How/what type of drainage system for my property?? Help please!?!
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Thread: How/what type of drainage system for my property?? Help please!?!

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    How/what type of drainage system for my property?? Help please!?!

    Ok. I'm hopping some of you can help me with a very bad drainage issue. It involves a row crop feild, two sides of my yard, and two septic systems. It's probably more than me or anyone in my family can design but maybe there is an easy button solution.

    Our house is on a square 5 acre lot almost in the exact center. House is closer to the rear than the front but pretty even from left to right. There is a septic system on the right side and there is an aprox 55 gal drum buried out in the yard quite a ways from the house and what I would imagine the feild lines. This drum is level with the grade of the yard and has two pipes ran to it/from it. There is one "pvc looking" pipe one coming into the drum from the direction of the house or where I believe the feild lines are most likely at and then there is another line that appears to be running from the drum to a culvert at the road front over 100' from the drum. I'll post pics tonight that will help visualize. This section has row crop feild drainage basically swamp it when there is extreme rain. The feild runoff comes into our property at the 1/4 mark of the width or the center of the right side yard and it stands in this section just to the right of what I assume is the septic feild. I don't know who put the system in and have never had to have that side marked for digging but will start searching around before hand.

    Right side. The tiny tall spot of grass out in middle of yard is the drum. The valley on the left side which can be seen a little better in the other side picture is similar to this side but not quite as pronounced.


    The left side of the house has the worse of the two swamping issues and has a septic system for an addition we added onto the house but the low spot where the feild runoff is on this side is about 15-20 yards to the left of the septic feild bed. There are two lines which were marked last time I dug between the field and the culvert on this side of the house. One is a telephone and the other is fiber for Internet. Should be able to go under both I would imagine with whatever type of drainage system I end up installing.

    Left side. The taller green patch of grass right up next to the feild is where the water collects and then continues down the small valley like grade of the yard. This is taken directly over the culvert and that valley is where I plan to trench.


    My father in law says we should put in two dry lake systems. Like a semicircular spot dug out that would catch the water as it is coming out of the feild. This would be the easy part. No problem digging and banking two small areas that would theoritically stay dry when is not raining but would gather the water and have corr pipe running from each of them almost in a straight line to each culvert on both sides. But I'm not sure how to run the pipe or if this is the best option. Catching the runoff will be easy this way since its rather predictable. The ground is already higher at the feild than both culverts where I would divert the water to and both sides have somewhat of very very small valley that could follow with the piping trench. The method of laying the pipe and the entrance of the pipe which would be inside the two dry lakes is where I'm not too sure along with the right side septic feild being unknown. Should I put rocks inside the trench with the pipe the entire length or no? I would think that could cause water to rise to the surface since it would not all travel through the pipe this way. Adding some kind of concrete form with a grate at the dry lake entrances might be a good idea or possibly just larger rocks to keep the pipes clear? The small details have me wondering for sure. I have been in construction and farming pretty much all my life but have never had to do anything remotely close to this and didn't pursue my degree in civil engineering/architectural engineering so..........??????

    Any and all ideas are more than welcome. I'll probably get the guy who installed the new septic to come out for sure and see what he thinks. He shouldn't charge me much and if remembers putting it in could possibly help me without even coming out.
    Last edited by Alford78; 04-29-2015 at 03:54 PM.

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    Was having problems learning how to attach pics. Got it.

    Here is the left side when we got over a foot of snow and rain in 6-8hrs this past winter. The water is about the same as when it pours 2-3 " in a couple hours. Once it made it up to the road when we got like 4" in 5 hours but that is a very very rare occasion.





    That may put what I mean by it swamps that portion when it really pours down quickly. It doesn't stay there very long but does just enough to make mowing difficult in a 2000lb mower and now upgraded to a 3000lb tractor/mower.
    Last edited by Alford78; 04-29-2015 at 04:16 PM.

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    Hi- Here is my NO solution answer to your problem. You are between the rock & the hard spot for sure on this on. Before you consider any suggestions about dry lake building, drainage systems, etc. if it were me in this situation I would most definitely call in my local building officials for an inspection of the situation & their opinion. I would also be tempted with that information in hand to consult with a civil engineer that has experience with land/water issues.

