Drainage backyard: perforated pipe vs. PVC? Is graveling needed?

Roman RytovMarch 29, 2009

Thinking about removing collecting water form the backyard. We're in Georgia so the soil is very clayey. The pipe overall will be about 50 ft. I'm reading numerous howtos and see the advice of graveling the trench and socking the perforated pipe. I wonder why if it's required in our area. I guess I want to avoid graveling since it's a heavy part of the job (socking is ok). Do you think it's required?

Would it be another possible option to use 6" PVC instead? I have no problem gluing and cutting it. I know it's more expensive than the perforated but feel it would be faster/easier than graveling all the length.

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What exactly do you mean by "collecting water"? Are you re-routing your downspouts of your house, adding surface drains, or trying to move water out of saturated soil?

Where are you going with the water? Are you "dayilighting" it back out on the surface somewhere downhill from where you are collecting it, adding it to an existing drainage system, or leaching it out in drywells, leach pits, or leaching trenches?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 8:25AM
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Roman Rytov

It's after rain water so I guess it's downspots. Something very similar to what's described here: http://www.ehow.com/how_2325672_add-drainage-backyard.html

Water will go downhill just to the surface of the ground (not an existing drainage system).

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 10:47AM
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That drainage article at ehow is one of the worst I have ever read.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 10:55AM
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Roman Rytov

:-) pls8xx, the picture of the article illustrates my problem fairly.

here is an extensive guide on drainage: http://www.pavingexpert.com/home.htm

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 11:36AM
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You'll be using less gravel than you think, do it right and hopefully you wont be digging it up in 2 years. Keep your trench narrow and 1.5' deep and fill only 2" at the bottom and 2"-4" on the top of the drain. Add a layer of soil beneath sod surface to reduce gravel and serve the grass roots. Landscape fabric anywhere between layers of gravel and soil will help too. Buy gravel bags from home depot, 3$ each maybe you'll need 15 or so. The tough part may be getting rid of the excess soil you cut from the ground, not humping the gravel.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 12:14PM
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Perhaps it would be more useful to ask what is the purpose of the bedding gravel and the consequences of its abscence.

Also the length of pipe that is perforated and the perforation orientation must also be considered.

Other sources for drainage will recommend putting filter fabric around the gravel layers (bedding and surrounding the pipe), so it will not silt in and more fully act as part of the drainage system.

All of these questions about sub-base for patios and pipelines, do indicate that people are at least curious as to the purpose of why materials are being used in a particular way. Like anything, there short cuts, but there will be tradeoffs in performance for taking them.

If your slope is like the one presented in the Ehow pic, then I believe you will be collecting the water at the base of the hill and then conveying it away from your property?

A dry well at the base of the hill beneath the ponded region or linear drain collection system routed into a solid pipe (i.e non-perforated) can convey the water away.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 1:07PM
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It always amazes me when newbies, having never attempted a given task before, insist upon 'reinventing the wheel' -- as if experienced professionals have not learned to use proven methods.

Why in the world would you choose an inappropriate material such as solid PVC pipe sections that require gluing? ...and 6-inch pipe, no less! YIKES! What are you draining? A lake?

I would really encourage you to consider ways of retaining the water on your property long enough to allow it to infiltrate. There are many ways to do this; a number of which were mentioned by Laag: "or leaching it out in drywells, leach pits, or leaching trenches". There are other methods as well; perhaps a rain garden or taking other steps to improve permeability.

As responsible citizens, we need to begin to assume responsibility for the storm water that we generate from our own impenetrable surfaces (roofs, driveways, patios, etc.). Out of sight - Out of mind is simply not a responsible ploy. Rapidly dumping your water off site simply forces someone else (or a governmental body) to deal with it. This common practice has to stop. As the old saying goes: If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Think about it: With all of the dire water shortages Georgia has been dealing with the last few years, here you are getting rid of this precious resource as fast as you can. Am I missing something here?


    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 1:55PM
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It sounds like the problem is water not draining away from the house and causing either puddles or a wet basement.
Try describing it please.

If the problem is downspouts and you want to pipe it away to a different location, I would use 4"solid pvc with a constant pitch and you would need neither a silt sock or gravel in the trench.

I agree with the idea of using a rain garden where it daylights in order to have it absorbed into the ground in a ore appropriate place. Adding to runoff is not a positive thing.

Drywells, leaching trenches, and leachpits may not drain fast enough in that soil and is more work and expense which I can appreciate. Rain gardens absorb excess nutrients which is helpful. They are simple to construct. However, they can take up space which you may or may not have.

There is a price to be paid any way you do it.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 3:38PM
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Can I just please interrupt for one tiny second to say that threads like this are why I come to this forum...I'm not a newbie in years or gardening, but you guys who truly know your business and share your knowledge with us are a wonderful resource. Things that aren't part of one's set of problems right now can be referred to on another day when they ARE. Thank you. (scurrying back out of the way.)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 4:44PM
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It is difficult to approach this question with so little information but my first though is: we are talking about water than gathers on top of a clay soil so check first if this top surface falls (slopes) away from the house. If not do this first.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 8:18AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

I would use a j-drain. Its basically the same thing as a trench drain but much easier to install.

Here is a link that might be useful: J drain

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:16AM
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If the water is coming off of roofs by down spouts, what about a rain barrel system?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:22PM
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