Currently at my house that I bought recently, I have one side of the house draining the gutters down some pvc pipes that end up draining into my sewage line. On the other side of the house, the gutters just drain down onto a side concrete path that butts against the exterior wall of the house. This side is of course not a good way to deal with water, as it can pool against the side of the house. I have a small strip of grass beyond the concrete that I could make a PVC "ditch" to which that side of the house drains to.

Now my question is, in general is it better to drain to the sewage line like the one side of the house, to let it drain down the slope of my yard (which is properly sloped), or to run the water into the street (which I am sure the city may not like so much and I am unsure if that violates any codes)? Is there any harm doing it any of these ways? Is it fine to leave the one side of the house as is, draining into the sewage line?

  • 2
    By "sewage line" do you mean the sanitary sewer leading to a municipal water treatment plant, or simply the storm drains? – isherwood Mar 29 '16 at 20:35
  • @isherwood Yes the sanitary sewer that the sump pump resides in. – Eric F Mar 30 '16 at 13:04
  • Municiple sewer systems don't have capacity to accept everyone's rain runoff. – Dean MacGregor Apr 5 '16 at 18:57

In my part of the world, rainwater from gutters is usually led underground to a rainwater soakaway which, at it's simplest, is a pit filled with rocks/stones/gravel and covered with soil/turf.

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There are design guidelines to help calculate the size of pit etc.

You might consider capturing rainwater and using it to irrigate plants.

  • Very interesting. So basically you run a pvc pipe into an area of rocks which helps spread out the water essentially. Why the concrete on top of it? – Eric F Mar 30 '16 at 15:25
  • @Eric: You dig a large pit (sized according to expected rate of flow of water) and fill it with loose rocks. The pit provides an escape for excess flow during rain and allows it to slowly percolate away into surrounding soil. The cap is to prevent sand and soil being washed down into the soakaway and filling the gaps between rocks and essentially clogging it up and taking up space that would otherwise be available to take water. – RedGrittyBrick Mar 30 '16 at 15:29
  • Very interesting. I will definitely consider this. I suppose this is done in very damp areas of the world if simply draining down the slope of the yard doesn't do a good enough job – Eric F Mar 30 '16 at 15:31

In my part of the world rain gutters are rarely routed into either municipal sewers or storm drains, and runoff is almost never piped to the street. It's just a matter of routing runoff to a part of your lot that slopes away from the structure.

  • So really the best bet is to just let it run off to the top part of a sloped yard and have the yard soak it all up. Do you find any reason for me to change the ones that run into the sewage outage to drain to the yard instead? – Eric F Mar 30 '16 at 13:06
  • Just that it may not be legal. In my area you're not allowed to drain rainwater or sump water into the treatment system. – isherwood Mar 30 '16 at 13:19
  • I am always just nervous if we have a backup of any kind, then that is just making the problem worse. Thanks for the help though... You have given me more confidence in letting it out into the yard – Eric F Mar 30 '16 at 13:29

On my house, I have a similar situation. I use a downspout extension to divert the water over the planter into my yard.

This is the one I purchased: http://amzn.to/1MQUUwe

Downspout extension

  • I have looked at those but Amazon does not give very good reviews on them :) – Eric F Mar 30 '16 at 15:26

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