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Old 03-20-2011, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Memphis, Tn
4 posts, read 14,658 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello everyone,
I joined the forums in the hopes of gathering information to help me fix my mudpit of a backyard. I could really use some help...
I bought my first house about a year ago, and after some work to the inside, the house itself is great! The front and backyard are the downfall. First off, the backyard has 3 tiers, and the retaining walls are rotten and leaning. Secondly the drainage is terrible, since I am on a hill all the rainwater tries to run from the front to backyard, but ends up puddleling and backing up into the driveway, and along the flowerbed wall. Third, the drainage issue has caused areas of uneven ground where soil has washed away, this is also why there is no grass in the backyard (the original owner seems to have lined the backyard with gravel to try and fix this, but didn't work). The flowerbeds in the front are also a weedy mess, but I think I need to get the drainage fixed before I can ever mess with the beds.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/IMG_7993.jpg (broken link)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/IMG_7998.jpg (broken link)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/IMG_7988.jpg (broken link)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/IMG_7982.jpg (broken link)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/IMG_7980.jpg (broken link)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/IMG_7973.jpg (broken link)


I've been reading alittle bit about frenchdrains, dry-wells, 'ez-drain' and flo-well materials.
And I think I have a plan together to try and fix the drainage issue, but I have a few questions.

First off, my plan; I plan to dig a trench along the front of the flowerbed wall and 2 threnches along the sides of my house, terminating into 2 small dry wells in the back yard. (pending where gas and cable lines are...). The trenches will be lined with either a french drain setup or 'ez-drain' piping.


So here's my questions for now;
1.) Is subsurface drainage enough to handle puddleing areas? Or would I need a surface drain, like a catch basin?
2.) Is Ez-drain piping worth the extra money? Or is it enough to just use corrugated pipe, filter sock and gravel? (I want a setup that clogs the slowest, if at all)
3.) Do I need to buy a brand name flo-well? Or can I just buy a large trashcan, turn it upside down and fill the bottom with gravel?


Once I fix the drainage issue, I plan to fill in the low areas with fill-in dirt, and then lay sod, then till and replant the front beds. Its gonna be alot of work! I hope I can get it done before summer.

The retaining wall I am alittle cautious about trying to fix myself. I'd like to replace it with some stone, maybe even conslidate the three tiers into two. I may get afew quotes from landscaping companies about it. After I get the other issues fixed.

Last edited by GrenDeL0501; 03-20-2011 at 06:40 PM..
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:50 PM
 
1,845 posts, read 3,371,660 times
Reputation: 2611
What is behind your yard? Someone else's yard? I would dig a thin, deep trench along the fence line (where the rocks are) to channel the water coming from the front yard straight through the backyard and through the fence.

If the retaining walls are the reason why water is collecting on each level, you could cut 2" slits in a couple of areas through the wood to allow downward drainage on the two top levels.

I would say destroy the retaining walls if they are rotting and falling apart, but I think they make your yard interesting and unique. If you could solve the drainage issues, you could have a really nice yard by setting up gardens on each level.

I'm not an expert by any means, and looking at the problem through pictures makes it more difficult. Good luck.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
41,373 posts, read 52,663,795 times
Reputation: 116533
In some states, unless the drainage area is a bonifide natural one, you could get into trouble with any changes that effect the drainage onto neighboring properties. If you're not sure then you may want to check with your local city/county offices for requirements/restrictions/advice.
A deep french drain all around your property may solve your problems.
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:04 AM
 
Location: Memphis, Tn
4 posts, read 14,658 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geneyus View Post
What is behind your yard? Someone else's yard? I would dig a thin, deep trench along the fence line (where the rocks are) to channel the water coming from the front yard straight through the backyard and through the fence.

If the retaining walls are the reason why water is collecting on each level, you could cut 2" slits in a couple of areas through the wood to allow downward drainage on the two top levels.

I would say destroy the retaining walls if they are rotting and falling apart, but I think they make your yard interesting and unique. If you could solve the drainage issues, you could have a really nice yard by setting up gardens on each level.

I'm not an expert by any means, and looking at the problem through pictures makes it more difficult. Good luck.
Appreciate it.

Behind my yard, is my neighbors yard. I'm not sure if just piping it to the fence would get it out of my yard, because I seem to be the low point of all the adjacent yards. I think the dry-well setup would be a better fit for my situation.

The standing water is mainly in the front yard, the backyard is just a mudball. I'm not sure where the retaining walls water goes to, but I don't see it build up anywhere.

For replacement of the retaining wall, I really like the look of Allen Blocks, which can be built in certain paterns to give me planter areas along the walls. Looks really nice.
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