How to Plan for Drainage

Written by shala munroe
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How to Plan for Drainage
Drainage is essential to your yard's landscape plan. (Woman trying to mow yard with manual mower image by bawinner from Fotolia.com)

Drainage is an essential piece of your landscape plan. Without a proper drainage system, water build-up could lead to rotting tree roots (which will require the tree to be cut down), dead plants, basement flooding or damage to your home's foundation. Create your own drainage plan without the expense of hiring a professional surveyor by following a few guidelines.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Spray paint
  • Chalk dust

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mark a drainage path using spray paint or chalk dust. Identify where the water will come from -- typically your roof and gutters -- and where it will end up based on the existing slope of your yard. Ideally, water will run off your yard into street gutters. Watch the water during heavy rains to help identify the existing flow. Make sure any planned landscaping changes will not alter the slope of the yard so much that rainwater will puddle.

  2. 2

    Mark where you would like to place drainage pipes. Underground perforated drainage pipes typically run from your gutters to the sewer system or to a low-lying area of your yard. The perforations also allow water seeping through the soil to drain in the direction you choose.

  3. 3

    Slope the ground away from your house. Considered a surface drainage system, the slope will guide heavy water runoff toward the street gutter. Beginning a few inches from your house, the land should slope slightly toward a ditch or other trench that leads away from your property. Look for areas of your yard that need to be elevated or lowered to maintain an even, gradual slope.

  4. 4

    Contact area utilities to mark the utility lines in your yard by calling "811." Call your city and county ordinance departments to make sure you are abiding by all drainage ordinances.

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