The Importance of Proper Drainage

By Eric Schafferdrainage

“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” – Benjamin Franklin

The issue of drainage dates back to the first rain. Much like landscaping, irrigation and agriculture, it is a science of manipulating nature in order to yield certain results. In plain talk, it’s managing water. No one would argue the importance of water and surely no one would contest its power. Knowing these truths, appropriate education about drainage coupled with water conservation is important.

Like an irrigation system, efficient drainage should be hard to notice. What is not difficult to see are the effects of inadequate drainage. Whether it’s the effect of an inefficient irrigation system, poor property grade, or an unusual amount of precipitation, poor drainage will bring with it many problems.


Just one example of poor drainage. There is actually a drain installed here but it was not done properly and the result is frustration.

On the low side of the scale, you will notice erosion and “wash-out” of certain areas in your yard. The problems increase significantly, moving from the possibility of mold and damage to your home’s foundation.

Proper drainage is the simple solution to what could be a disastrous situation.

As professionals at NDS would say, drainage is the process of “put[ting] water in its place”. An efficient drainage system will do just that. In order to do so it must perform three tasks. The system needs to effectively collect water, conduct it through designed piping, and discharge it in a designated area. There are two types of systems, surface and sub-surface. While both will achieve the same result, the specific needs of your property will dictate which is best to use. Arrays of products are available which make proper drainage systems easy to install. With the use of properly sized catch basins, piping and/or drains, water can effectively be managed. By installing wells and smartly placed discharge devices, you are able to make responsible use of the excess water. This increases conservation and lowers the cost of watering a property.

Here are some ways to implement good drainage practices:

  • Install a system of catch basins or French drains
  • Convert irrigation bordering the house to drip
  • Set-up catchment devices such as wells to take advantage of “free” water
  • Match sprinkler run times to the absorption rate of your property’s soil


In light of all the rain, we’ve decided to post a little bit more about drainage. Stay tuned to find out what to look for when selecting a contractor to do the work.

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This article was written by Eric Schaffer. Copyright 2015.

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