Different Types of Residential Drainage Systems

by Kayla Keena

Your dream house seems less dreamy the first time you discover that a river runs through it. If you discovered a stream in your basement or little lakes in your lawn with every downpour, different types of residential drainage systems can help.

Clean Gutters and Extended Downspouts

Your first defense against downpours is a good gutter and downspout system. These will capture water running off your roof and send it out onto the lawn. Extended downspouts keep the water away from your foundation. Keep your gutters clear of leaves and debris; with that, you have already taken a step toward a drier basement.

French Drains

French drains are a common form of a residential drainage system. These are perforated pipes laid in a bed of gravel beneath the landscape’s surface and covered with soil. Water always finds the easiest course to flow, so rain that soaks the ground seeps into the perforated pipe. The pipe then carries it away to storm sewers, retention ponds, or roadside swales away from the property.

Trench or Channel Drains

More often seen on commercial property, trench or channel drains can be used in residential landscapes as well to carry water away from hardscapes or soggy spots. Channel drains are bedded in concrete, with a slot or grate flush with the surface of the drive or walk that needs drainage. Water flows into the drain, which is connected to fiberglass or plastic pipes that carry it away.

Catch Basins

Catch basins help gather water from low spots and soggy places in the yard. Debris and sediment drop to the bottom of the basin, while the water flows out a pipe to the storm sewer or—if permitted—local retention ponds or streams. Catch basins require regular maintenance, but they can cure or mitigate pooling and soggy places in the residential landscape.

Slope Drains

If a property is on a hill or incline, a slope drain can carry water away along the natural slope. Gathering the water in a drain can ease erosion and prevent the slope from increasing the incline’s angle. A plastic or metal pipe is installed at an angle sloping away from the house and down an incline. Like catch basins and trench drains, these are covered with grating to prevent people from tripping on them and animals from falling into them.

Managing water in the residential landscape is an important part of maintaining the property and retaining or increasing its value. These different types of residential drainage systems can help keep properties in tip-top shape.