    I'm suggesting this because from what I see here, & septic issues, etc. you could be correcting one situation & starting another. You may also find that the solution could be less involved than you think it needs to be. You made no mention about potable water. Do you have a well or city water? Like I said I would seek professional opinion first before making up my mind on how to deal with this. But this is just my own .02.
    Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddog View Post
    Hi- Here is my NO solution answer to your problem. You are between the rock & the hard spot for sure on this on. Before you consider any suggestions about dry lake building, drainage systems, etc. if it were me in this situation I would most definitely call in my local building officials for an inspection of the situation & their opinion. I would also be tempted with that information in hand to consult with a civil engineer that has experience with land/water issues.

    I'm suggesting this because from what I see here, & septic issues, etc. you could be correcting one situation & starting another. You may also find that the solution could be less involved than you think it needs to be. You made no mention about potable water. Do you have a well or city water? Like I said I would seek professional opinion first before making up my mind on how to deal with this. But this is just my own .02.
    Good luck.
    Yea. I should have put that in the description but I WILL NOT do this before talking to atleast a couple professionals. No local building codes for anything that doesn't need inspection out here in the county and then can get away with most things that could need inspection in the city. It will be hard to get someone out here to say something is wrong with the right side that the previous owners did because of who their parents/grandparents are and really don't want to start anything with the owners of the feild behind us. They sold out lot to their daughter's husband to build the house and he over spent and ended up doing much of the work himself from what I can tell. Then had to sell it. Just a bad deal for the parents that sold a lot off their family farm and draining water on us is prolly something they laugh bitterly about being that it could/should still be in the family. Back 30-40 years ago in a completely different land ownership situation where a farmers property was doing damage to their neighbor the neighbor most likely wouldn't even have to ask to have the water diverted in a different manner but with this situation I feel like our 5 acres to them should be flooding when it rains. I say all this and don't even know the people. Moved here from another county after sold my 100 acre farm and moved in with my wife but she's heard things since she's from here.

    Yea the left side septic is a non issue which is the worse of the two but on the right side I very well could run into some issues that I am unaware of at this time since what I believe to be the feild bed is only a couple yards away from the valley over on the right side. I know some septic feilds require a slope to push the water away from pooling on top of the bed and that's what I believe is the situation there and why I believe that's the feild bed. I've seen quite a few graded so that's why I'm inclined to believe it's there. But as long as I don't stop the water from running off the top of the feild bed then I think it will be unaffected if not better since water won't be sitting right there beside it.

    Yes we have a well in the front of the yard on the right side. It's right next to the driveway and the cap needs weed eating around it. The water table is 176' or atleast it was last time we had the wire changed out on the underground pump. It's nowhere near any construction to be. And I forgot to mention that the gutters have down spouts connected to a drainage system of some sort or another but no clue about it. I don't see any irregularities in the ground to suggest there are pipes anywhere near the spouts like I do with the pipes going to the drum and a few other water lines around the property.
    Last edited by Alford78; 04-29-2015 at 06:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alford78 View Post
    Yea. I should have put that in the description but I WILL NOT do this before talking to atleast a couple professionals. No local building codes for anything that doesn't need inspection out here in the county and then can get away with most things that could need inspection in the city. It will be hard to get someone out here to say something is wrong with the right side that the previous owners did because of who their parents/grandparents are and really don't want to start anything with the owners of the feild behind us. They sold out lot to their daughter's husband to build the house and he over spent and ended up doing much of the work himself from what I can tell. Then had to sell it. Just a bad deal for the parents that sold a lot off their family farm and draining water on us is prolly something they laugh bitterly about being that it could/should still be in the family. Back 30-40 years ago in a completely different land ownership situation where a farmers property was doing damage to their neighbor the neighbor most likely wouldn't even have to ask to have the water diverted in a different manner but with this situation I feel like our 5 acres to them should be flooding when it rains. I say all this and don't even know the people. Moved here from another county after sold my 100 acre farm and moved in with my wife but she's heard things since she's from here.

    Yea the left side septic is a non issue which is the worse of the two but on the right side I very well could run into some issues that I am unaware of at this time since what I believe to be the feild bed is only a couple yards away from the valley over on the right side. I know some septic feilds require a slope to push the water away from pooling on top of the bed and that's what I believe is the situation there and why I believe that's the feild bed. I've seen quite a few graded so that's why I'm inclined to believe it's there. But as long as I don't stop the water from running off the top of the feild bed then I think it will be unaffected if not better since water won't be sitting right there beside it.

