Ridding Your Property Of Standing Water

You may have witnessed it on your own lawn. After a rainstorm you find standing water puddles on your lawn. It may not strike you as a big deal, but it could cause a whole lot of problems from bare spots to damage to the foundation of your home.

Standing water puddles is not something you want to persist on your lawn. If unable to properly drain through the soil, the water can gather close to your home’s foundation and may seep inside your house where the foundation joins the exterior wall. This can result in substantial damage to floors, furniture, electronic equipment and other costly items.

The expense of repairs to the home to say nothing about the cleanup and replacement of valuable items can turn out to be a devastating disaster not just financially, but emotionally.

If you’re lucky and there is no damage to your home, then there could be damage to your lawn and trees. Standing puddles often contain debris, chemicals and other kinds of waste that can be deposited into your lawn and soil. The contaminated water can kill grass and plants. Fungi, molds, and bacteria can develop and can cause a myriad of tree diseases as well as destroy grass. Water from the puddles can also adversely affect the root system of trees making them very unstable and causing them to lean or even tumble.

If the puddles occur during the summer, they can become breeding pools for mosquitoes. Organisms that prosper in wet conditions can cause grass to become slippery

The solution to these problems is to create a drainage system that allows the water to run off into a community sewer system or create a condition in which the ground absorbs it.

Some who have experienced the problem plant foliage and trees that thrive in moist conditions. They hope that the vegetation will dry the area. However, this doesn’t work because plants and trees can’t survive in soil that is very soggy for any period of time. The root system of the plants needs to breathe, but the water drowns it.

Others attempt to fill the depression where the water collects with topsoil. This may work under certain conditions, but many who have tried it have found that the water shifts to another location a few feet away.

How To Drain Standing Water From A Sloping Lawn

To remedy the situation, you need to create a way for the water to drain. If you happen to live on property that has a slope to it or you’re lucky enough to have storm water drainage close by, then the problem can be relatively simple to overcome. Some subdivisions around the country have equipped backyards of homes with storm water catch basins. You could develop a water removal system that takes advantage of the basin if you have one near or on your property.

Before you attempt to create a fix, it is advised that you contact local officials to ensure that you can execute your plan.

Once you have permission to execute your plan, visit your local building supply center and acquire some flexible 4-inch perforated plastic drainpipes. Try to purchase the type that comes in 100-foot rolls. These pipes feature little holes that permit water to enter and then flow away. You should also purchase a line level, a device that indicates a slope to your property and is designed to attach a string that lays out the degree of the slope. In addition, purchase string and some washed stones.

Once you have the pipes and other items, dig a trench starting from the center of the low area in which the water collects and ending in a location where you intend to drain it. Use a line level to determine that there is a downhill run of your property and then set down string that indicates the slope. Arrange the string so that it is level, then measure from the string to the bottom of the trench to assure that you have a constant slope. There should be 6-inches of slope for every 100-feet of pipe.

Standing water at worst can cause damage to your home. At best, it can damage trees and plants as well as your lawn.
(Courtesy: Oddharmonic at flickr.com)
Standing water at worst can cause damage to your home. At best, it can damage trees and plants as well as your lawn.
(Courtesy: Oddharmonic at flickr.com)

The slope is necessary so that the water will flow down via gravity to the area where you intend to drain. The highest point of the slope should be where the standing water is. Dig the trench deep enough so that the pipes are covered with soil. Dig the trench and then place the pipes in it.

Insert the strainer in the end of the pipe that is at the highest end to prevent soil from entering. Cover the pipes with washed stone and then fill the trench with soil. The stone creates a channel that directs the water into the pipe. Leave the last pipe at the end of the line open to allow the water to drain through.

If there is nowhere on or near you property in which you can drain the water, then there are other options.

To determine what options may be available to you, you need to understand what is causing the puddles.

What Is Causing The Standing Water

The type of soil you have may be the reason why the standing water isn’t properly draining through. Even if you have well draining soil, the rain may be falling so heavily that there is just not enough time for the water to soak in. The result is that it flows along the top of the ground and then settles into a depression.

In the case of well draining soil, the water will eventually soak through. However, if your soil contains a lot of clay, then the water will not drain through. The soil then compacts compounding the problem.

Construct A French Drain

In conditions like this, a French drain could be the solution. It carries water away from the depressions and allows the water to seep through the ground over a larger distance where the soil is not as compacted.

There is an article here at Lawneq that offers more information about a French drain and explains how to construct it. Briefly, a French drain system requires the digging of several short trenches starting at the puddle and spreading out into parts of the lawn where the water will drain. Make certain that the trenches for the French drains slope so that the water will flow away from the depression.

(Sources: lmchosuton.com, sprinkledrainage.com, and freeplants.com)

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.