions and continue on to Step 6.

 

Step 6 – Contact Your Local Utility Locating Service

 

Contact your Local Utility Locating Service before you dig, in order to have all of your Utility Lines marked: Electric, Gas, Water, Sewer, Phone, and Cable. When requesting these Locations, you should also request for an approximate depth.

 

  • You should take Pictures of where your Utility Lines are located, including any reference landmarks that you can incorporate into the Pictures, so you will know exactly where they are located for any future digging Projects that you may do. File these Pictures away for future reference. You should also include Emergency Contact Numbers for each Utility, in case they are ever needed.

 

  • If your digging will cross any of the Utility Lines which have been located, you should proceed with caution when digging, until you find the Line. Then, slowly work around it, being careful not to damage it in any way.

 

Step 7 – Cut Your Stakes, Install, and Attach String Line

 

You should initially place your first Stake near the center of your standing water while it is present. Then, continue with the remainder of the Project once the Ground has dried.

Cut your 1” x 2” x 8’ into (4) equal pieces and point the ends. Install one Stake near the center of your standing water, and one at your Outlet. Place the remaining Stakes in between at equal distances. Add any additional Stakes needed to go around any Plants.

Attach your String Line to all of your Stakes, keeping it about 1” above the Ground.

 

  • Cut your 1” x 2” x 8’ into (4) equal pieces and bevel one end of each Stake to a point. Pound a Stake into the Ground at each end of your proposed trench, with the first Stake placed about 6” to the right of center of your standing water, and the second Stake about 6” to the right of center at your Outlet point (where the water will be discharged). You should pound the Stakes in about 6” deep. Space the other (2) Stakes at equal distances between the first two. Use additional Stakes if needed to veer around Trees or other Obstacles. Be sure to stay far enough away so that you can avoid Plant roots when digging your trench.

 

  • Attach your String Line to the 1st Stake, and run the line to your next Stake, keeping the String Line about 1” above the Ground. Continue this until you reach your final Stake marking your Outlet.

 

Step 8 – Cut a Line Along (3) Sides of Your Trench

 

Punch a line through your Sod along your String Line, and a 12” long perpendicular line through your Sod at both ends of the 1st line. Scrape up your Sod about 12” wide from beginning to end and fold it over.

 

  • Using your Flat-Head Spade Shovel, punch a line through your Sod along your String Line. Then punch a perpendicular line through your Sod at both ends of the 1st Line, about 12“ wide, beginning at your 1st Line and going toward the left.

 

  • Reposition your Stakes at 12” to the left of their original position, and place your String Line at 12” off the Ground. This will be your guide for your stopping point of your scraping up the Sod, and will also be used to check your depth once your rough digging has been done.

 

  • Continuing with your Flat-Head Spade Shovel, and beginning at your 1st Stake, scrape up your Sod about 1/2” below the roots, 12” wide (extending to the left of your String Line), for the entire length of your proposed trench area, and fold the Sod over at your String Line.

 

  • Once your Sod is all scraped up and folded over, remove the Stakes and the String Line.

 

Step 9 – Lay Down Tarps and Dig Trench

 

Lay down Tarps along the proposed trench area and dig your trench, 12” wide, starting from your beginning point, at a depth of 24”. Add 1” to the depth every 10’ until you reach your Outlet point.

 

  • Lay down your Tarps at various points along the proposed trench. If it is windy, you will need some Bricks or Rocks to hold the Tarps in place. Then, using your Pick Axe and your Long-Handled Digging Shovel, begin digging your trench. Keep the Black Dirt Topsoil separate from the Clay Soil on your Tarps.

 

  • Once you begin seeing that your Black Dirt Topsoil has all been removed, and Clay Soil appears, take a depth measurement and make a mental note of this. It will be important when returning the Soil to the trench, since there will be Soil left over. You should try to reinstall as much of the Black Dirt Topsoil as possible.

 

  • Your trench will be 12” wide and about 24” deep at the beginning, dropping down in Grade, with a 1” drop for every 10’ of length as you go along to the Outlet point.

 

Step 10 – Create the Proper Pitch for Drainage

 

Fine tune your depth and pitch, keeping your pitch dropping at 1” for every 10’ of length. Scrape and remove any necessary Soil or add and tamp any Soil needed.

 

  • Measure the length of your trench. Your Grade for proper drainage must be a 1” drop for every 10’ of length. So, if your trench is 100’ long, your Outlet point will be 10” below your starting point. Therefore, if your trench is 24” deep at the starting point, it will be 34” deep at the Outlet point.