    Yes we have a well in the front of the yard on the right side. It's right next to the driveway and the cap needs weed eating around it. The water table is 176' or atleast it was last time we had the wire changed out on the underground pump. It's nowhere near any construction to be. And I forgot to mention that the gutters have down spouts connected to a drainage system of some sort or another but no clue about it. I don't see any irregularities in the ground to suggest there are pipes anywhere near the spouts like I do with the pipes going to the drum and a few other water lines around the property.
    Also, I would like to add that if you have any underground utilities like power lines-gas lines- talk to your utility companies & have them send out there location service. If your not sure on what's in the ground, do not assume anything. I'm on a 4 acre parcel, but I have underground natural gas lines & my main power service line is underground & snakes itself around a septic field-then under the driveway for a U turn 100 feet back to the meter. I'm in the farm land area out here, but we have more utilities buried six feet under than Bluebeard has treasure chests. Utility marker services are out here all the time. If some of the issues are a result from amateur homeowner rigging, I would be looking real hard for some good advice. I'm sure you will find a solution to the problem. Looks like a nice piece of property & area. Don't get discouraged. Maybe another member can give you some advice.

    Have fun with your tractor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddog View Post
    Also, I would like to add that if you have any underground utilities like power lines-gas lines- talk to your utility companies & have them send out there location service. If your not sure on what's in the ground, do not assume anything. I'm on a 4 acre parcel, but I have underground natural gas lines & my main power service line is underground & snakes itself around a septic field-then under the driveway for a U turn 100 feet back to the meter. I'm in the farm land area out here, but we have more utilities buried six feet under than Bluebeard has treasure chests. Utility marker services are out here all the time. If some of the issues are a result from amateur homeowner rigging, I would be looking real hard for some good advice. I'm sure you will find a solution to the problem. Looks like a nice piece of property & area. Don't get discouraged. Maybe another member can give you some advice.

    Have fun with your tractor.
    Yea always call before you dig. Can't stress it enough. I've had everything marked twice on the left side but never had to have them go on the right before. Hopefully I won't walk out to see lines marked all over the place. No gas out here. Too far out so have a tank for it. And thanks as we like it out here other than the quirks we find from previous owner and the drainage issue. We need a few trees as I cut down all of the ones that were here. He had crab apple trees surrounding the driveway up next to the house where people park.
    Last edited by Alford78; 04-29-2015 at 07:51 PM.

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    Maybe tiling would work. Just like you would do in a wet, swampy field. Is there a place to drain the tile?
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlen View Post
    Maybe tiling would work. Just like you would do in a wet, swampy field. Is there a place to drain the tile?
    Yea. The culvert feeds water into a much larger field drainage path that would assume has been draining water for many many years. Once water gets to and past the culvert the next feild carries it about a mile then it feeds into a creek. So just buy a few sections of tile and do what at the entrance/exit? Don't have entire height available to have tile drain at culvert. That would require a bunch of dirt to build up all of the property to keep the same slopes. Tile could be laid no problem and may be the best method since don't really think using gravel around corr pipe will be that efficient. How would I collect the water and then tapper it down so that it can feed the culvert from the aprox current grade? Does that question make sense?
    Last edited by Alford78; 04-30-2015 at 07:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alford78 View Post
    Yea. The culvert feeds water into a much larger field drainage path that would assume has been draining water for many many years. Once water gets to and past the culvert the next feild carries it about a mile then it feeds into a creek. So just buy a few sections of tile and do what at the entrance/exit? Don't have entire height available to have tile drain at culvert. That would require a bunch of dirt to build up all of the property to keep the same slopes. Tile could be laid no problem and may be the best method since don't really think using gravel around corr pipe will be that efficient. How would I collect the water and then tapper it down so that it can feed the culvert from the aprox current grade? Does that question make sense?
    Around here it's installed about 4 feet deep, and has hardly any slope. Surface water leeches though the ground to the tile, then you run to your drainage area. It's hard for me to visualize what you have for terrain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlen View Post
    Around here it's installed about 4 feet deep, and has hardly any slope. Surface water leeches though the ground to the tile, then you run to your drainage area. It's hard for me to visualize what you have for terrain.

    I'll take some pics from the sides and the culvert.

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