How to Build a Drywell
LESLIE: Well, sometimes after a heavy rain, your yard looks more like a swamp. And if this has ever happened to you, you know exactly what I’m talking about. All that water has absolutely no place to go.
TOM: Well, there is a solution. It’s called a dry well and here to teach us how to build one are hosts Kevin O’Connor and landscaping contractor Roger Cook from This Old House; two guys who have built quite a few of these things.
So, Kevin, where do we start?
KEVIN: You know, dry wells, they can help take the heavy rainfall and hide it away before it turns your yard into a swamp. So the question is what’s the best way to build one that’s going to stand up to the test of time but also stand up to some heavy rainstorms.
ROGER: Well, a dry well is just that; a dry hole in the ground used to disperse water into the ground. It can be used for downspouts or it can even be used for a connection for a sump pump. Now the trick with a dry well is to isolate it from the dirt around it by using stone that will drain the water down and also landscape fabric to keep it from getting filled with dirt. It’s also a good idea to have a pop-up overflow; so during heavy rain, if the dry well gets overwhelmed, it’s a way to release the water from the dry well.
KEVIN: So how about maintenance? I mean once you have it built, what’s the best way to keep a dry well free-flowing?
ROGER: Keep it free-flowing by keeping your gutters clean. If leaves go in your gutters and down the downspouts, they’re going to end up in your dry well and, after a period of time, they could actually keep it from draining water.
TOM: Great advice. Roger Cook and Kevin O’Connor from This Old House, thanks for stopping by The Money Pit.
KEVIN: Thank you.
TOM: Great tip.
LESLIE: And you can actually watch a step-by-step video on how to install a dry well at ThisOldHouse.com.
TOM: And This Old House is brought to you by State Farm. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.