Efficient Water Management All About Drainage Systems

Efficient Water Management: All About Drainage Systems


Proper water channeling and rerouting is an essential component of a healthy lawn. Water is crucial to maintaining a fresh landscape, but an excess of it can be quite problematic. In this blog, MPR Landscapes will guide you through the concept of drainage systems, their significance for your lawn, and the various types. This information will help you understand the necessity of drainage systems. Moreover, you can decide the best drainage types according to your specifications.


Drainage systems are installed in landscapes to remove excess water through various means. These systems control water flow and redirect it to other places. These intricate networks manage water flow to prevent many issues that can otherwise arise due to poor drainage. These problems include waterlogging, erosion, flooding, and structural damage. Whether you have an extensive landscape or a small lawn space, installing proper drainage systems is equally important. Let us look at the significance of drainage for your landscape.


Drainage systems are significant for your landscape. In redirecting the water flow from substructures, these systems shield them from erosion, cracks in the foundation, and mold growth. Drainage systems also protect your walls from becoming drenched and losing their load-bearing capacity. There are multiple ways to reroute water for these purposes, including channels, grades, drains, and ditches.

If you want to manage water runoff efficiently, drainage is the answer you have been looking for! You prevent this water from running off to nearby streams and causing sedimentary erosion on the way. Drainage systems help retains this water for the irrigation of vegetation and plants. Poor and inadequate drainage can cause multiple problems in your landscape. For instance, you can potentially face the threat of waterlogging, which can cause plant wilting and death. Your landscape becomes barren due to soil compaction and limited oxygen access for plant roots. 


Excess standing water prohibits plant roots from absorbing nutrients and supplying plants with all the essential nutrients. These deficiencies profoundly impact the overall health of your lawn.

The extra water that constantly accumulates in the lawn due to poor drainage also adversely affects the hardscaping elements in the space. It cracks the structure of the foundation, walkways, and retaining walls. The water may even seep into the foundation and weakens it.   

Proper water drainage can also solve the mold growth problem in your lawn. It does not let water become a breeding ground for pests and mosquitoes. Moreover, standing water creates all sorts of unpleasant odors and toxins. All these problems can be solved with good drainage systems and regular maintenance.  


Before diving extensively into the types of drainage systems, let us look into some of the clear signs of poor drainage in your lawn. If you witness one or more of these signs, then you need to call professionals.     

Soil erosion.

Constant standing water and puddles.

Flooded walkways.

Mold and algae growth on the surface.

Water stains on foundation or surfaces.

Loose topsoil.

Cracks in pavement or foundation.

Damage to hardscaping features.

The constant presence of puddles or water leads to loose topsoil or erosion. It can also cause cracks in the foundation or hardscaping features. Standing water can leave stains on surfaces and drive mold growth. Therefore, be aware of all of the signs mentioned above. Make sure to call expert landscapers and seek professional help to avoid further hazards in your space!    


There are various types of drainage systems available in the market. To choose the best systems for installation, assess the topography of your area, soil type, and weather conditions. After considering all these factors, you can evaluate their pros and cons to choose the ones that fit your needs.  


The seven different types of drainage systems are: 

Surface Drainage Systems

As the name suggests, the surface drainage system is all about collecting water from the surface and rerouting it somewhere else. This standard drainage system collects excess rainwater before it runs off to nearby streams.

Water accumulation can occur for multiple reasons, such as rainfall, irrigation, and snow thaw after winter. This heavy water volume has to be gradually removed. Otherwise, the area may become saturated, soggy, and flooded. The solution to managing this problem is an effective drainage system.   

Surface drainage systems usually consist of some channels, or they are made by grading the land to desired levels. Remember to carefully plan and execute to create perfect designs for proper functioning. Types of surface drainage systems include open drains, levees, hollows, and grassed waterways.  

Subsurface Drainage Systems

Unlike surface drainage, subsurface drainage is all about removing water from beneath the surface in the root zone. Types of this drainage system include deep open drains and pipe drains. The former has open drains dug into the ground to collect excess water. In contrast, the latter uses clay, plastic, or concrete pipes installed underground. They have openings to contain water and to deliver it away to low exits.

Both types of subsurface drainage systems have their specifications. For instance, open drains are effective yet hinder the use of large machinery in the area.  

Pipe drains are successful, but their installation costs can be quite high due to the equipment and labor involved. Yet their maintenance costs are lower than open drains, which require constant maintenance and repair. 

French Drains

French drains are made in low areas to redirect the watercourse to remove water puddles. They are slanted structures consisting of channel drains or catch basins in trenches that are deeper and wider than 12 inches. The drains use perforated piping with filter fabric and VDOT gravel on top.

Their stylish look significantly contributes to the overall aesthetics of your landscape. You can also install them to remove excess water from plant beds.

