French Drains - Pipes vs Only Gravel


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Old 07-22-19, 07:01 AM
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French Drains - Pipes vs Only Gravel

I'm in the process of installing a french drain. There's a low area in my back yard. I'm going to attempt to move water to a sump pit then pump over a small incline to a drain. Distance from where water tends to collect to pit is about 60 feet. Do I really need pipes or can I just fill the trenches I have with gravel? I can't imagine water not moving through the gravel-filled trench to the sump pit. My yard gently slopes up to where I have to install the sump. The trench starts off at perhaps 12 inches deep and ends up around 36 inches deep. I could fill the trench all the way to ground level with gravel. I'm not opposed to using pipes. I just know a lot of the water isn't going to get into the pipes anyway, but will move under the pipes towards the pit. I read online the main reason, at least one reason for pipes, is to move water quickly. If I'm not so concerned about how quickly it moves as long as it eventually moves out of my yard.
 

Last edited by WilliamH4; 07-22-19 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 07-22-19, 07:36 AM
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With a trench full of gravel the water will tend to drain down into the ground more than flow with the pipe. Of course a lot depends on the soil, all clay will tend to direct the water much like the pile vs softer, sandy soil which will allow the water to pass further down.

If I was going to all the effort to dig a trench I would certainly install a pipe!
 
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Old 07-22-19, 07:40 AM
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Thank you, Marq. That makes sense.
 
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Old 07-22-19, 09:50 AM
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You want is the bottom of your trench to lead to your sump and have the pipe at ground level or very close to it with the holes facing down. Under most circumstances the water will be just as happy flowing through the rock as the pipe. This way both paths (pipe and through the gravel) will lead to the same place, the sump.
 
 

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