7 Best Landscape Drainage Techniques and Methods

7 Best Landscape Drainage Techniques and Methods

Keeping your landscape free from excess water can prevent permanent damage to the surrounding property and structures. Water might be a necessity for lawn care, but it needs to be appropriately distributed to keep the water from causing damage to your property and other critical installations.

Excess water saturates the soil, which may lead to shifts in the foundation of homes and other buildings. This could cause cracks and other potential damage to your property. In addition, muddy areas of standing water promote the breeding of mosquitoes and other disease-causing insects.

Drainage plans are a vital part of any landscape design. There are two primary types of landscape drainage techniques:

• A surface drainage system is ideal for irrigation or in areas with excess rainfall. It only works through the application of gravity and comes either in graded or bedded systems.

• A subsurface drainage system also uses the law of gravity. However, it operates in a regular and controlled system. Although the drainage is usually implemented under the surface, it functions similarly to the surface drainage systems.

If you want to drain large volumes of water from your property, there are several landscape drainage techniques used to get rid of the excess water:

1. Rain Garden

A rain garden is one of the best landscape drainage techniques.

A rain garden allows water to form into a pool during a downpour and then slowly seep into the soil. A rain garden acts as a destination for excess water. Rain gardens are the best drainage spots for steep slopes, steeper than what swales can handle.

For the rain garden, a soil mix that allows water to sink in is best suited for the garden. This promotes lush plant growth without making the garden too soggy, since soil saturation comes from excess water. Rain gardens provide a habitat for butterflies and birds, which make the landscape even more beautiful.

2. Water-Absorbing Plants

Water-absorbing plants are one of the best landscape drainage techniques.

Speaking of gardens, there are certain plant species that can help to absorb the excess water from your landscape. Native regional plants, which are well-adapted to occasional bog conditions, are great drainage solutions. Landscaping plants such as red-twig, dogwoods and willows are excellent choices for areas with limited excess water.

3. French Drain

A French drain is one of the best landscape drainage techniques.

A French drain comprises of a perforated pipe that is surrounded by gravel. The pipe is wrapped in filter fabric to keep particles and mud out. Rather than disperse water within the landscape, the French drain directs water to a drain.

The French drain is one of the most popular outdoor drainage systems, and it can be customized based on the capacity of your outdoor space. The size of the pipes will dictate the volume of water that is being drained.

4. Dry Well System

A dry well system is one of the best landscape drainage techniques.

A dry well can be used as a cost-effective alternative to a French drain. It is an environmentally friendly lawn drainage system, in which the drains or downspouts are directed to an underground storage well. The water filters slowly out of the well and eventually ends up in the groundwater tables.

5. Corrugated Plastic Tubes

Corrugated plastic tubes are one of the best landscape drainage techniques.

Corrugated plastic tubes sit over the end of the downspout and can be buried underground to drain excess water within the landscape. Corrugated plastic pipes are economical solutions for directing water from downspouts. This landscape drainage technique is more effective than above methods, since it allows a large volume of water to flow away from the landscape.

6. Paving Materials

Paving materials are one of the best landscape drainage techniques.

This drainage technique incorporates paving materials with small gaps, allowing water to seep through into quick-draining gravel layers underground. This keeps the top surface dry, eliminating runoff, and allows water to gradually sink into the soil. In addition, driveways and walkways can be constructed of pervious pavers that never puddle since water percolates through.

There are three types of pavers: concrete, pervious, and plastic. Concrete pavers have hollow spaces that need to be filled with gravel or sand. Pervious concrete, also called asphalt, is made of built-in air pockets, or with little or no sand. Plastic pavers are made of gravel or sand, which keeps the surface layer from compacting to allow water to drain through.

7. Grassy Swale

Grassy swales are one of the best landscape drainage techniques.

Swales are depressions that follow a contour around the base of a natural or created slope, channelling excess water from one place to another. They are particularly effective in dissipating water over a large landscape area.

A swale can be used in various ways depending on its size. A small swale can carry gutter water from a house to a dry well, while a substantial gutter can be used to divert water from the base of a hill over a low-lying house. Swales make ditches look like creek beds or small meadows.

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