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Designing and Installing a French Drain System

This is what it looks like after the storm basin was hollowed. We still need to use hydraulic cement to put in a piece of PVC Schedule 40 we will be connecting to a corrugated pipe for the French drain. I just wanted to show you the trench and the amount of dirt that comes out.

Now we have set our laser transit so that we know we have a slope. Here is our transit. And we also know that we will be catching all the water from the roof, all the runoff.

On the right, you can see the neighbor’s house is higher and you can see his downspouts. All the water from his property ends up on the site that we are currently working on.

We are also taking care of a problem where ice spills on the sidewalk in the winter. We cored the concrete, now we can move forward and put the gutter back up.  Then we can hook it up to some drain pipe and take it to the french drain.

Going back to the trench for the French drain here. We ran actually into an old septic tank that isn’t in service anymore. The tank was seven or eight inches and we are about 14 inches deep here. So we’re going around it just so that we get good drainage.

Now, the owner wanted to keep the dirt because the dirt along the seawall under his deck settles. I just want to show the amount of dirt that comes out of a trench this size. It does not matter what the access is. As we have a full equipment yard, we have the right tools for the job.

Now, here you can see all the dirt that has come out so far. What you see here, times two because we are halfway there. The rest we will be hauling out in dump trucks because the owner doesn’t need anymore.  Finally, we will fill the drain with coarse, washed rock with a few inches of soil over the fabric and topped with sod.