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Residential Backyard Drainage

Due to poor drainage, homeowners are often unable to fully enjoy their backyards. Even moderate rainfall can render their backyard unusable for days. The traditional solution of installing French drains or re-grading the yard can be expensive and leave the yard a wreck until all the work is finished and the entire yard re-seeded or sodded.

US SWD is a composite drain system that replaces the pipe, fabric wrap and gravel required to construct and install a traditional French drain. For most backyards, the SWD 6" is the proper product. SWD moves a lot of water – 30 gallons/minute/sf!

  • Replaces Pipe, Fabric & Gravel
  • Moves 30 gallon/minute/sf
  • Reduces Mess & Re-seeding
  • Much Smaller Footprint
  • Homeowner Can Design & Install

SWD requires a much smaller footprint to install than a French drain. The trench required is only 3 inches wide and 12 inches deep. And no aggregate is required. In many cases, SWD can be installed by the homeowner with very little site preparation. The major piece of equipment required, a ground saw trencher, can be rented at a local equipment rental house or Home Depot/Lowes. The other needed tools: a shovel, tamper and wheelbarrow are already in most homeowner's sheds. Additional materials required are coarse sand (playground sand) and grass seed.

While more complicated problems may require a professional design, in most cases the homeowner can design a solution. By observing general flow of water during rain events, marking areas where water puddles occur and taking note of the natural pitch of the yard, you have all the information you need.

Set the ground saw trencher to a depth of 12". The proper trencher should create about a 3" wide trench. Using the ground saw trencher and following the natural pitch of the yard, run a main drainage line from the top of the problem area to the area where the water will discharge. Create horizontal trenches in a herring bone pattern, intercepting the main trench and making sure to cover the problem areas. You may need to run additional trenches off of these secondary trenches to cover additional problem areas.

After trenching, place the SWD into the trench vertically. Periodically use wooden spacers to make sure the SWD sits in the middle of the trench. Push it all the way down in the trench. Connect the SWD pieces together with T-connectors and splices or by placing the pieces side by side and securing with a waterproof tape.

Using a shovel or bucket, fill the sides of the trench with coarse sand up to the top of the SWD. You should have 6" open above the SWD. This 6" space is required to leave room for the grasses root system to develop. Fill the last 6" with good topsoil. Tamp it down, seed and water. Enjoy your backyard!

Please check out this helpful video for more information.