What You Need to Know About Digging a Drainage Trench | Lewis and Tibbitts, Inc.

What You Need to Know About Digging a Drainage Trench

Flooding on your residential or commercial lot is a major problem. Not only does it look bad, but all of that excess water can cause some massive structural damage and lead to erosion. Digging a drainage trench is the best way to solve your flooding problem.

A drainage trench is a perforated pipe that evenly distributes water flow to reduce the risk of flooding. Continue reading to learn a little bit more about how to dig a drainage trench.

Plan your trench

Just like with most projects, the first step is creating an in-depth plan for the location of your new trench. You’ll want the trench to be in an area that collects a lot of surface water, but you don’t want to dig near underground utility lines. Talk to a trenching professional beforehand to get help creating your plan.

Plot your sloping areas

Another part of the planning process is determining the sloping areas. These are the passageways that redirect the excess water on your property. The trench has to slope at least one inch for every 10 feet of length to ensure the water flows away from your property.

Dig the trench

Now that your plan is in place, it’s time to start digging a drainage trench. Use a shovel or a hoe to dig out an area large enough to accommodate an average-sized drain pipe. We recommend digging it about one foot wide and 18 inches deep. The wider the trench, the easier it is to collect water and the lower the chance of clogging.

Lay landscape fabric and pour gravel

Your trench needs to be lined with water-permeable landscaping fabric in order to prevent damage caused by grass and plant roots. Overlap any seams in the fabric and save some to cover the gravel (this task will be performed next).

You’ll want to pour at least two inches of gravel into the bottom of the trench and then cover that with your extra fabric. This gravel will help improve drainage.

Install the drain pipe and drain gate

Now that your drain trenches are prepped, it’s time to install the pipe and drain gate. Because the goal is to redirect water, we advise installing the pipe near a gutter downspout. The drain gate is installed above the trench to allow water to flow into the pipe.

Cover the pipe and trench with gravel

Your final steps are covering both the pipe and the trench with an additional layer of gravel. If you want, you can also add a layer of soil and grass seed on top for a more seamless look in your yard.

Hire Lewis and Tibbitts, Inc. to dig your trench

It’s theoretically possible to dig drain trenches by yourself, but you probably shouldn’t—instead, hire our crew at Lewis and Tibbitts, Inc. With over 45 years of industry experience, you can rest easy knowing the job will be completed correctly and on time. Give us a call today to get an estimate or to learn more about all of our services.