Rain can cause many problems without a proper drainage system. Most communities provide a standard type of system; however, these systems are not always designed to handle excessive rain, often leading to flooding. The right type of drainage system, such as a French drain, can accommodate excessive precipitation and resulting runoff by enabling proper water filtration. Installing the right underground storm drainage system is vital and specific depending on location. West Virginia requires specific features for a French drain system.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Tape measure
- Plastic perforated sewer line pipe
- 45-degree pipe angles
- 90-degree pipe angle
- PVC pipe cement
Dig a 6-inch-wide trench parallel with the foundation of the house. Make the trench as long as the side of the house. Make sure that the trench is at least 3 feet away from the foundation of your house or any other buildings and that the drain pipe will not be set below the level of the foundation, as West Virginia state regulations require French drains to be above basement level. The recommended gradient for the French drain is 1/4 inch of drop for every foot of pipe, in a direction away from all houses or buildings.
Dig the ditch deep enough to prevent the water from freezing in the winter. The frost line in West Virginia is between 18 and 20 inches for the majority of the state; therefore dig to around 24 inches to be safe.
Lay the pipe in place, using two 45-degree angles to round the corners, and glue them together using PVC pipe cement. Use the 90-degree angle to attach and guide the pipe to the gutter system on the home so as to allow gutter water to filter into the drain system as well.
Document the work you have done by taking a picture of the system and drawing a diagram to help mediate future difficulties.
Fill in the ditch around the pipe with gravel to allow filtration and then firmly pack the dirt around it to decrease the amount of settling over the years.
Tips and warnings
- If hiring someone to install the underground storm drainage system, oversee the project and take pictures of the work. Screen all contractors to verify license.
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