DIY Doctor

Garden drainage in clay area

Postby Drainage novice » Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:08 pm

Hi, I hope someone might be able to advise me of the best way forward.

We live in hard clay area in a low risk flood area. My garden slopes towards the back and have surrounding gardens all around my own which are slightly higher. This means my garden becomes regularly flooded when lots of rain. It then takes weeks unless good weather where the majority evaporates I think.

I would like to improve situation and create a new path at the rear of the garden.

I don’t have anywhere for the water to go so in my mind I thought digging a trench a foot deep and 1.5m wide (width of path) filled with gravel would get the water deep enough to drain away easier and not sit on the surface.

Since digging the trench there has been some rain I have noticed it’s not draining away as I hoped which probably won’t be a surprise to many of you who know what you are doing :) I don’t want to create a void underground where the water can’t drain away or evaporate.

I then thought, ok I’ll just dig another small hole in the trench to below the clay which I read would need to be 1.8m deep in my area to be sure of clearing the clay. Then I am planning run perforated pipes to the sink hole from the trench. I dug to around 1.4m and reached some water which I assumed might have been the end of the clay. Over the course of the next 24hours the hole has filled with water, almost to the top of the hole, probably 1.2m high.

I am planning to use a bucket to get the water out in the hope it doesn’t refill but I am thinking that it will refill and I’ve hit some sort of ground water. Could this be a pocket of water between the clay and I just need to go deeper? Or have i created a well or a water volcano ha ha that is pushing water from all around up through the clay?

Any help would be appreciated.

I think I should have probably just tried to install a pump to use on occasions to bring surface water back up the garden to a storm drain, this might still be possible but if I can do something naturally it would be my preference after so much digging that may not have been necessary. Oops.:)
Drainage novice
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Postby stoneyboy » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:41 pm

Hi drainage novice
Suggest if you have a storm drain handy use the 1,8m deep hole as a sump and fit a dirty water sump pump in it.
Regards S
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