How to Build A Curtain Drain

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I live in a town on top of a hill in south central Pennsylvania - just outside a town famous for a flood.  My backyard has so much water in it that I can't let my dogs run.  The problem is, the yard's all clay and is not accessible by machine.  Do I have to go twelve inches deep and twelve inches wide when digging a trench for a curtain drain, or can I dig merely enough to cover the pipe? My main problem is rainwater run-off.

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