I built a retaining wall this past summer, and put the proper drainage behind the wall. Due to time, I never got around to handling drainage in front of the wall and in between the pool.

The standing water in front of wall eventually goes away but may take a full day or two. Is this okay for the wall? I have the proper footing, and first row of retaining wall block buried. I tried to grade the area in front so it pitches to the ends, and I'm going to try to dig out and down a little and throw some river rock then dirt, just to relieve some water somewhat.

This past weekend we got about 5 inches of rain, the water was maybe an inch in front of the wall. Worst case, I have a water transfer pump to relocate it, but I'm planning on throwing river rock around it and just leaving it, if it's not going to hurt the wall, and it will eventually go away on its own anyway.

I don't have the energy to dig into the clay and move all that earth for the proper french drain. This summer I already, installed a 100ft french drain in my yard, dug out the pool, installed the 130ft electrical run for the pump, installed the retaining wall, and installed sod. I'm beat; and I have other pressing projects to fulfill, before winter gets here.


1) https://imageshack.us/i/poeZRuvfj

2) https://imageshack.us/my/images

I can live with the water and hopefully the river rock will disguise it, keep it under it until it drains away. I just don't want the footing to eventually shift and collapse the wall.

The foot is your typical footing material crushed stone with fines, and tamped 6 inches or so deep, and then the wall block. The base is 2ft wide, and then gravel on top of it in front and behind the base block. Then on the top in between the pool and wall is sand and gravel mixed, and then I plan to put down landscaping fabric and put river rock all around the pool.

  • Your image links are broken. Edit your question and Insert your images using the insert image button. Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 19:23
  • They are always too large to upload. So I always use imageshack since im usually on the go and post most of my stuff on the phone. I will try and compress my pictures.
    – eaglei22
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


I basically just went to the middle of the retaining wall and considered that the peak. I slightly graded down on the left and right side of pool to help water run down to these areas, then I put a drain on each side using 4 inch flex drainage tubing. I dug down about a foot, and at the start and end, I used a sanitary white T adapter at the beginning and end of drain pipe so I can attach the tubing, have the drain cap on top and have an opening at the bottom for clean out and added drainage, and I put about 3-4 inches of river rock below the fitting and inside a little. Around the pool I added landscaping fabric and put down an 1in - 2 inches of river rock around the pool for a nice aesthetic appeal, and to help prevent erosion. So far so good.

Still never found any information on the effects long term of standing water in front of retaining wall, and I didn't want to wait and find out. Although the better way would have been to install a french drain around the entire pool, due to time, this cheaper, and quicker fix seems to do the job and relieve most if not all of the standing water.

Will add pictures soon.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.