This is some information for do-it-yourselfers. South Austin Irrigation does not deal with drainage issues, only irrigation equipment repair.
Poor drainage, which is often due to a shallow grade, is one of the banes of home landscaping. You can overcome this problem, however, by measuring the right grade.
Step 1: Stake out utility lines
Before you begin your project, you’ll need to identify utility lines along the path of the land you want to grade. Have representatives from the various utility companies (water, electric, gas and telephone) install flags or tags as your first step in the process.
Step 2: Find the end points and mark them
Locate the drainage end point on your property to help you determine the grade of your property. Drive stakes a foot from the foundation of your home and a foot from the final source for drainage on your property. Mark each stake with spray paint so that you can see your boundary points from a distance.
Step 3: String markers to find grade
Run colored string between the two stakes to help determine the grade of your yard. Tie the string tightly to the stake near your home and leave the other end loose to adjust the level.
Step 4: Find the balance point
Raise the stake placed near your drainage location until the string level shows an even balance. You may want to ask a friend or family member to help you with this part of the process.
Step 5: Measure for grade
Examine the distance between the bottom of the raised stake and the ground to find the grade of your yard. As a general rule of thumb, use 12 inches of distance for every 50 feet of property for proper drainage.
Step 6: Consider terrace grading
If your property has a steep grade that makes drainage difficult, consider using terrace grading. This will allow you to create steps every 10 to 15 feet and facilitate controlled drainage from your home into the final drainage area.
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