I'm in central Florida (lots of rain and sandy soil), and have had drainage issues around my house. I'm putting in french drains to resolve this. As shown in the image below, the drain (red) will be sloped down towards a lake. There's a little berm just before the lake. I'd rather not have the french drain exit out of the ground on the other side of the berm for aesthetic reasons.

Will it work to just terminate the french drain below ground?

topology pic

  • Are you intending to have some sort of sump or drywell at the end of the drain? Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 14:06
  • I thought perhaps a dry well, but I'm not sure if that's needed. Most of the yard drains pretty well (sandy soil), but it's just near the house that we have problems. Wouldn't most of the water just drain down to the lake once we get it past that berm? Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


Look at a typical "dry well" install - basically terminate the pipe into a blob of crushed rock, or an actual void/hole/tube punched full of holes, so the water can filter out. Just stopping the pipe underground will not work well.

In an essentially non-freezing climate there should be little problem with this - they can be done well in freezing climates, but it's more work and digging. If you use a open/void/hollow well it's easier to check/clear the pipe if that's ever needed.

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