Addressing Water and Drainage in Your Landscape

Proper water drainage is crucial for maintaining a healthy and functional outdoor space. Here are some effective techniques to address water and drainage issues in your landscape:

Rain Garden for Excess Water

A rain garden is a beautiful and practical solution. It allows water to accumulate in a shallow depression, where it gradually filters into the soil. Choose a low-lying area on your property where water naturally collects. Use a well-draining soil mix that retains moisture during dry periods. Incorporate water-absorbing plants into your landscape; these plants thrive in wet conditions and help prevent erosion and runoff.

Native species are ideal due to their adaptability to the local climate and low maintenance.

Popular water-absorbing tree specimens are

  • Red Maple
  • Ash
  • Black Gum
  • White Cedar
  • River Birch

Popular water-absorbing shrubs are

  • Inkberry
  • Summersweet
  • Black chokeberry
  • Red Twig Dogwood
  • Blue Elderberry.

Popular water-absorbing plants and flowers are

  • Daylily
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Globeflower
  • Japanese Iris
  • Primrose
Rain Garden Water Absorbing Plants

Addressing Downspout Outflow

Various municipalities have rules and regulations surrounding managing water “onsite.”
Depending on the site, one can employ various strategies.

Dry Well System

A dry well is a subsurface structure that stores excess water and gradually releases it into the soil. It’s particularly useful for managing roof runoff or other concentrated water sources.

Dry Well System

French Drain

A French drain is an underground system that redirects water away from your property.

It consists of a perforated pipe surrounded by gravel or rock. The pipe collects excess water and directs it to a designated drainage area.

French Drain

Corrugated and Perforated Piping

These tubes are buried underground to channel water away from problem areas; they provide a controlled and concealed pathway for excess water to flow. Alongside houses or any other foundational structures, these pipes need to be solid and leak-free to allow all the captured water to flow away from the structure. Once 8 feet away from the house, the piping will change to a perforated pipe to allow the dissipation of water periodically throughout the rest of the piping.

Corrugated Platic Tubes

Paving Materials

Permeable pavers or paving stones allow water to infiltrate down between the joints, creating gaps that facilitate drainage. When rainwater falls on permeable surfaces, it infiltrates through the gaps and reaches the sub-base drainage layers.

By allowing water to infiltrate, permeable paving reduces the volume of stormwater runoff. This is especially crucial in urban areas where impermeable surfaces contribute to flooding and overwhelm sewer systems.

Non-permeable paving can lead to areas with standing water or pooling, whereas in a permeable application, the water flows through the paving material to allow no standing water.

In the winter, permeable applications are safer when there is no standing water because the water drains through the pavement and prevents ice from forming on the surface, which lowers the risk of slips and falls.

Permeable paver stones have natural expansion joints, making them somewhat flexible. They are less prone to cracking due to freeze/thaw cycles, making them more durable in the long run.

In summary, permeable paving not only addresses water issues but also contributes to a more resilient and sustainable landscape. It’s a smart choice for managing stormwater effectively while minimizing environmental impact and contributing to a more ecologically friendly landscape.

Permeable Paving Materials
Non-Permeable Paving (Pooling Water)