In spite of its discreet positioning within a landscape, drainage is a vital part of a good landscape foundation. The longevity of the landscape itself is ensured when this essential component are incorporated, helping to provide a healthier living environment for you and your outdoor space. Common problems such as standing water after heavy rains, mold and mosquitoes are significantly reduced, if not eliminated when a good drainage system is in place.
Good drainage in the landscape is as important as proper irrigation. Too much water in landscaped areas can result in numerous plant diseases and can even kill sensitive plants like expensive evergreens. Overly wet turf areas are prone to soil compaction and scarring from footprints and mowing equipment. In addition, drainage around the perimeter of the house is important to prevent leaks and moisture intrusion into building foundations and walls.
Drainage systems can use a variety of techniques to remove unwanted water from an area, whether on a residential, commercial, or golf course site.
Surface Drainage Systems
Surface drainage systems aim to collect excess surface water from hardscaping, planter beds, window wells, and specific turf areas where water tends to collect. Water enters a surface drainage system through catch basins, which have a sump area that collects debris to prevent clogging of the piping.
Catch basins and the drainage grates that go on top of them are available in a variety of sizes and styles depending upon the application.
Round drainage grates are used in turf areas. Square drainage grates are used for hardscaped areas; walkways, driveways, parking lots, around swimming pools, etc.
Atrium drainage grates have a raised "domelike" design to prevent debris from building on top of the grate openings. These are used in window wells, planter areas, and other applications where bark mulch, stone, or landscape debris would tend to cover drain openings.
The size of the catch basin should be sized to the anticipated volume of water to be collected. In addition the pipe carrying the water from the catch basin should be properly sized to carry water from all catch basins to which it is connected. Always size a little larger than necessary for safety. The additional material cost is minimal and mistakes can be costly. If the drain will be exposed to weight or traffic from above, you may need to consider a concrete catch basin and/or a metal drainage grate. The drainage line connecting the catch basins should be of a solid (non-perforated) design. Both solid PVC and corrugated plastic piping are acceptable.
Another form of the surface drainage system is the channel drain. Channel drains are frequently used in paved areas to collect water. They are essentially an extended trough or catch basin covered by a long grate. Typical channel drains can be 10’ long and 4" wide. Channel drains are also connected together with solid piping.
The most frequently used form of sub-surface drainage is the French Drain or underground collection drain. This drain collects underground water from saturated soils and carries it to a desired destination. Sub-surface drains help carry water away from low spots and can protect drainage sensitive plant material. For information on how to construct a French Drain from standard corrugated perforated drain pipe, see the section entitled Constructing a French Drain.
Drain lines can be used to carry roof water from downspouts away from buildings and planting beds. Downspout drain lines can be especially helpful if the natural grade around a building does not cause water to move away from the foundation. Downspouts can be connected to solid PVC or corrugated plastic drain pipes to carry roof water away from the building.
If you are having drainage issues please give us a call and we'll be glad to come out to take a look at the problem, and find a viable solution. Don't hesitate and give us a call today at 832-545-9435
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