French Drain discharge station

Offering reliable landscaping services to homeowners in British Columbia since 2013

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Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager

A discharge station is where all of the water from your trench ends up, and a common reason that your French Drain is backing up could be that yours may not be established correctly.  

What Type Of Discharge Station Should A French Drain Have?

Your discharge station should be big enough to handle all of the water that is being taken to it, and needs to be placed at the lowest point of your yard. It is up to nature where your discharge station is placed, so if it is not possible to put one in the lowest spot of your yard, water will not be able to reach it.

Because of this, a pump will need to be put in to allow the water to get from your trench to its discharge station.

Other options for a discharge station if your yard will allow include a ditch, sump pump, or even a low area in your yard that you do not use that you can flood without it affecting you.

Whatever you choose, it must be able to do its job of collecting the water, otherwise your French Drain will not be able to live up to its full potential.

Where Does My French Drain Water Go?

Once the water is inside the fabric of a French drain system the water will flow virtually unrestricted to the lowest point in the system.

The best French drain systems use a pipe at the very bottom of the trench and surround it with large 1.5” round rock. There is so much void space underground that between the pipe and the round rock the system can move 400-800 gallons per minute.

The French drain system itself is almost never what effects the speed in which your yard dries out, as its so much faster than the intake portion of the system.

Most French drain systems discharge to a concrete sump where any sediment or debris can settle to the bottom of the basin.

From here its drained to a city storm water connection, ditch, lower area that can be flooded, etc.

As long as this capacity to intake the water isn’t exceeded, then the water will not back up the French drain trench.

When having a French Drain system installed, take the time to really think about what you want the outcome of your yard to be after the project is over. Consider all of the factors (lawn health, soil, and amount of pipe) and really think about how you use your yard, and if you value useable lawn space.

Not only will a dry lawn make your yard more enjoyable for everyone, but it will add value to your home.

City storm drains and ditches

City storm drains and ditches usually have enough capacity to act as a great discharge location for your French Drain system. If the city storm drain or ditch are at the front of your house and your system is at the back, more pipe will need to be placed to get to it. Since adding more pipe and labor will bring up the cost of the install, you may want to seek other alternatives, such as a rock pit.

Rock pits are a common method used as a discharge location, but unfortunately, they usually do not have enough space to hold the water that you are trying to get rid of. By early winter your system could get full, and will stay that way for most of the year.