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Rain, Rain, Rain Barrels and drainage

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Rain, Rain, Rain Barrels and drainage

Post  KelliK on 5/23/2012, 10:25 am

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday.

For the last week or so we have had some really good, heavy rain. I checked the garden this morning and it is looking awesome. I feel like the plants love fresh rain water much more than our tap water. All the plants have all doubled in size, and its starting to feel like a real garden. Everything seems happy in the garden, and that makes me happy. Well... I take that back, some of the seeds that I planted almost a month ago havent sprouted (radishes, chives, onions), so I think this week I will replant, paying more attention to the depth than before.

Alright, now to what I really wanted to discuss.. drainage. We recently renovated our whole back yard to include regrading, and we are having serious drainage issues. The new swale is too close to our new patio, and too close to the garden. We have talked to the contractor who graded it, but he is being inflexible right now. We got a really good price on the job early in the season, and ours is such a small job, he is not wanting to come and fix it "for free". We understand his time is valuable and are trying to come up with an alternate solution that makes everyone happy. The swale does a great job of getting the rain to the front yard, and now because of so much rain, it is starting to wash out the sidewalk (and that will cause problems with the city). Thinking about it, I thought, why not get a rainbarrel to hold the water from the downspouts. But that really isnt the problem, the problem is the rain in the swale and down to the front yard. I then got to thinking, if I can collect water in a rain barrel, why not put in a "french drain" and do the same with the water that is coming in from the swale and collect it in an "underground rain barrel". Does that make any sense? Do they even make those. I know they make those huge raintanks, but can you bury them? We need to do something with all the rain (I am NOT complaining about it, I think its great). Any ideas or suggestions (other than have the contractor come back out and fix it). Rain is too valuable to the garden for me to just let it run into the street.



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Re: Rain, Rain, Rain Barrels and drainage

Post  mapspringer on 5/23/2012, 11:46 am

My suggestion would be to get the original contractor out to fix the work that he did (which you may be able to hold him liable for bad planning) or hire someone else to fix it to drain properly. Drainage, as you're finding out, can be detrimental to structures, and rainbarrels are not the answer. I have (2) 55 GAL barrels on one downspout and in a good thunderstorm, they'll fill up in a matter of minutes. As for burying a water tank, I'm no expert. But, it sounds like a cistern, and that would cost bucks for sure. If structures are at risk, I would suggest more than barrels.

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Re: Rain, Rain, Rain Barrels and drainage

Post  llama momma on 5/23/2012, 12:52 pm

Sorry about your drainage issues. Doing the job at a low price (he sure was there when he needed money) is no excuse for not wanting to fix the wrong that he caused. He is responsible for the results even if it costs him. Jump all over this guy. Scream attorney general, BBB, Angie's List, etc..
Underground water could have runoff issues. Even with rain barrels there could be concern of roof shingles leaching stuff too, may want to look into that. I have a swale and waterway in my pasture, after it rains I sure see a lotta water. I don't collect it because of farms and homeowner runoff upstream. I almost got a rain barrel anyway, then decided to use an extra black plastic insert from an unused whiskey barrel. They are sold in garden centers. It sits near the compost heap and collects rain directly from the blessed clouds. As for evaporation I fill milk cartons and store the water.
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