How To Install Yard Drainage System: Methods & Building Tips

Installing Drainage system for yard

You cannot ignore an improper drainage system in the yard. It can cause a wet, soggy, waterlogged lawn. Such lawns tend to attract all kinds of problems from lawn disease and weed outbreaks.


Over time, it might also cause dying or thin turf. Hence, you need a solid drainage system for yard. But, installing a drainage system in your yard won’t be easy. However, it is the only way to overcome lawn issues.


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So, it is quintessential to learn how to install drainage pipe in yard or get it done by a professional. However, if you do the planning right and have the right supplies, you can simplify the task. Y


ou can find several methods to install water drainage systems for yards. Select according to the labor, time, and money available. So, as long as you bear in mind the necessary principles, the task associated with installing drainage pipes in yard can be a success. It holds regardless of the methods or materials employed.


How To Install A Yard Drain?

Do you wish to learn how to install a drainage system in yard? Here, we will discuss all the steps you need to know for installing a drainage system in your yard.


Things you will need

Before we discuss how to install drainage in yard, let us help you collect all the materials required for the task:


Tools You Need:


  • Hammer
  • Garden rake
  • Spade
  • Line level
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Level
  • Cordless drill
  • Chisel point bar


Materials Required For Installing A Drainage System In Your Yard


  • Drain tubing
  • Fabric sock
  • Stakes
  • Crushed rock
  • Y-fittings
  • Dry well
  • Drain cover
  • Landscape fabric


How To Install A Drainage System In Yard?

Here is how to install drainage pipe in yard:

  1. Look for the places in the yard with excessive water retention or spots with water standing on the soil even after an hour post-rain.
  2. Examine the area from both the ends and now use a rock to demarcate a spot where you will install a dry drainage hole. This hold must be at least three to six feet from the nucleus of the wet area.
  3. Excavate one-foot wide and three-foot deep holes at the drainage location. Before digging the pit, you need to remove all the grass from the ground above it and keep it on one side. You need to troll at least two inches below the grass to remove both the roots and some surrounding soil. It can prevent root shock and help you replant the plant.
  4. Take out the sod from the center of the wet areas, and then progress your way to both the drainage holes. The line should ideally be a foot wide. You can continue the same process for every wet spot and scoop out the grass with some soil along every line to a 10-inch depth. It helps form a trench.
  5. Dig more soil out of the trenches. It gives you an incline from the wet area to the drainage holes. The slope must go down ¼-inch for every four feet. Use a 4-foot level to assess it.
  6. Add two inches of sand mix and gravel to the trenches. These materials enable water to pass unobstructed. In addition, the sand will cover the gaps to allow the soil to work its way into the pathway.
  7. Take a perforated pipe of four-inch to keep the holes down for the water drainage system for yards.
  8. Next, immerse mesh sleeves over the conduit to prevent soil, sand, or other debris from clogging the holes.
  9. Fill in the top and the sides around the chute with more sand mix and gravel. The material must be at least two inches over the pipe.
  10. Now, add some sand over the gravel up to about two inches. It can help bring the trench back to the surface level.
  11. You can now place the removed grass and soil onto the sand.
  12. Lastly, add sand mix and gravel to the drain holes till it reaches the top of the trend, wherein the two inches of the sand commences. After that, you can cover it with the sod.


Your drainage system for yard is ready. We believe you now know and understand how to install drainage in yard. But, we acknowledge that simply knowing how to install yard drainage system will not suffice.


Consequently, some people might be unable to do the task themselves. Always remember there are professionals to help you, regardless.


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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Drainage System In Yard?

You have already learned how to install drainage pipes in yard. After knowing how to install drainage in yard, the next apparent concern is how much you should set aside. Typically, the average cost of installing a drainage system for yard is around $3972.


However, the price you pay depends widely on the project’s scale. So, you may pay only $500 for a small-scale fix, while a large-scale one may expect you to pay around $18000.


How Deep Should The Drainage Pipe Be Buried?

When installing a drainage system in your yard, it is vital to maintain a depth of about 12-18 inches. But, if you know how to install it, you must be aware that the pipe’s depth depends on the downward slope, which is quintessential for the drain’s proper functioning.


What Are The Four Different Types Of Yard Drains?

