After a severe rainstorm I noticed the back overflow pipe of our dry well popped out of the ground. I went back and set it back into place but after inspecting the area, I noticed a lot of erosion around both pipes and feel like it’s only a matter of time before this happens again.

I am wondering what the best path forward is? Should I remove the pipes, clean them out, reset them and surround them with dirt and gravel? Or does this call for a professional? If so, who would I call?

closeup of the overflow pipe

overview of the backyard with the pipe

  • Do you know the construction of the dry well? Is it a tank with a drain field ? A bunch of rock or what?
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 28, 2020 at 21:31
  • I don’t unfortunately, my best guess is that it’s a bunch of rock inside a landscape mesh. I didn’t see any evidence of a tank structure when the pipe came out.
    – Elias51
    Mar 28, 2020 at 21:42
  • I would probably pack rock around it any dirt will just end up migrating into the drywall rock.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 28, 2020 at 22:51
  • Since it wasn't glued on in the first place, there's a strong indication that it should be removable. I'd seriously consider gluing on a threaded fitting to the pipe in the ground then gluing a matching threaded fitting to the bottom of the slotted cap. That would allow it to be removed at any time you intentionally want to take it off, but the threads would prevent a full tank from lifting it accidentally.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 23, 2021 at 11:26

1 Answer 1


Without knowing the construction it's tough to give you an exact answer. However, I would first try to determine what is emptying into it. Rain gutters, ground water, grey water, etc.? It's purpose may be to keep water away from your foundation. Are you having moisture problems in the house? Second, have you seen it overflow? In other words, is water coming up or is it simply not taking in the groundwater around that drain in your picture. You call it an overflow pipe. It may be that, or it could be there to drain ground water. In that case you might want to reset it below ground level allowing ground water to drain into it. In other words - a french drain.
If the drywell is, in fact, overflowing and causing problems the only way to resolve it is to excavate to see what's going on.
In that case, a septic company may be able to help you.

  • It’s primary purpose is for drainage from rain gutters, that is what flows into it. We are at the top of the water table in my subdivision and our basement has been pretty dry. I have seen it overflow with water coming up during periods of extreme rain. My guess is that as large amounts of water surge into the dry well, it has nowhere to go put up. Today we had a very large amount and I saw it lift right out.
    – Elias51
    Mar 28, 2020 at 23:17
  • 1
    Got it. As long as you're not having water issues I wouldn't be too concerned but you do want to keep the over flow away from your foundation. One option may be to allow some of your gutters to drain away from the house on a downhill side to take the pressure off the drywell.
    – HoneyDo
    Mar 28, 2020 at 23:31
  • How far is the drywell and overflow from the house?
    – HoneyDo
    Mar 28, 2020 at 23:32
  • I believe it is about 200’ from the back of the house. I edited my initial post to show water coming out of the back pipe while it was raining badly this afternoon. This was after I put it back. We got hammered with back to back rainstorms today. It did not lift with the second storm but as you can see with the first pic, there is a lot of erosion around it.
    – Elias51
    Mar 28, 2020 at 23:42
  • 1
    If it's not causing you any serious problems why worry about it unless there is a possible safety issue - collapsing, etc?
    – HoneyDo
    Mar 29, 2020 at 0:55

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