Where Is Your Water Going - Three Options For Terminating Your French Drain

Construction & Contractors Articles

If areas of your property are at lower elevations than other surrounding properties, you may find that any excessive water tends to run your way. If the water runs toward your foundation, it could leave you with a wet basement, or it can even cause substantial damage to your home's foundation. You can fix this problem by installing a french drain. Finding the starting point of your drain is easy, but deciding where to reroute the excessive water to can be difficult. Read on for more about a way to fix this problem, as well as three solutions you may want to consider for the termination of your drain.

What Is A French Drain?

A french drain is basically a ditch filled with some type of rock, gravel, or a perforated pipe, which helps to direct water away from one area and channel it to another. This drain goes by many different names, and you may hear it referred to as:

  • Weeping tile
  • French ditch
  • Blind drain
  • Agricultural drain
  • Sub-soil drain
  • Rubble drain
  • Rock drain

No matter what it is called, it is one of the most effective ways to eliminate the problem of standing water.

To be effective, the actual trench of the drain is dug on a slope with a suggested downward grade averaging between one to two inches per 100 feet. Your actual slope will be determined by the length of your drain, and your method of termination.

The appearance of your finished trench can vary based on your preference, as some homeowners leave the gravel that covers the trench visible, and some choose to restore their landscaping and cover their trench with soil, sod and other vegetation.

The cost of your drain will vary based on where you live. If you have one professionally installed, the cost can average approximately $25 per linear foot. This means that a drain that is 50 feet long will run approximately $1,250, but you can also contain your costs by doing it yourself. Whichever method you choose, before you begin to install your french drain, you must have a plan on where you are going to reroute the excessive water to. Here are three options to consider.

Tie Into The City Sewer

If you live in the city, you may have storm drains, or gutters, already located on your street. It may appear that one of the simplest things to do would be to route your french drain towards the street and allow your excessive water to drain into the gutter. There is nothing simple about this.

The city has made careful calculations into how much volume these storm drains are able to handle, and they may or may not be willing to allow you to add to that volume. Some cities even have rules and regulations in place which do not allow this type of drained water to go into their system. Check with your local zoning and planning office to see if this will be allowed, and if so, ask what types of permits will you need to allow it to happen. 

Dry Well

Another option is to create a dry well at the end of your french drain. A simple dry well is a pit which has been dug and then refilled with gravel, sand, or some other porous material. Some people reinforce the sides of their well with an open ended barrel, or even with concrete. Once you establish a dry well, you will be able to route your french drain into the well. Once there the excessive water will be absorbed into the surrounding earth. 

Rain Garden

A very attractive solution on what to do with all of your excessive water is to use it. You can do this by creating a rain garden. This is basically a planting bed located within a shallow depression, which has been constructed from absorbent soils. The creation of this bed will allow this area to handle a higher amount of water than other places in your yard. Not only will you be able to run your excessive water into this bed, but you will be able to grow a wide variety of deep rooted, beautiful plants. Your run-off water will then nourish your plants and be absorbed into the ground. 

Water drainage no longer has to be a soggy, unsightly mess. With a french drain, and a disposal plan, you can move the water to a place where you can get rid of it and even use it. For more information on installing a french drain system, visit this site right here.

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15 September 2015

inspecting the roof on your home

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