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Drainage solution for lawn area

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    May 2022

    Default Drainage solution for lawn area

    Hi all,

    Like a lot of the country we've had a fair bit of rain lately in the ACT - a few weeks ago a few days of a lot of rain and a fair bit over the past few days. In both cases, I had a lot of pooling water in my front lawn area.

    A bit of pooling water is not the end of the world, but what's actually happening is water is rising from underneath the soil and going into my subfloor (suspended floor on brick piers). It is definitely rising from below - I dug a small hole a few inches deep while in the subfloor area and water started rising into it. I'm fairly sure there is no water ingress into the subfloor area from anywhere external at a surface level (the surfaces directly around the house seem dry).

    What I believe is happening is, since the lawn area at the front is in a valley of sorts, due to a raised garden bed surrounding it, the water with heavy rain has nowhere to go, and so it sits there. Seeing as the ACT is typically clay soil, the water also drains very slowly, so with consistent rain, water is just adding to itself.

    Obviously, not great for the front of the house's foundations, and not great having sitting water for mold and moisture under the house. Luckily it is not humid here at all right now and there are ventilation holes, but still a concern.

    What I'm struggling with is how to actually solve this. I could look to install a sump pump in the sub floor, but I figure it may not really help with the pooling on the lawn (unless it was deep enough to draw in that water too, I guess).

    Instead, I'd like to improve the lawn area drainage more directly, but I'm struggling to think of the best solution without a massive landscaping task, like completely removing the bed or filling in the entire lawn area to raise it. Due to the fact the lawn is near the front of the property (and hence the point where the stormwater pipe exits the property, into the street), the fall is not great from this area to the street.

    My best idea so far is to run a small amount of ag pipe under the biggest problem area on the lawn, which directs into the garden bed area, where it will come out into a channel I will dig, lined with some plastic sheeting (or geo fabric?) and filled with rocks, to create what I think is called a "dry creek bed" - mostly because not worrying about having to cover a pipe with soil for most of the water's journey may let me take better advantage of what fall I do have to work with. The dry creek will then flow through the garden bed and exit into the drive way area, which is near where the storm water pipe exits into the street gutter. Once water is on the drive way it should flow down without issue. The only problem I see here is getting enough of a fall from the ag pipe to the dry creek's exit - it should help drain some of the water, but the creek will still pool towards its exit somewhat I imagine, as I don't think the bottom of it would be high enough to fully drain. Would the geo fabric let it eventually drain any standing water into the soil underneath? it may at least be further away to stop flooding the sub-soil that affects the house.

    What I would be curious about is, will this actually solve much? sure, it may help drain the pooling water from the surface of the lawn's biggest problem area, but will it really stop much water seeping in to the soil around the lawn and house? I guess what I'm really asking, is ag pipe kind of pointless unless it is low enough to actually drain the whole body of water? or will the clay basically pool the water long enough at the surface for the ag pipe to do its thing, even if it isn't very low down? I also understand that removing too much moisture from clay is probably not a great idea for house foundations anyway, so I may not want to go very deep anyway.

    I've attached a crude drawing of my property - the unlabelled blue circle is where the biggest problem area for pooling exists, and the house is the corner area where the subfloor is pooling water. The ag pipe would start in the blue area, and go into a dry creek starting somewhere nearby in the bed, which would flow to the top right area of the bed and into the drive way, which is the lowest point of the property and near where the storm water drains currently direct their contents into the street gutters.

    Any suggestions or comments on above are very welcome!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails drainage.png  

  2. #2
    7K Club Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    TL;DR. Can you highlight just the most salient points?

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