Learn how to promote drainage in a swampy yard. Find out how creating a curtain drain will stop water from pooling or ponding in your yard.
LESLIE: Time to talk water management with Ralph in Maryland. What’s going on?
RALPH: I have a problem because I live in a detached garage apartment and the driveway that’s in front of the house and the garage funnels all the rainwater that comes down right – basically into the space between the garage and the house and it makes what’s my front yard pretty much a swamp  most of the time.
RALPH: And I’m wondering what would be the best way to build like an irrigation trench  or some way to get that water from the driveway down past our house. There’s a hill, basically, that’s behind our house and if I could get it to go over that hill it would be really great.
LESLIE: Would that be a French drain?
TOM: Sort of that. It’s called a curtain drain . It’s like a French drain. Basically what you want to do is you want to dig a trench  that’s about 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. You put about two inches of stone in the bottom of that and then you install a perforated pipe. Surround the perforated pipe with more stone all the way over the top then you put a piece of filter cloth over that and then you put grass or dirt and grass so you won’t see this when it’s done. And what happens is the water will fall into this area, come up into the pipe and then run out. Now the trick is you need to be able to take that pipe and run it downhill to get the water away from the house. Is that possible or is it going to bottom out somewhere?
RALPH: No, that’s possible because the ground has a natural grade to it anyway, so …
RALPH: … it’ll run right along with the hill.
TOM: Well then that’s what you want to do and I’d break it out to daylight somewhere so you can always snake it out if it ever gets clogged.
TOM: But that’s definitely the way to do that. It’s called a curtain drain. When it’s installed it’s completely invisible but it’ll stop that water from ponding once and for all.
RALPH: OK. Well that’s great. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.