If you have issues with pooling water around your home from gutter downspouts or leveling issues, it can understandably seem daunting, but with spring just around the corner, now is the time to fix any drainage issues — before we hit our wetter months along the Gulf Coast.
You will likely need some professional help at least in planning your drainage solution, but the time and costs of handling the drainage of your property now are typically a lot less than handling a flooding situation later.
The important thing to consider, especially in our area since it is prone to flooding, is where draining water is headed. If possible, it’s best to direct it to an area where it can naturally percolate into the ground water instead of into a neighbor’s yard or storm drain, which can easily become overtaxed during heavy rain.
Check out the following drainage options and see which would work best for your property.
A berm is a small hill covered in grass or other plants. Its aim is to absorb water through the plants and trees on it, diverting the remainder to a more suitable area. Ensuring the berm will work effectively can be tricky depending on how much water you’re aiming to divert, but it is a great way to add visual interest to your yard and solve a major drainage issue.
Swales are the opposite of a berm. They are natural or created depressions to channel water from slopes. Just as with a berm, though, the purpose is to give the water a chance to absorb into the soil as it travels instead of pooling around your home, deck or shed. For maximum effectiveness, put on your gardening hat and line swales with plants that prefer to live in moist environments, giving even further opportunity for water to be absorbed as it travels.
Not to be confused with swales, French drains are also depressions that channel water from slopes, but they are typically filled with a perforated pipe, gravel and perhaps some type of lining to increase the capacity of your drain.
Trench drains redirect water before it’s absorbed into the soil. They are typically lined with concrete and covered with a grate to keep it clear of debris. The drain around a pool is typically a small trench drain.
While berms, swales, French drains and trench drains are ways to move water from an undesirable place, you also have options on where that water is delivered. Again, remember the best options don’t negatively affect municipal drainage systems by allowing water to diffuse naturally into the soil. While that’s not always a possibility for every drainage issue, below are two options to consider.
Its name isn’t a trick. A rain garden is exactly what it sounds like it is. It’s a garden that helps control water runoff, which is normally from rain. The key is to use well-draining soil and plants that enjoy moist climates or can handle small amounts of standing water. This gives water the opportunity to be used naturally in the water cycle instead of flooding streets.
Again, dry wells are aptly named. They are wells that typically remain dry but can hold drainage water when needed. These wells have perforated tanks that allow water to absorb gradually into the ground, so their goal isn’t to permanently retain water – just store it until it can return to the soil.
Take advantage of this time before the rain pours to find proper drainage solutions for your home!