Common solutions for yard drainage problems include the installation of an underground drainage system, adjusting landscaping elevation or grade, and replacing existing topsoil with soil types that may alter drainage patterns. Dense soil, flat landscapes and areas located below the water table can make effective drainage very problematic.
The French drain is a proven solution that gathers water and provides underground pathways for it to percolate through dense soil. A French drain consists of a trench filled with gravel, although some designs utilize a perforated drain line. Landscapers grade the surrounding area toward the trench to reduce surface pooling and alleviate ground saturation. A hardpan soil layer may create poor drainage and standing water problems for an entire lawn or area. Underground drainage systems that use inlet-fed pipes or trench drains are common solutions for hardpan soils.
Underground drainage systems typically flow toward a storm drain, but they may utilize an underground sump if no drain is available. This sump consists of a large hole that is dug and then packed with gravel. Digging a sump may punch through the hardpan soil layer, allowing water to access more porous soils for improved drainage. Planting trees and shrubs that thrive in wetland environments is also a common way to deal with drainage issues.