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How to Achieve Better Drainage For Your Landscape

Proper drainage in your landscaping helps prevent permanent damage to your property and surrounding structures. Water is essential for lawn care, but it needs ideal distribution.

Excess water tends to saturate the soil, which can result in foundation shifts. This can lead to cracks and other forms of damage to your property.

Additionally, soggy areas with standing water are a breeding harbor for mosquitos and other undesirable insects.

Drainage plans are a crucial aspect of any backyard design, and there are two techniques in this aspect: Surface and subsurface drainage systems.

The former is excellent for irrigation or in places that experience constant rainfall.

It utilizes gravity and comes in either bedded or graded systems.

Subsurface drainage systems also use gravity, but in a regular and controlled manner. Even though the drainage is often implemented underground, it works just like the surface drainage systems.

Ways to Improve Drainage in Your Yard

If you are looking to control the amount of water in your yard, here are landscape drainage techniques to consider:

French Drain

This type of drain consists of a perforated pipe that’s surrounded by gravel.

The pipe is covered in filter fabric to keep mud and soil particles at bay.

A French drain directs excess water to a drain as opposed to dispersing it within your landscape.

French drains are perhaps the most popular backyard drainage systems, and they can be customized based on your yard’s capacity, and the pipe size determines the volume of water being drained.

Dry Well System

Drainage System

This is a cost-effective alternative to French drains.

Dry wells are an eco-friendly landscape drainage system, where the downspouts or drains are directed to a storage well-installed underground.

The water then filters out slowly and makes its way to the groundwater table.


Swales are basically depressions that follow a contour around the base of a slope and channel excess water from one area to the next.

They’re helpful in draining water over a huge landscape region.

You can use swales in a number of ways depending on the size.

A small scale one can transport water from your house to a dry well while a substantial one can be utilized to divert water from a hill base, over a low-lying structure.

Rain Garden

Rain gardens allow water to form into a pool during rainfall and then gradually seep into the ground.

They act as a destination for excess landscape water and are excellent for steep slopes, where swales become inefficient. Rain gardens are also a habitat for birds and butterflies, thus making your outdoor space even more appealing.

The Cost of Installing a Drainage System

Drainage New Orleans

Determining the actual cost of a landscape drainage system is tricky as every space is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

  • Factors that usually affect the cost include:
  • The soil type. Problematic soil types like hardpan, bedrock, and caliche can spike the excavation costs
  • Demolition of existing structures like a saw cutting the driveway in order to install a trench drain.
  • Accessibility to homes
  • Removal of excavated soils and debris.

It is best to consult a New Orleans landscape drainage contractor as they can assess all factors and give you an accurate quote.

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