Drainage Issues and Water Collecting in Yard

by Pam
(California)

Hi There - First of all, great site, very informative! My question is about drainage issues on a very flat property in the Sacramento area and appropriate landscaping for dog use. Our dog is continuously tearing up our grass leaving bare dirt which in turn becomes a very muddy issue after rain and sprinkler use.


The now disappeared grass has revealed serious pooling areas near the house in addition to a low spot in the middle of the yard. We also have a concrete pond that was put in a very long time ago, we have an old house, which seems to have settled on one side and has a low side with a very low lip around it.

Next to the low end of the pond is the most serious pooling area which is closer to the house. What can we do about our drainage problem? From reading your site it sounds like maybe a rain garden or rain barrel might be the answer but I'm unsure and wouldn't know where to put it.

The second question is what can we put down that would be dog friendly and not unattractive? I've even considered artificial grass, though it is somewhat cost prohibitive, so any other ideas would be very helpful. I'm tired of a muddy yard. I've attached a few pictures for reference, embarrassing but ready for change. Thank you for reviewing my inquiry!

Pam

ANSWER

Hi Pam,
I really appreciate the photos you sent. It's difficult to get an accurate overview of the issues from the pictures, but based on what you have explained, here are some thoughts.

1. You should divert the water away from your house. Starting at the base of your foundation, the land should slope away at 1/4" per foot.

2. The pooling areas must be incorporated into your grading plan so there are no low spots where water will collect. That being said, if theses areas are far enough away from you house, you COULD create a rain garden, as you mentioned.

3. Sometimes it is not possible or practical to grade the land away from you house. In these cases, another option would be to install perforated pipe (french drains) along the perimeter of your foundation.

There is a lot that goes into proper drainage to alleviate water problems. Without having better photos or elevations of your property, it's difficult to give you exact directions as to what to do. Here are some other pages which might be of additional help.
Lawn Drainage

Landscape Grading

Drainage Issues

Regarding Dogs

Yes, our dogs are always a problem (but we love them so!)

Once your drainage issues are solved, your lawn will not be that wet and it should not be a problem. My dog runs around my fenced in yard and unless it is raining out, I have no real issues.

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