Here are some of the main kinds of yard drains:


French drain

The classic drainage system for yard, the French drain, has a similar operation to a trench filled with gravel or stone. A perforated drainage pipe in yard is laid into the deep trench and covered with gravel.


The drain pipe must have a two to four percent slope to drive water from the troubled spots. You can leave the drain open or cover it with sod and topsoil. But, before installing French drain in backyard, you must furnish a proper layout plan to mark the yard area where you have to install the drain.


How to install drainage pipe in yard? Start with analyzing the property’s elevation as water must be collected and pushed from the low elevation area to a spot where it gets redirected away from the property.


Yard drains

Yard drains or the catch basins are other kinds of drainage solution. Such water drainage system for yards traps excess surface water in the basin and redirects it. Installing a drainage system in your yard can help with the drainage problem or help with the overall drainage system. It works like a sewer drain and pushes the water via the pipe away from the basin.


Channel drain

A Channel drain is another popular method of installing a drainage system in your yard. These drainage pipes in yard help water accumulation on the waterproof surfaces.


There are three applications of channel drains:

  • They do not let the puddles form around the inground pools.
  • They prevent the water from entering your home or garage.
  • They avoid water collection on the pavers, sidewalks, or walkways.


So, ideally, the channel drain will collect the water before its accumulation. This collected water will travel to the supported drainage system.


Dry well

It is a giant basin installed underground and has rocks inside that work as a garbage can underneath. The ground accumulates all the excess water till it seeps naturally into the ground. It works together with other drainage systems for yard. Typically, installing French drain in backyard works best with it.


Geotextile fabric and washed gravel envelope the dry well. Typically, such drainage pipes in yard can hold around fifty gallons of water. It has small holes to let the water escape slowly by percolating it into the soil.


Other Landscape Drainage Methods

You know now how to install yard drainage system, but if you do not follow the stated method to the T, you may experience some issues. One of the gravest problems is standing water.


Consequently, it might be a breeding ground for the pests, deteriorate your backyard landscaping, and affect the property’s foundation and other landscape designs. But, before you let the water do the damage, you must be ready with the damage control. Here are some prevalent methods how to install drainage in yard that you can try.


  1. If you install a cheap drainage system for yard, it might cause holes in the lawn. You must immediately aerate the lawn. It enables the compressed soil to cleave, allowing the nutrients and air into the ground.
  2. The rain barrel downspout is another measure for gutter drainage. In this method, the water from the rain accumulates into the barrel. Please do not leave the barrel open as it can be a breeding ground for insects.
  3. Asphalt, concrete, or gravel helps keep the driveway parched. But unfortunately, these may also cause unnecessary water accumulation. A channel drain may help to overcome this problem.
  4. Installing a French drainage system for yard can also be one of the best drainage methods. Since it does not spread the water into the landscape, it is one of the most widely adopted methods. You can learn how to install yard drainage system yourself or call professionals for assistance.
  5. Hardscapes are suitable for patios, carports, and driveways as they help keep your vehicles and other belongings above the wet ground. But, they, too, can be problematic. Since their primary objective is to keep the area dry, it pushes water to other places. So, the water will flow towards your property, which might weaken the foundation. So, pea gravel or crushed gravel can streamline the drainage.
  6. Installing a catch basin at the downspout’s bottom can also help prevent damage to the home. So, the water that goes into the basin travels to the PVC pipe. From there, it gets redirected away from your lawn or property.
  7. Installing human-made or natural dry creek beds can also help with yard drainage. It lets you push the water to where you want it to go.
  8. If you learn how to install drainage pipes in yard, it can also aid in draining gallons of water from the property.
  9. One of the most economical landscape drainage methods is installing a dry well system. The well will collect the water and push it into the groundwater tables, from where it gets seeped into the surrounding soil.
  10. Creating an underground piping system with corrugated pipes can also help with handling water and other unwanted materials.

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Drainage System For Yard: Frequently Asked Questions

Ques 1. What is a French drain system?

Ans. You dig a trench at the lawn’s lowest point in the French drain system, followed by geotextile installation, which envelopes the channel’s bottom to enable the water passage. Above the geotextile is the gravel layer, and immediately underneath lies the perforated pipe.


