We have clay soil so we had our landscaper/yard maintenance person come out to see what could be done for our drainage issues...there were many low spots in the yard & even when he stepped on them, he could feel the sogginess.

What he finally suggested might fix the problem is to just dig up our existing yard totally (backyard)...regrade it, then put down a layer of gravel/sand, put about 3 inches of topsoil on that, then put new grass seed in...He gave us an estimate of around $3750 to do this. But one of the issues I think we might have is that our gutters in the back come down & go into the concrete which is away from the house but could that be causing our soggy yard?

Where is that water going & how could that be tested to see? We want to the most cost effective thing we can do but still solve the problem...what should we be looking at and how do we know what to do?

1 Answer 1


Seems a little excessive to dig up the whole yard and not just add dirt. But to find out where the gutters drain just add some food coloring into the gutter drain and see where it pops up. It should come out a white 4 inch pipe at the curb but could be coming out a overgrown yard popup. FYI it is illegal to drain rain runoff into a sewer line if you happen to not be able to locate the outflow someone may have done a no no.

  • Hi David,Thanks for your input! While we had decided not to go the expensive route...I would think that if it was going into a sewer line that we would not be having the issues in the yard...we do not have a curb outlet because we are in the country & it is all underground. I wonder if this water is going into the ground from the gutters in our backyard & has no outlet, that's my concern for our soggy yard...there is no emitter we have been able to find. Good to know about the sewer line though. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 16:11
  • Is there a way to test where that water is going by some type of camera they can put down there? We have been thinking about using rain barrels as well...what is your experience with them? Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 16:13
  • Did you think abou the food coloring during your next rain event? Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 16:51
  • I thought about it but i would rather do the camera to see where they are going....our RotoRooter guy can do that for us or our lawn people said they wouls figure something out...Thanks! Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 17:02

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