Tips for Good Drainage

Tips for Good Drainage

Follow these tips for good drainage on your property throughout the year and to prevent flooding, structural, lawn and landscape damage.

Regularly inspect gutters and downspouts. Be sure that all joints are secure and that there are no cracks or other sources of leaks due to damaged gutters and downspouts. Both gutters and downspouts can also be clogged over time with leaf debris and by plants and animal activity.

Extend your downspouts away from structures. Whereas downspouts typically release water close to the foundation of buildings extending the downspout farther away reduces the risk of erosion and standing water close to those structures. This can be accomplished with a variety of materials not only actual downspouts but hard plastic and vinyl downspout diverters.

Keep drainage routes clear. The drainage route consists of the entire distance from where the water is released from the downspout to the catchbasin which may be a local waterway tributary. “Keeping debris out of storm drains and ditches,” according to the Palm Coast Observer. “Reporting clogged ditches to local governments.

Clogged storm drains contribute to flooding

Improve grading when required. Often times properties require elevation and slope adjustments as a result of structures being built in poorly draining areas and as a result of earth moving by the property owner and erosion. “Everyone lives in an area with some flood risk—it’s just a question of whether you live in a high-risk, low-risk, or moderate-risk flood area,” according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Find your property’s flood risk at the FEMA Flood Map Service Center. Earth Works offers customized earth moving and grading to suit your drainage solution needs.

FEMA Flood Map Service Center property look up

Construct a creek bed or swale. On-site drainage solutions such as creek beds and swales have been favored among government officials for decades as a way to not only prevent flooding but to reduce hazardous non-point source pollution associated with stormwater runoff. Constructed creek bed or swales are aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly by allowing for the gradual percolation of captured stormwater versus contributing to runoff and erosion.

Install and maintain a properly functioning French Drain. Named after Henry Flagg French, assistant secretary of the Treasury under Ulysses S. Grant the French Drain was first described in his 1859 publication Farm Drainage. “The 1859 book is the drainage world’s “Principia Mathematica,” its “On the Origin of Species,” according to the Washington Post. “Henry described various drainage techniques — the Deanston System, the Keythorpe System, the Wharncliffe System. He calculated the discharge volume of pipes of various diameters. He weighed the pros and cons of different pipe styles. And he recommended something that has helped many of us who live in constant fear of rain: an excavated trench filled with gravel in which rests a perforated pipe to carry away surface and groundwater. He called it a cellar drain. We know it as the French drain.”

Install and maintain properly functioning channel drains around pools and outdoor kitchen areas. Channel drains are typically installed at a lower elevation between homes and swimming pools to collect and distribute water away from those areas. Contact Earth Works landscaping division to determine the proper dimensions required to adequately serve your specific drainage needs.

Install a Cistern of Aquablox for onsite water storage. In coordination with property owners and local government agencies Earth Works is providing an innovative onsite water storage solution by constructing cisterns utilizing Aquascape Aquablox technology in areas prone to flooding. Contact your Earth Works landscape design professional for more details.

For more tips on good drainage tailored to your property needs schedule a design consultation with a member of the Earth Works Landscape Design Team.

Typical Earth Works landscape division drainage solution configurations include:
-GRAVITY DRAINAGE WITH DRAIN BOXES for points of collection and hard pipe (PVC or sewer and drain) or an ADS Corrugated Pipe to move water from the problem area to a lower outflow area to provide proper drainage. A transit or automatic level is used to shoot the grades and elevations to ensure that there is proper gravity flow. If there is no adequate fall, a sump pump drainage system can be installed to move the water out of the problem area.

-French drains to catch runoff and provide gravity drainage solutions. French drains can be connected to systems of various configurations and types of pipes.

-Channel drains are appropriate drainage solutions for pool decks, outdoor kitchens, hardscaping, and driveways. Connect channel drains to downspouts and route off the property with hard pipe to outflow boxes or connect into one of our custom drainage systems.

-Swales and cisterns are examples of options for onsite water retention required in many Northeast Florida counties due to the presence of environmentally sensitive ecosystems. We can also provide underground water retention with aquabloxs or a dry well if the soil is sandy enough. The aquabloxs could be combined with a pond or pondless water feature.

All of Earth Works drainage solutions meet federal, state, and local regulations designed to protect your property, safety, and the environment.  Our drainage systems are guaranteed to work and are warranted for 1 year on parts and labor.

For comprehensive solutions to your specific lawn, garden, and landscaping needs, contact us at 904-996-0712. Earth Works operates a retail Garden Center/Plant Nursery in Jacksonville and provides landscaping, hardscaping, water features, lawn care service, lawn spraying, and drainage solutions. 

Earth Works proudly serves clients in Northeast Florida, including Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Nocatee, St. Johns, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Amelia Island, Fernandina, and St. Augustine.

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