I'm putting in a french drain to control runoff and get it out of the yard. The drain is going in an area of the yard that is covered with 1.5" river rock, no dirt will cover the trench at all. I want to wrap the pipe properly but I'm not sure the best way or that I even need to in this scenario. I lined the trench with fabric and put a layer of rock down. I then layed the french drain pipe, holes down, along the trench. Do I now back fill the pipe with more rock and then wrap the fabric that is sticking out of the trench over the top of the rock or do I just go over the top of the trench with the fabric as I lay the 1.5" river rock(a I would if the trench wasn't even there).

2 Answers 2


Somewhat up to you, but standard practice (IMPE) is to cover the pipe with some rock, then fold the fabric over to "box" the pipe (overlapping the fabric, unless you want to get fanatical and seam it), then cover with more rock to keep it in place.

  • +1 after doing this myself, I think the most important part is keeping the fabric manageable, which usually involves pulling, folding, and then securing the fabric with some rocks until you can backfill.
    – BMitch
    Sep 9, 2015 at 20:22

A traditional French Drain does not use fabric but instead controls the material mixing with a variety of gravels.

You can do whatever will work, but I wouldn't want to leave any fabric exposed.

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