A French drain is made by digging a trench and laying geotextile fabric. This fabric only allows water to pass through and stops the dirt. The next step is to put gravel inside. Ensure it is washed thoroughly and clean any dust particles. Then perforated pipes are placed inside the trench. Perforated pipes have holes in them, which you can drill quickly. Fill up the extra space with additional gravel on the lines, and add more geotextile fabric and dirt at the end.

Dry Wells

Dry wells are simple drainage system structures. They are cylindrical and act as underground reservoirs to collect water. These wells store water till it naturally seeps into the soil around them.  The walls of dry wells are perforated so water can escape gradually. That means the small holes make the siding porous enough for water to pass. Consider several factors like water table, frequency of rain, and soil type before installing one. 

You can install a dry well to manage stormwater runoff and reintroduce this extra water into the ground. Like French drains, dry wells also have geotextile fabric and gravel. Interestingly, they can store up to 50 gallons of water.

Sump Pump

A sump pump is a device used to remove excess water from a sump pit or basin. It has valves with sensors to detect rising water levels. The switch detector is activated if the water gets too high. The pump works to remove the accumulated volume away from your place. The discharge line connected to sump pumps is called effluent. In this way, a sump pump manages water levels and prevents the dangers of flooding. You can power the pump with electricity or a battery.  

A sump pump works wonders in the basements of your place. Consider installing one if your area has a high water table or is susceptible to frequent heavy rainfall. Moreover, if all of the issues have been resolved with proper drainage systems and you still have leakage, then it is a good idea to have a sump pump.

Yard Drains

Yard drains, popularly known as catch or collection basins, gather excess water and redirect it to more useful places. Yard drains can be part of a more extensive, efficient drainage system. They funnel water towards a complete drainage system via pipe sloping or reroute it somewhere away from your lawn. 

Yard drains effectively remove excess water after heavy rainfall or snow thaw. This simple yet efficient method prevents issues like erosion, sediment deposition, and damage to infrastructure. Most yard drains also involve perforated pipes, gravel, and narrow trenches. The process of yard drain installation is quite simple. Dig a trench and place perforated pipes in it. Then you can cover it up with some gravel. 

Downspout Drainage

Downspout drainage involves vertical sections typically attached to a gutter. They are installed on corners of homes. The system comprises a PVC pipe connected to a downspout to take extra water flow away from your home.  You can connect downspout drains to dry wells, storm drains, or pop-up emitters. Pop-up emitters are installed at the termination point of drain pipes. When the water pressure is high enough, these emitters pop up so water gets out and disperses over the surface. The top of the emitter opens up due to high water pressure. It closes when the water gets out, and the pressure gradually decreases. Pop-up emitters are small, and you can hide them in landscapes easily.

Downspout drainage can complement other drainage methods to form an efficient system whereby water is cared for. They can competently manage roof water runoff, flooding and prevent water from seeping into the roof cracks.

You can get downspouts in several different shapes and sizes and choose those that cater to your needs. Before buying one, consider factors such as the size of your landscape and the volume of water. During very heavy precipitation, water flow may be too much for downspout drainage to take care of. In such cases, you can add additional drains to complete the job.


In conclusion, proper drainage systems are truly essential for healthy landscapes. These systems control water flow and direct it to other areas, preferably away from the landscape and house. Drainage systems prevent standing water, soil erosion, mold growth, foundation cracks, and other infrastructure damage. You need to evaluate your landscape for clear signs of poor drainage. They have flooded walkways, loose topsoil, water stains on surfaces, and cracked pavements. After assessing the conditions of your area, you can move on to deciding the types of drainage system that would best cater to your needs. You can choose from French drains, dry wells, yard drains, and surface or subsurface types. Regularly inspect your lawn and drainage equipment to ensure maximum efficiency.  


Installing a drainage system can be hectic due to the technicalities involved. The process involves thorough site analysis, assessment of capable drainage methods, and proper machinery installation. It requires a lot of research about the types and equipment available. Therefore, you can leave this time-consuming task to professional landscapers with the right capabilities, experience, and tools to do the job. Experts like MPR Landscapes can genuinely transform your lawn with proper drainage solutions. 

We offer top-notch services of grading and drainage for residential and commercial landscapes. We possess a deep understanding of landscape complexities and the importance of proper drainage systems to preserve the health of your lawn. MPR Landscapes ensure to set up systems that effectively transfer water away from structures and hardscaping features in the space. After considering your demands and specific requirements, our trained staff members put together a competent system while seamlessly integrating different drains and components to ensure the best results. With meticulous planning and attention to minute details of your area, MPR Landscapes is the right choice to handle all the problems and provide you with a lush lawn. Contact us today for further information. We are looking forward to working with you to create the dream outdoor oasis you want!

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