Standing water in your yard after a heavy rain is a big problem. It could be enough to drive you crazy. A while after the rain stops, you go for a nice relaxing walk in your mostly dry yard, and just as you begin to relax, you feel your feet sink into the swamp that never seems to go away from your yard. Believe it or not, this is a very common problem. But what can you do about it?
One of the most common misconceptions is that you are supposed to plant a tree or shrub in the swampy areas of your yard to soak up the excess water. This is a very flawed approach. Just about every single plant and tree will not be able to survive in an area which is constantly swampy. This is simply because just about every single plant has roots that need to be able to breathe in order to survive. Being planted in a swampy area will prevent the roots from being able to breathe which will in time kill the plant.
Another common approach is to fill the swampy area with topsoil. This approach can work, but more often than not it does not accomplish anything. All this approach usually accomplishes is that the swampy area is no longer swampy, but, instead, a different area a few feet away takes the place of the swamp as the new swamp.
If you are lucky enough to live an area with some sort of storm drain close by, you can get rid of the standing water easily and efficiently. You just need to check with your local authorities to make sure you are legally allowed to do this.
The first thing you need to do is to buy some sort of drain pipe. The kind that I like the most is what I call holy pipe. I call it this because there are a number of holes or slits all along the pipe that allow water to enter freely and then be carried away to a place where it is wanted more, i.e. not your yard.
In order to install it in your yard properly, you need to dig a trench on a downward angle with the highest part of the trench in the middle of your swamp, and the lowest part in the storm drain. It is very important to be sure that the pipe is on a downward angle the entire way down. It is unnecessary to explain what will happen if the entire drain pipe is not on a downward angle.
The highest part of the drain pipe should be at the deepest part of the swamp in the center of the swamp. You also need to make sure that the drain pipe is completely but just barely covered with topsoil.
You need to place some sort of strainer at the top of the pipe. This will ensure that only water enters the drain pipe and not topsoil. If topsoil can get in, you will end up with a buried pipe filled with topsoil which will essentially be about as beneficial as putting Lindsay behind the wheel of a Denali. This is simply because the amount of water that will be able to get into the pipe would be about equal to the amount of hair on Britney's head. It is important to NOT have a strainer at the bottom of the drain pipe. The reason for this is that you want debris that somehow finds its way into the drain pipe to also be able to find its way out. The last thing you want is to constantly need to dig up the drain pipe to clean out the topsoil and debris to allow the water to drain.
If you are not so lucky to have a storm drain close by, the next best thing is probably to try to spread out the water evenly throughout your yard so that it can drain more quickly. Obviously, the more spread out any given amount of water is, the more quickly it will soak into the topsoil, or perhaps evaporate.
The way you would accomplish this is essentially the same way you get the water to a storm drain. The difference is that you have the water running to different parts of your yard rather than running to a storm drain. You should dig a number of trenches on a downward angle away from the center of the swamp and fill the trenches with the holy pipe. This will help even out the water equally around your yard which will help you get rid of your swamp.
There are a number of homes out there, especially in the newer developments, where there are drainage systems built into the yards. I have seen these, and they can work really well. The down-side is that to have one built specifically for you could cost as much as a half a million dollars, or possibly more. If, however, you are looking to buy a new home, this is definitely something you should ask about.
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