How to Add Backyard Drainage

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Perforated drainpipe
Pipe wrap

If water collects or pools in your backyard, you should protect your landscape by adding extra backyard drainage. Adding drainage is simple and effective when using the eight steps below.

Step 1 – Plan the Route

First, you must decide which route you want your drainage to take. Sometimes it isn’t always a convenient straight line, but this is OK. Also keep in mind that while the direct route might be shorter, it doesn’t mean it will be more effective. In fact, the longer the route you choose, the wider area you will have for drainage.

Note that if the water that is causing the flooding is coming from a particular direction, you may be able to dig the trench across the flow and have the trench empty at two different low spots.

Once you’ve decided on the route, draw it with chalk powder or spray paint.

Step 2 – Dig a Trench

Next, dig a narrow trench 6-8 inches wide and approximately 2-feet deep. As you cut the sod, put it to one side for later use. Try to maintain a steady depth and ensure that there is a downward slope the entire way.

Step 3 – Compact the Trench Bottom

Once you are happy with the trench and the steady downward slope, use a compacting tool along the area. If you do not have a compacting tool, you can simply walk up and down the area with your shoes on.

Step 4 – Layer the Gravel

Next, cover the entire bottom of the trench with 2-3 inches of gravel. Don't worry about what type of gravel you use, whether it's pea gravel or crushed gravel. However, it is important that you distribute the gravel evenly.

Step 5 – Arrange the Pipe Wrap

Arrange the pipe wrap on top of the gravel, making sure that it reaches both sides of the trench from end to end.

Step 6 – Lay the Perforated Drainpipe

With the holes facing downward, lay the perforated drainpipe along the center line of the trench. Then, wrap the pipe wrap around the pipe. The pipe wrap is designed to prevent the holes in the perforated drainage pipes from getting blocked by sand and mud.

Step 7 – Fill the Trench With Gravel

Next, fill the trench with gravel almost to the top. Try not to disturb the drainpipe while you are doing this, and compact the gravel by inserting the spade a few inches and moving it backward and forward.

Step 8 – Replace the Sod

Finally, cover the top of the gravel with the sod you cut when starting the trench.