Anatomy Of A Weekend Project: Drainage Solution

The uphill side of our house, built in 1940 and part of a neighborhood that is 100 years older than that, sits on a lot that does not benefit from modern storm water management practices. Because of that, the three parcels uphill from us drain all of their runoff into our side yard which is dammed by our house and a slight bowl shape to the topography. Rainfalls in excess of one half inch results in a large puddle near the foundation of the house. One inch or more and there is a real threat of water in our basement. After assessing a number of solutions to the problem, including regrading of the entire side yard, I decided to collect the water in a 12" catch basin, conduct it through a 4" PVC pipe and dispose of it in a subterranean gravel sump. This sump will allow the rainwater to slowly soak back into the earth rather than run down my sidewalk and eventually join all of my neighbors' water and flooding our creeks and streams.This is the anatomy of that project. Remember to call before you dig!

5:30 AM-8:30 AM Wake up, have coffee, check Facebook, pick up materials. Stop at ATM for cash to give to wife so she can go yard-sale-ing and stay out of my biz-niz.

8:40 Stretching exercises, put on sunscreen and gloves

9:00 Lay out the project according to plan

9:20 Begin excavation of first half of system inside the fence

9:40 Chat with neighbor, Heidi, over the fence. She is a landscape contractor, too, and interested in what I am up to.

9:50 Resume excavation

10:00 Chat with another neighbor. Rick lives across the street and loves projects. I negotiate with him to take some of the surplus soil off my hands.

10:10 Resume excavation

12:00 Complete excavation inside fence. Lunch. Done for today.

8:30 Begin excavation outside of fence for the gravel sump

9:15 Chat with Cyndy. She walks her dog, Jacob, by our house every day and I sold her an Acer rubrum last year.

9:30 Resume and complete excavation

11:15 Drive to the hardware store and pick up a PVC connector not included in my pick-up yesterday morning.

12:15 Return home. Lunch.

12:30 Place heavy duty landscape fabric, gravel and pipe into the trench.

2:15 Begin backfilling soil into the trenches

5:30 Load excess soil into truck, rake out the trenches. Trim down the excess pipe at the low end of the system. Apply grass seed and straw mulch.

6:30 Put away the tools, drive the truck to our nursery to dispose of the surplus soil, sod, rocks and general debris.

8:00 Return home. Take pain relievers and cocktails (spare me the lecture). Tend to blisters.

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome. You made me laugh. Thank you!