How Do You Install a Dry Well?


Quick Answer

Putting in a dry well is a simple matter of digging a suitable hole and filling it with a material that allows quick drainage of water. Tools needed are a post hole digger or auger, a tape measure, a roll of fabric drainage sleeve, and pea gravel.

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Full Answer

Before putting in a dry well, perform a percolation test at the proposed site. Dig a hole 4 feet deep. If no water appears in the hole, pour at least 5 gallons of water in and note its drainage rate. It should drain at least 1 inch within three minutes. If it does not, or if water seeps into the hole from the soil, the soil percolation is too poor for a dry well to work. If the soil passes the initial percolation test, repeat the test to be sure that the first results were not due to the soil being dry and thirsty.

If the site is suitable, dig a hole at least 4 feet deep as measured from the surface. The hole should be 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Cut off a length of the fabric drainage sleeve longer than the hole, and tie a knot in one end. Place some pea gravel in the tied-off sleeve, and lower the weighted end into the hole. Fill the sleeve with gravel to within 8 inches of the surface, and tie off the upper end, cutting off the excess material. Fill the remainder of the hole with pea gravel to complete the well.

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