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Dry Creek or Pipes+Catch Basin or French Drain

 
Posts: 68
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Bought land 3 month ago and finding out now how it behaves to heavy rain.
The pasture area has loads of water ponding here and there especially near the barn so I dug a trench to install a French drain.
Found the existing drain pipes in the process, planing to T-couple it but as I dig along the existing drain, which is 3" corrugated I find that it's cracked in multiple places within 4' and that the water flow is near zero. Further diagnostic, armed with a hose then a jetter, show that 40' down the trench, the pipe is clogged and pushing further is not possible so I dig it up and see a sorry collapsed mess (see photo) this thing is 2 years old!
So I go up the exit port to see the extend of the damage. Find out good surprise that the first 30' are PVC and in good shape..

I could either dig up the mid section clogged corrugated and install PVC instead - OR - forget this underground junk and instead do a dry creek - no hidden problem with underground pipes and dry creek look amazing!

I wanted to run the options by the folks with experience supreme in water management!

Info:
- NW Washington state, Camano island, loads of rain
- terrain slopes down between 0 and 2%
- composed of silt loam for about 1ft over clay
Screen-Shot-2016-12-26-at-7.05.58-PM.png
[Thumbnail for Screen-Shot-2016-12-26-at-7.05.58-PM.png]
sublime example of dry creek
drain-system.jpg
[Thumbnail for drain-system.jpg]
 
Posts: 88
Location: Los Angeles for now, Maybe Idaho soon...
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I'd do the dry creek.  I personally HATE running water underground for several reasons... if a pipe breaks or separates, the water flowing through it can quickly erode away where the break is causing all sorts of problems.

Whenever I've built, I always try to use the above ground methods for getting rid of excess drain water.  

Pipes clog.  The dry creek will not.

Pipes can be overwhelmed, and unable to handle excess water.  They in essence, have a limit to how much they can handle.  While the dry creek also has a limit, it tends to be much higher, and easier to fix after the fact.

My vote is always to go with something like the dry creek you posted.

best of luck!

 
Laurent Voulzy
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I see a few method to do dry creek, from just a ditch and a few rocks to ditch + landscaper fabric + flat rocks + big rocks to the side... how do you do your dry creek, Eddie?
 
Eddie Conna
Posts: 88
Location: Los Angeles for now, Maybe Idaho soon...
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concrete, because that was what was required by code.  But if not, depending on how much water we're talking about, I'd use rocks, with landscape fabric underneath, or even plastic, covered with gravel, covered with rocks... and more rocks lining the side.  
 
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