 

  • You should check your depth every 5’, to make sure that you are dropping 1/2” every time; measure from the Ground surface to the bottom of the trench. This should be a consistent gradual drop along the length of the trench. Use your Flat Spade Shovel to fine tune your depth. Scrape and remove any necessary Soil or add and tamp any Soil needed, placing a piece of Cardboard between your Soil and Tamper to prevent sticking.

 

Step 11 – Install 2” of Gravel Below New Piping

 

Install a 2” Gravel base at the bottom of your trench. Make sure that your pitch remains in place as you go along.

 

  • Using your Long-Handled Flat Shovel, load up your Wheelbarrow with Gravel and cart it to your starting point. Then, check the measurement from your Ground surface to the trench bottom (before dumping in your Gravel).

 

  • Then, begin dumping the Gravel into your trench, a little at a time. Take your 12” Metal Bow Rake and spread the Gravel until you have a 2” base in your trench. Check your depth from your Ground surface to the trench bottom after installing the Gravel, to make sure that it is 2” less than your before Gravel measurement.

 

  • Repeat the process throughout the entire trench.

 

Step 12 – Install Filter Fabric or Landscape Cloth

 

If you are using Piping that comes with a Sock already installed, you can skip this Step.

Assuming that your Landscape Fabric came in a 3’ wide roll, roll out your Fabric and install it over your Gravel base, centering it in your trench. If your trench is longer than your 1st roll of Fabric, begin installing the Fabric at the Outlet point, and overlap additional rolls of Fabric by at least 12” over the last one installed.

 

Step 13 – Install Your Drain Tile Pipe

 

Lay down your Drain Pipe, orienting your Perforated Holes Horizontally on the sides of your Pipe.

 

Step 14 – Cover Your Pipe With Fabric and Gravel

 

If you are using Piping that comes with a Sock already installed, you can skip this Step.

Cover both ends of your Pipe (at the inlet and the outlet) with Landscape Fabric, attaching it firmly with your thin wire. Fold your Landscape Fabric over your Pipe, overlapping the edges. Then cover your Landscape Fabric and Pipe with a 12” layer of Gravel.

 

  • Use your Pliers to twist the ends of your Thin Wire holding your Landscape Fabric over both ends of your Pipe. Your Fabric should overlap the ends of the Pipe about 6”.

 

  • Then, install approximately 12” of Gravel over your Landscape Fabric and Piping all along your trench. Spread the Gravel with your 12” Metal Bow Rake, checking the depth from your Ground surface to the top of the Gravel. Remember to take a before and after measurement to be sure that you are installing the correct amount of Gravel.

 

Step 15 – Replace Your Soil in the Trench

 

Beginning with your Clay Soil, replace that Soil until you reach the depth that your Black Dirt Topsoil was. You should tamp the ground after every 3” of Soil that is replaced. Then, begin replacing your Black Dirt Topsoil, using the same tamping guidelines. You will not tamp the final 2” of Black Dirt Topsoil that you reinstall.

 

  • Using your Long-Handled Pointed Shovel, and beginning with your Clay Soil, start replacing the Soil into your trench. Compact it with your Hand Tamper after every 3” of Soil that is replaced. Make sure to use Cardboard between your Tamper and the Soil to prevent Soil from adhering to the Tamper.

 

  • Remember the mental note that you made about the depth of your Black Dirt Topsoil. When you reach that depth, begin replacing the Black Dirt Topsoil. Continue using the same tamping guidelines, except you will not tamp the final 2” of Topsoil installed.

 

  • Keep the top of your trench level with the surrounding Ground. Since, the final 2” of Soil were not tamped, the Ground will compress enough to allow for your Sod to be packed down, keeping your Grade level.

 

  • You will have about 14” of Soil left over as a result of installing the Gravel. Make sure that the leftover Soil is your Clay Soil, and that you replace all of your good Topsoil at the top of the trench. You will either need to find a use for this leftover Soil, or you will need to have it hauled away.

 

Step 16 – Replace Your Sod

 

Now, fold your Sod back over your trench, stepping down or patting down every square inch of it, in order to firmly seat the roots back into place and insure that your Grade is level with the surrounding Ground. When finished, hand sprinkle a little Lawn Fertilizer on the Sod and water it in thoroughly. You will need to keep the trench area watered down for about 7 days, to insure that the Sod fully roots.

 

Congratulation on Your Completion!

Hopefully this will put an end to any unwanted Standing Yard Water.

 

Clean up and put all of your Tools used in their proper places.

Please take the time to leave a Comment or ask a Question in the Comments section below. Let me know how your Project went.

Sincerely,

CJ Dodaro

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *