Drainage Woes Drainage Woes Drainage Woes
Once I moved into my house I quickly found out that in a heavy rain all the water from the pasture next door flows directly at the corner of my house before going out to the street. Over the years I have tried many things, a french drain, a longer drain out to the street, having the couty clear the street ditches and professional grading of the yard. Below are all my log entries and photos.


The set looks bad but its still an improvement over the pregrading flooding during Fay. The patio is not under several inches of water, there is no water standing against the house anywhere, and the flow to the street is a good 10 feet away from the house, not next to it. The pictures are at fault, I dhould have gone out in the rain and documented it better.




The water is well away from the house in the after picture, not next to it. Its more contained and flowing not building up in pools all over the place.


This isnt a good shot of the after, sorry. The patio is not flooded, water is not flowing in both directions around the house. In the first there is about 5in of water flowing across the patio and I was worried it would come inside through the door. In the 2nd there is virtually none, all the water is out in the yard.

Random Storm

Again the water is more channelized, and away from the house. No buildup at the corner.


A noticable difference


This weekend
[11-Apr-2005] Wasted a lot of time on Saturday by having to go back to the dealership. Chrysler was complaining that the contract wasnt lined up properly and needed redone. Picked up the new futon frame on the way, Drews is finally dead and I tossed it just after moving in. Spent more time at FSU with the Flying Circus of Physics before yet another trip to Home Depot/Lowes/Sears. No one has the garage door handle I need. Got a lot of stuff out of the garage, enough I can park the jeep now. Its all in boxes, just not in the garage.

The drain seems to flow ok but builds up water at the end of the run since the water simply does not sink into the clay.

Sunday had to work which took most the day. Sprayed some roundup on the corner where the weeds are, tried to avoid the blackberries as much as possible.

Got more landscape timbers. I did manage to get most the living room trim stained before going to bed. Determined I need some wood because after removing the carpet the baseboards sit about 1/2in above the concrete slab, and that higher than the laminate will be. I will also need quarter round.

Hurricane Dennis
[12-Jul-2005] Hurricane Dennis caused a river about four inches deep to flow through my yard. You cant tell from the pictures but the water is going over the patio and flowing across by the pineapple guavas and towards the neighbors house as well as the deep part that is visable along the east side of my house.

Ditch Digging
[30-Jul-2005] Due to the drizling rain, and the resulting coolness I managed to get the ditch dug all the way out to the street this morning.
tostreet_thumb.jpg junction2_thumb.jpg.
The whole thing is about 170 feet long. Its about 18in wide and up to a foot and a half deep. The depth varies with the yard but it all flows downhill, clearing out the standing water behind the flower bed pretty quickly once I opened up the front part to the part I had already dug. There are a few pictures of flowers, and the growing tangerines too. Now to go but pipe and figure out how to get 9 yards of gravel delivered, and hope I calculated correctly and only need 9 yards.

The plants are doing well. Almost all the hot peppers are fruiting, Im drying them as they ripen. The strawberries have lots of runners, and one plant is still producing an occasional berry.

Cable and Gravel
[03-Aug-2005] Last Friday the county came and cleaned out the ditch that I called them about. They didnt do that part in front of my house however which was the part that needed done. And they didnt do it Monday. Tuesday they did and promptly decided to cut the cable line and remove 15 feet of it destroying my servers internet access.

Comcast, for my convenience according to their voice message, only takes calls between 8 and 5. So I had to wait till this morning to call them. Went home for the gravel delivery and they still had done nothing.

gravel delivery

Ditch Works OK
[22-Nov-2005] It fianlly rained decently Monday night. The french drain work pretty well water was coming out the end at a decent flow when I went home about 11:00, even though it was raining lightly. Sometime in the night it rained much harder and the pressure increased enough to push the gravel bed at the end of the drain all the way into the county ditch. Got to get some bigger rocks for that so it doesnt erode. There are still some low spots where water collects, mainly where I had rock sitting and along the front flower bed. I'll eventually have to install gutters around the front to fix that and the splatter that results.

The grass seed has taken and filled in the areas killed by the gravel pile so the front yard doesnt look half bare any more.

More drainage work to be done
[10-Sep-2006] It rained almost 3 inches in an hour or so today and was the best test for the drainage I put in last summer. While it works, the 4in pipe just isnt big enough to handle the volume of water and it flows on top of the pipe and gravel as well. Not as bad as during Dennis but still river like. Have a problem with the ground on the west side of the drain is too low and water comes over to that side to easily and piles up at the house. Working on fixing that. Took pictures but cant find the cable to go with the camera to get them on the computer.

Flood Control
[31-Oct-2006] It rained almost 4 inches Friday night in just a few hours. I was home and got a good look at what happens. The flower beds in the front get swamped. Too much water coming off the roof. Ill be installing gutters soon, this should also take care of some of the splash going onto the walkway. Around back the raised berm on the west side of the french drain and the lower land on the east side worked well to keep the water away from the house. The beds in the back need raised more, and some drainage put in them, sloping of some kind because the collect water. The yard between the septic tank and the bed is a low spot. Water collects there, then flows against the house between the septic tank and the bananas, the same place where a lot of the roof water ends up too. That corner is 4 to 6 inches deep in water. Water also flows into this area from the pasture by way of the oak tree. I think doing another berm type thing from the oak to the pine and gutters along the back will fix alot of this, as well as just building up the corner so its not so low.


TS Fay
[26-Aug-2008] This was bad. The water about 3:00 pushed over the flower bed in the back and started building up against the house. This was worse than Dennis. Eventually it seeped into the library. Roberto helped me move all the books out but im still dealing with the cleanup and rebuilding the flood control. Had someone come out and they say all i can do is a giant ditch along the back to the street. Waiting on the huge estimate.

Rain Barrel Tower
[30-Mar-2009] Spent all weekend, when it wasnt raining building a tower for the 3 rain barrels that arrived late sunday afternoon. The barrels need to be washed and Im waiting on 2 in Buttress threaded parts to finish them and install them in the tower. They are in the background of some of the pictures. Bought the remaining parts to set them up and move the gutter over at lunch monday. The north post is really a 16 ft post, with a 10ft metal pole and the anemometer on top. That puts it 22 ft high, well above the top of the house. Of course thats also a foot too low for offical reporting.

There are also a few pictures of the drainage in action. It really wasnt enough rain to matter but at least you can see where the water flows now.

Drainage in action
[01-Apr-2009] It finally rained enough, and hard enough (a total of about 2in at 4.8 in/hr this morning) to see the drainage in action. The water flow is well away from the house now and does not seems to be much better contained on its way to the street. This is no where near as much water as during Dennis and Fay but at least its away from the house for now.


Random Storm


More water
[03-Apr-2009] It continued to rain. Over 8 inches in the last couple days. When it rain at more than 2in/hr for a while is when I get flooding. Here are more photos, mostly of other parts of the yard I need to work on. The are by the beds is holding water because I just did some irrigation there so its low. Ive got a mound of dirt out in the yard to build it up some. Other problems might be water coming around the pine tree to the right once it gets backed up enough in the pasture. There are some low spots, right about where the wheelbarrow is sitting,
Updated some of the After photos in a previous post to point to these photos as well.

More yard work
[25-Jan-2010] Havent done anything since last week first because of torrential rains

then sinus trouble making it impossible to do anything productive.

Tied up and mulched the blackberries. Ripped out the Kiowa blackberries (again). They are not worth the trouble to much trailing along the ground. Relocated the irrigation connection at the south end of the blueberries and one of the blueberries further west more inline with the rest of the bed. Retensioned the grape trellis.