5 Main lawn drainage solutions

Offering reliable landscaping services to homeowners in British Columbia since 2013

Picture of Natasha Maerz

Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager

There is nothing better on a summer morning than looking out at the sun glistening on the lawn, and taking in nature. Whether you are planning a family dinner outside, or just relaxing after work while the kids play in the yard, your home is special to you. You are proud to have an outdoor space that you can call your own, but when that space becomes unusable due to a yard that is water logged, your joy can quickly turn into frustration. Fortunately, there are lots of different solutions that can help solve your drainage issues, once and for all.

If we haven’t met before allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Back 40 Landscaping and our expertise is in retaining walls, hardscaping and drainage. We also like to bring education to those looking for retaining wall and drainage solutions.

Table of Contents:

  • Why do I have issues with water pooling in my yard?
  • The 5 Lawn Drainage solutions
    • A healthy Lawn
    • Top soil replacement
    • Re-grading your lawn
    • A downspout Drainage system
    • A French Drain system
    • What is the best drainage option for my yard?

It can be bothersome when you want to use your yard, but it is still wet from the previous day’s rainfall. In the Fraser Valley, our weather can change day by day, so it can be hard to plan dinners or gather together with friends outside when our yard is soggy and messy. These 5 drainage solutions can allow you to truly enjoy your space without worrying if your yard is unusable because it rained the previous day.


Why do I have issues with water pooling in my yard?

In the Fraser Valley, most of our soil is clay based. The problem with having clay-based soil in your outdoor space is that it creates standing water on the surface of the lawn. Light clay soil will eventually pass water, but heavy clay soil will almost never allow water through on its own. When the water cannot pass through the soil, it sits on top of the lawn, causing your yard to be wet and muddy.


 The 5 Lawn Drainage solutions


A healthy Lawn

Healthy grass roots, plants and vegetation are what help water pass through the clay soil in your yard and into the ground. Without an abundance of roots penetrating deep into the clay soil, water will sit on top of your lawn and pool. The roots from your lawn, and plants play a vital role in allowing water to follow the roots deep underground, and take the water away from the subsurface of your lawn.

This is a great option for anyone with lawn drainage issues, and can be combined with any of the other 4 drainage solutions talked about in this article.


Top soil replacement

Since clay soil does not allow water to penetrate through it and into the ground, another way to fix drainage issues in your yard is to replace 2-4” of clay soil with sandy, fast draining top soil. Sandy topsoil allows water to go through it with ease, taking any accumulated water from the surface of your yard, into the ground. This option may not be for you if you have a large yard, due to the amount of clay soil that would need replaced, but it still something to consider when it comes to fixing your yard drainage problems.


Re-grading your lawn

Re-grading a yard or site is the process of sloping the ground away from structures. In some cases, your yard may slope towards your home, causing your basement to flood, or you may have one spot on your property that always has pooling water. Because water will always go to the lowest spot in your yard, you can have your lawn regraded so that the water flows away from your home, and to an area, such as a ditch or the street.

A downspout Drainage system

If your downspouts are not connected to a downspout drain, all of your roof water that is being collected in your gutters and downspouts is going to go directly on the surface of your lawn. This is a substantial amount of water that is being put onto your lawn, therefore causing water to pool on the surface of your yard. Having a downspout drain system installed will limit at least half the amount of water that your yard will have to get rid of after a rainfall. Combine this system with another drainage solution, and you have significantly changed how much water your yard sees.

A French Drain system

French Drains transport water away from one spot in a yard and take it to a designated area. Installing a French drain system with void spaces underground (large round rock), will dry out clay soil between rain events, and instead of starting a rain event with saturated soil, you will go into a rainfall with dry soil that is capable of absorbing much more water. (Click here for more information on French Drains).

What is the best drainage option for my yard?  

Every homeowner’s yard and situation is different, and there is not one perfect solution for every single yard. Depending on your space, adding one or two of these drainage solutions might be enough to solve your water issues. Homeowners that are looking to dry up their yard within 12-36 hours of a rainfall may want to add three or more of these options to get optimal results.

Knowing what your budget is for your drainage issues will allow your landscaper or contractor to design a system that will work for you and your space, and have your problem solved once and for all!


For help solving your yard drainage issues click here!