Saturday, January 5, 2008

The French Drain, Part 2

February 2007 to January 2008

Back in 2003, we put in a French drain to get rid of water from the front and side of the house, allowing it to drain to the back yard. But the French drain just stopped in a hole in the back yard. That clearly wasn't a final solution -- it just solved the water problem. We had to, at the least, continue the drain down the back yard until it could be terminated in a reasonable way.

So we started to dig again. We continued to dig along side the fence, down the back yard, from where the pipes ended towards the end of the lot.

We continued to dig.

As we continued, the rocks, which had been very level, and just 8 inches or so below the ground, began to become upeven and broken into more irregular surfaces.

Using the jackhammer and pry bar, we got down below this layer until we had a trench that was about 2 feet deep. We continued it until we got to the narrowest spot of the yard near the fence, where the large planter area we call the Jungle narrowed the yard to just 8 feet or so. There we excavated everything down to bed rock. Using cement, cement blocks and and rocks, we constructed a pit, roughly 8 feet square, by a foot or two deep. We extended the drainage pipes, enclosing them in rocks and landscape cloth as before, so that they emptied into this pit. The rock for this cost $307.37 from Custom Stone Supply in November 2007.

Then we filled the pit with rock. The rock is loose fill, so there is plenty of room for the water from the drainage pipes. And in the worst case, the pit can just fill up with water and then overflow, running down the hill.

To make it look attractive, we filled it with rock, but made the top layer of rock, Mexican Beach Pebbles, fairly large, bluish rounded rocks, creating the Blue Rock Pool.

The main cost of all this was the Mexican Beach Pebbles which are fairly expensive. The two loads of them were $575.16 and $204.75 from Austin Custom Stone in December 2007 and January 2008.