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Using a French Drain to Remove Standing Water in Your Yard

By: Tricia Craven Worley

Standing water in your yard is an eyesore and can act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Installing a French drain is a great way to remove standing water from your yard.

To construct a French drain:

  • Dig a trench in your yard where water is standing.
  • Add a bed of pea gravel to the bottom of the trench.
  • Wrap a perforated, flexible, plastic landscape pipe with landscape fabric, or use pipe that is ready made for use in a French drain.
  • Position the pipe in the trench so the top is below ground level.
  • Leave one or both ends of the pipe open so the water can drain away.
  • Cover the sides and top of the pipe with more pea gravel.

Watch this video to find out more.

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9 Comments on “Using a French Drain to Remove Standing Water in Your Yard”

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  • bARB Says:
    May 15th, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    We had put in a french drain in the backyard to the tune of 1,000″s of dollars worked great til my neighbor put in an in ground pool with lots of bricks and concrete my backyard is now a swamp…I can’t afford to have a landscaper, but I am willing to try fixing it myself…any recommendations


  • Official Comment:


    Thomas Boni Says:
    May 15th, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Hi, Jerry,
    TodaysHomeowner.com features home improvement advice from the nationally syndicated TV show “Today’s Homeowner” and its experts.
    We don’t offer information on individual home builders and suppliers, but we encourage checking your local phone listings for this information.
    Good luck, and thanks for your question!



  • Jerry Mosteller Says:
    May 15th, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Who would I hire to do this in the Phoenix area?



  • kathy Says:
    May 9th, 2018 at 8:59 am

    We have a double wide home and the area out back is very close to the home (cement slab) however, the top of the yard is all downhill and when it gets to the bottom ( small path next to home) everything drains there and literally pools there creating a huge bog like area! its disgusting and I haven’t found a way yet to drain it or keep it drained as that is also where we have the septic system there…


  • Official Comment:


    Thomas Boni Says:
    July 7th, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    Hi, Lonnie,

    Danny says, “Since clay does not absorb water, you would need to remove a “trench” of clay and replace it with small gravel or coarse sand to allow the water to drain properly with a French drain system.”

    Good luck!



  • Lonnie Ennis Says:
    March 21st, 2018 at 7:07 am

    What to do if u have clay drit when instaling a freanch drain



  • Brian Says:
    April 30th, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    How do you do a french drain if your yard is level and have where to drain to



  • Lynnette Says:
    June 13th, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    The holes go up so the water will go down into the holes and be carried away in the up-perforated bottom of the pipe. If it were put in holes down the water would just sit in the trench.



  • nuella luther Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 9:34 am

    we have a spring coming up in a gravel driveway. We have dug a trench and have 4″ drain pipe with holes and a sleve to cover it. We plan to but an inch of gravel in the bottom of the trench, and then place the pipe in the trench. My question is should the holes in the pipe be placed up, down or sideways? The stone dealer said up and the man at Lowes said down. Thank you for addressing my question. Nuella


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Using a French Drain to Remove Standing Water in Your Yard