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Question DetailsAsked on 8/27/2014

What type of company would I contact to get help with storm water drainage issue on my property?

I have a rental property that has standing water in the back yard every time we get torrential rains. The water can occasionally get up to and over the patio door sill. There is no basement so that's not an issue

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1 Answer


You have several fairly easy options, depending on your actual yard configuration - here are the ones that come to mind right now - possibly roughly from cheapest to more expensive, but which is actually cheapest depends on your specific configuration :

1) put in a compacted dirt ridge or even a raised planter bed as a levee, or slice and lay back lawn sod and then build a high enough ridge of compacted relatively impervious dirt to divert the water then lay the sod back over it. Be at least 6 inches generous on the height to allow for future settlement - 12 inches is better. Sometimes even a paving stone or concrete retaining wall block berm, dug into the ground a few inches so water cannot go under it easily, with compacted soil along the front edge at the base and between the stones, will handle this.

2) add soil by the house as a berm or slope high enough to stop it - but make sure you are not also damming water by the foundation by doing so - any water falling on the house side of the berm would have to be able to drain off away from the house. The further away from the house you do this (within reason) the better, so you do not have standing water near the house to soften the foundation soil or cause mosquito issues.

3) dig a swale or trench to direct the water away - which can be open and gravel-filled, or made by slicing and laying back some sod, digging a roughly 6 foot wide trench, then rolling the sod back out over it to form a mowable swale

4) put in a french drain a foot or two below the surface (below frost level if a spring runoff issue), with gravel pack all around it, and a few gratings to let surface water in, to drain water away from the house to a lower level

5) build a concrete or asphalt curb or a raised bed planter with relatively waterproof front wall a few feet away from the house in a convenient spot, high enough to block the flow and divert it

6) put a raised curb or planters all around the patio to stop the water from getting to the door, if that is the only place it gets high enough to cause issues.

Of course,the more pervious your soil, the deeper you have to make the barrier or cutoff into the ground - a definitive liner material or clay cutoff in open sands ro gravels, perhaps only a couple of inches into the ground (and below grass) in clayey soil.

Make sure whatever you do does not cause problems by concentrating flow into a neighbor's yard where it is not already flowing.

Most of the solutions a Landscaping company can handle - the curbing a concrete sidewalk/curbing or asphalt contractor can do.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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