Installing drainage systems is not entirely a simple matter but with a little know-how and by understanding the process by which drainage works, you will be able to do it yourself with a minimum of difficulty. Installing drainage systems is like replicating a larger scale agricultural system but scaling it down for domestic application.
Understand the Principle
The most important point about designing and installing drainage systems for your home is to take into account that the water has to be able to move from the surface to the drain installed under the lawn.
Drainage systems work on the principle that water will always flow to the lowest point so you have to design your system so that the water will travel through to your gardens lowest point and from there it should either soak into the ground or flow away into a ditch or the municipal drainage system.
Initially, before you begin installing drainage systems, you will draw on a plan the area you wish to drain so that you understand it in theory and can follow through practically. When you begin to lay the main pipes, you first need to mark out the design from the plan. Use a can of spray paint or funnel some sand into lines.
Step by Step
- 1. Cut the grass out in strips about 5 inches wide and leave aside near the drain run. Then, dig out the run. A trenching spade is the best tool to use. Start with a depth of about a foot and dig so that the runs slope towards the intended flow of the water; approximately 1/5 of an inch should do it. It is important when you are installing drainage systems that at this point you let some water from a hose run through so you can gauge if the fall is sufficient. The water should flow smoothly down the trench.
2. Upon completion of digging the first trench, fill it with about ¾ of an inch of ¼ to ½ inch stone then lay a piece of 3-inch perforated drainage pipe on top.
3. The next step to installing drainage systems is to back-fill the trench leaving the clean stone around 3 inches from the top then add the soil you initially dug out. Pat it down firmly and replace the grass you removed.
4. Finally, make a series of smaller trenches at 90 degrees to the drainage pipes across the lawn, using a spade at 16-inch centres and to about 3 inches deep. Fill with washed sand. The slits should connect with the washed stone over the main pipes so if you are able to feel the stone with the spade as you build the slit, you know you are doing the right thing.
Over the ensuing months, installing the drainage system is replaced with maintaining it. You will need to top dress the lawn with washed sand in order to build up a layer of sand at the base of the grass plants. This will enable the rainwater to penetrate the surface, travel down in the sand slits and into the drain.
So you see, installing drainage systems is not too complicated but you will need to put some hard labor into it. Once you have the design, laying out the pipes and digging the holes is the hardest thing about it.