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Looking to save some money by building your yard’s drainage yourself? It’s a big project, but doable if you get your landscaping supplies delivered right to your driveway!

DIY Drainage Project #1: French Drains

Installing French drains either at one spot or in various locations throughout the yard will help transport the accumulated water to other places in the yard. The best spot for the trench will be at a level lower than that of the house and it will have to be dug really deep.

DIY Drainage Project #2: Dry Wells

This is an ideal solution for a yard with major drainage issues. As the name suggests, it is a well that stores the excess water during times of flooding. Once the water collects in the well, it will be let out into the soil slowly over a period of many days, avoiding instantaneous flooding. Dry wells must be situated at a much lower level than the house itself.

DIY Drainage Project #3: Sump Pumps

This is considered the most effective method of dealing with flooded yards. However, it is also the most expensive to install. A sump pump sucks out the water and pumps it into a spot some distance away. As the pit fills with water, the pump turns on and drains the water away.

DIY Drainage Project #4: Curtain Drains

Such drains help to move water from low-lying areas and take it away through a perforated drain pipe surrounded by stones and covered with a filter cloth. The water is then carried downhill away from the yard. The gravel helps make the drain accessible in the event of any repairs or blocks that may have to be cleared.

DIY Drainage Project #5: Elevate the Yard

The portion of the yard where water logging occurs can be elevated with the help of some organic mulch and topsoil. This will prevent water from pooling in that spot.

“My basement & backyard flood every time we get a good rain: This was not always a problem, but it seems to get worse every year. Why is this happening and what can I do to solve the problem?”
—Thomas Buckingham, Severna Park, Maryland

A: Don Saunders reply: Water runs downhill, so look uphill for the source of the problem. It could be that someone added a new impervious surface, such as a driveway or patio. Or perhaps a drain is clogged or someone changed the grade of their lawn or pointed downspouts in your direction. Try to solve the problem at its source.

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