We're buying a new property and the back yard is half level, half slope. The level area holds onto water after rain.

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Shown from the rear of the yard, my notion is - put a drain in the area that gathers water and run an underground pipe to an expandable set of rain barrels or some other kind of cistern. This captured ground water will be used for gardening, etc.

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My questions:

1) Is a catch basin like this appropriate for the intended use? If not, what is? enter image description here 2) What do I need to do to prevent clogs?

3) (more general) is this idea sound?

  • 1
    I see no reason that wouldn't work, but it limits you to one (or a few) drainage points. A perforated drain tile loop might be better, wrapped in a fabric sock and pea gravel. You could essentially create a narrow rock garden along the fence that acts as a full-length drain.
    – isherwood
    May 25 '18 at 14:51
  • It's a good idea but I intend to use the space as a dog run eventually (once the drainage is sorted) - and I don't like the idea of them running around all that gravel. May 25 '18 at 15:46
  • The drain loop doesn't have to be on the surface... put it in 8" to a foot down and you'll still have a lawn and water will not stand long in that area. Doesn't even have to be a loop, just a run under the middle.
    – DaveM
    May 25 '18 at 18:51
  • Someone should post that as an answer so i can accept it :) You guys gotta stop using comments to answer questions. May 28 '18 at 0:53
  • Plant a weeping willow tree in the wet area. They soak up water like a sponge. You won't need a drain system.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 15 '18 at 21:09

I would create a French drain at least 1/2 the width of the "swamp" and channel this to your catch basins. I did a similar thing several homes back it was great for water storage but I ended up with close to 1500 gallons before figuring out that the tanks filled with ground water and I needed to extend my drain to a lower area below the tanks. Now the tanks fill then the overflow drains down the slope no standing water or mosquitos. I would use a French drain and cover the top foot with mesh then back fill for your lawn. Note at the lowest point in the drain use rock at the surface or the water running out will erode the dirt at the surface as it runs out but the rock holds the dirt in place and allows the water to flow. If using large tanks make sure you have access holes so any sediment can be removed after about 5 years my first tank had quite a bit after 5 years but the second tank was clean.

  • I don't fully follow what you're saying about "extend drain to lower area below tanks". Any chance you can diagram an example? Jun 15 '18 at 15:47
  • 1
    Once the tank(s) are full I needed a place for the water to go (the ground water was 3-4x my calculated volume) I added a line from the lower tank to the edge of my property at first I just let the pipe drain but in the first year I had big ruts from the water flowing out of the pipe. I added some 3/4 rock from the pipe to the bottom of the ruts plus a few extra shovels and this acted as a diffuser and there was no more erosion. Hope this helps. Hard to do graphics on my phone.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 15 '18 at 16:24

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