Drains to Fix Your Flooding Property

Updated: May 20

Here in North Carolina, we don't have a true wet and dry season. We have whatever weather North Carolina decides to have that day, which can be multiple inches of rain for days on end or no rain weeks. Both are disastrous for a yard and can lead to flooding if the proper channels and avenues aren't created beforehand.

There are different things to do to redirect unwanted water in a more preferred direction.

Here are a few:

1. Sump Pump

A pump that essentially sucks up unwanted, flooded water, and spits it out at a determined location. They can be found in many different sizes and with different levels of power. They can sit above the surface and used when desired. After a while, some maintenance will be required and depending on the amount and frequency of flooding, it is a solution to A problem but not the solution to THE problem.

2. Elevate

One of the most simple ways to end a flooding trouble area is by applying layers of dirt, mulch, or planted grass to elevate the land. This will force water elsewhere. If there are multiple problem areas, this strategy may not be the most effective as it could force water into another or new problem area.

3. Swales For larger problem areas, creating a swale could be a better option. Often found beside roads, it is similar to a larger, more gradual ditch. Typically swales are lined with some kind of root-based plant system, like grass. It is important that a swale has an exit strategy for the water. An area with frequent flooding should be directed into a dry well or a garden bed with very good drainage and high water tolerance. But if flooding is that major, then perhaps heavier grading or excavation work is necessary.

4. Dry Well Dry wells are inserted underground and act as a water collector. Often found at the exit points of swales and some French and Curtain drains. Dry Wells collects the redirected water and slowly releases it back into the ground over the next couple of days.

5 (and 6). French Drain + Curtain Drain

One of the most common ways of dealing with flooding. With both, a trench is dug leading to a low-point on the property. The trench is then filled with gravel or rock, or containing a perforated pipe that redirects surface water away to its exit point. A Curtain Drain is often more shallow, dealing with surface water and redirecting it. A French Drain is much deeper and often is redirecting groundwater.

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