Lastly, top gravel coatings help cover the complete system. It lets the water pass smoothly but restricts the flow of unwanted larger objects. Finally, a metal grate helps close the dug trench. Such drainage systems are ideal for slanted patios and driveways. Installing French drain in backyard is not difficult, provided you follow all the necessary steps.


Ques 2. How deep do you have to dig a French drain?

Ans. Ideally, the trench must be at least 18-inches deep. Further, they ought to have a width of about 9 to 12 inches. Also, the French drains require at least one percent slope to ensure that the gravitational force works well. It implies that the drain must slope down about one inch for every 10-feet of the pipe.


Ques 3. How long does French drain last?

Ans. One of the common concerns associated with the French drain is known as blinding in the geotextile. In this process, the fabric does not allow the passage of the silt and the clay’s smaller particles. However, as time passes, the material gets stopped and does not let the water pass smoothly.


Consequently, the silt, clay, and sand start flowing through it. It causes the gravel spaces to fill up. Hence, the French drains lose their functionality. It is the prime reason that experts do not suggest French drains as the permanent drainage system for yard. After every eight or ten years, you have to dig them again and reinstall the drains.


Ques 4. Do French drains need an outlet?

Ans. A well-designed French drain system would not need an outlet. So, as the water passes through the perforated pipe, it soaks quickly into the soil. Also, the French drain does not demand an inlet on one end. You can build the drain to accept the water along the length and disseminate it underground.


Ques 5. How much does it cost to put in a French drain?

Ans. You can consider installing a French drain on the patio or at the end of the driveway. However, please remember that the French drains inside are relatively costlier to install than the exterior ones, as the inside ones demand more labor for excavation via a concrete floor.


Typically, installing French drain in backyard can cost anywhere between $5000-$13500. It can vary according to your geographic setting.


Ques 6. How do you drain rainwater from your yard? Or How do you divert pooling water to your yard?

Ans. If you do not know how to install drainage pipe in yard, here are the steps to drain rainwater from the yard:

  • Inspect the gutters and check if they are doing their job. If not, the gutters may be clogged. It results in water collecting on the ground instead of traveling to the downspout. So, ideally, you must start with a gutter cleaning. Please make it a habit to get the gutters cleaned at least two or three times every year or anytime you notice waterlogging. Gutter cleaning is quintessential, especially before the autumn ends, as falling leaves tend to clog the gutters.
  • But, if the gutters do not show any clogging, inspect the downspout. The downspout collects the water from the roof and pushes it into the downspout.
  • However, a carelessly dumped steam into the puddle around your house’s base might cause waterlogging. A waterhole along the walls is simply a leak waiting to outpour. Take out the extender from the downspout’s base to overcome the problem. It will throw the water away from your home. So, the water can safely disperse without collecting around your home.

  • Another way to drain rainwater from the yard is by constructing a swale. Of course, it is one of the most apparent solutions, but water tends to travel to the lowest point.
  • So, if you waterlog, it is probably because the water fails to escape from the lowest point. To overcome it, you require a swale. A swale helps redirect the drainage. But, it will not drain the water. So, ensure that it ceases at a storm drain or creek where it can allow seamless water drainage.

  • Installing a rain garden can also help drain water from the yard. It works opposite the swale. So, where a swale tends to accumulate water and redirect it, a rain garden will collect the water and allow it to drain from its spot. So, if there is a spot where the water tends to gather, consider installing a rain garden.
  • The fourth solution to drain the rainwater from the yard involves using a dry well. It helps return the water into the soil instead of collecting on the surface.
  • Another solution is a French drain, which comes with an inlet but needs no outlet. The drain comprises a perforated conduit. Gravel envelopes it, and the chute enables the water to exit the pipe and soak into the ground. Typically, the inlet is its sole opening and works similar to the downspout.
  • If nothing works, the final solution is adding a drain pipe. It can help you push the water from the lawn or the garden.


Ques 7. Do you need gravel under the drainpipe?

Ans. In drainage systems for yard, you can lay clay pipes into the formed and trimmed trench. But, envelope the plasticware with pea-shingle or small gravel. It is vital to choose the correct gravel. However, this bedding material can typically cost as much or even more than the pipe fittings required.