Help me dry out... my lawn
March 22, 2009 1:54 PM   Subscribe

How can a water logged lawn be improved? The lawn is always wet - even in a good summer due to living on a high water table. Is it possible to significantly decrease the amount of water in the lawn? In the UK.

I am posting for a friend - so if there are more questions to ask eg aspect of the lawn, soil type, please let me know and I'll find out!
posted by LyzzyBee to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
I think the usual remedy for this situation is called a French Drain.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:53 PM on March 22, 2009

If it's really because of a high water table, i.e. all areas around his property that are at the same elevation share the same problem, then I'd guess that it's not very feasible to fix. If the water table is high enough to keep the soil saturated then there's nowhere to drain the water off to even if he were to dig drainage ditches or install drain tiles. In that case, all he could do would be to raise the level of the yard above the water by adding lots of dirt, and that's unlikely to be feasible for a host of reasons.

However, if there are [non-flooded] areas nearby that are lower than his lawn, then it's not so much a water table issue as a problem of poor drainage. In a case like that he may be able to dig ditches and/or install drain tile (perforated pipe) to carry water away from his yard.
posted by jon1270 at 2:55 PM on March 22, 2009

Has your friend considered digging a drainage channel?
It can be very narrow and doesn't have to be too deep. If he/she is on a very level piece of ground there will be the problem of getting rid of the water. Maybe it can be pumped into the sewer?

Just for kicks I would dig a small channel all around the lawn and see what happens....

The professional way would be to dig a bigger/deeper hole at the lowest point, put in a tank or some concrete pipe, so it doesn't collapse, dig a ditch all around, put in drainage pipes with lots of little holes in them, best would be the kind wit coconut fiber all around, so it doesn't get clogged. This has to rest on a bed of gravel and be topped with gravel.
The ditch can now be covered with earth and grass again.

The idea is for the water to pool in your tank and have a pump that pumps the water away.
It can all be done with one or two people and doesn't have to be finished in one go.
posted by mmkhd at 2:59 PM on March 22, 2009

Well, just like everybody else said; drain tile it is.
posted by mmkhd at 3:02 PM on March 22, 2009

We had this problem in our back yard. Our solution was along the lines of a French drain. Dig out a lot of dirt and replace it with gravel, then have perforated pipes directing flow to a catch basin where we then pump the water out. It works surprisingly well.
posted by Nelson at 3:23 PM on March 22, 2009

I think if it's truly a high water table, a French drain would do no good. It would be constantly full of water. But if its a situation where the soil is very dense or sitting on top of a layer of clay that's preventing it from draining, it would probably help. But if the entire neighborhood is constantly moist, you may be dealing with a volume of water that's just too large to correct.
posted by gjc at 4:23 PM on March 22, 2009

Keep in mind that pumping out a lot of groundwater can also cause settlement issues, so if it's truly a high water table there may not be much you can do safely. You might look into trucking in free draining fill to raise the surface of your yard a couple inches, but that's no small job.
posted by electroboy at 10:20 PM on March 22, 2009

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