7 Types of Yard Drains (With Pictures)

Even if you do not dwell in a wet area, a appropriate landscape drainage system is nonetheless a must. When it fails, you end up with puddles of drinking water all more than the garden, useless bouquets/vegetation, damage to the property, and even a negative smell—we’ve all been there! And though you may possibly already have a operating lawn drain, it’s most likely not perfect for your backyard garden/yard.

That is why it’s so important to know what variety of setup you need to have. In this manual, we’ll introduce you to the most typical and efficient drainage methods, which includes the French drain, capture basins, dry creeks, and much more. Some are less costly, even though others are more difficult to build. And, they all have their professionals and negatives. So, spend additional attention to our comprehensive testimonials to uncover the best option for your lawn!

The 7 Most Popular Types of Yard Drains

1. Grassy Swale

7 Types of Yard Drains (With Pictures)
Image Credit: islandworks, Pixabay
Cost Very Low
Difficulty Low/Moderate
Estimated Completion Time 1–2 Days
What You’ll Need Sod, New Plantings

Excess drinking water saturates the soil, will get muddy, and appeals to bugs and pests. A grassy swale can support fix the problem. Basically, it is a slope or a trench, a large, prolonged, and slim one particular, and you can develop it in a day or two with your possess hands. A shovel is all you’ll need, and the normal dimensions are 6–12 inches deep and 4–5 toes wide.

Also, guarantee a 1–2 inch drop every 10–12 inches for a constant flow. Now, swales immediate h2o to ditches, drains, or boggy places. So, it would be ideal if there ended up tons of plants in that region to avoid erosion. Grassy swales aren’t very powerful from floods and hefty rain, however. That’s why the vegetation that grow there (or, instead, their roots) have to be sturdy. Otherwise, the soil will change into a trench.

  • Adds character to the landscape
  • No expensive materials required
  • A DIY project: can be built manually
  • Not very reliable
  • Weak against heavy rainstorm

2. French Drain

7 Types of Yard Drains (With Pictures)
Image Credit: isabela66, Shutterstock
 Cost Average
Difficulty Moderate
Estimated Completion Time 1–2 Days
What You’ll Need Gravel, Filter Fabric, Pipes

On typical, it normally takes 2–3 times to develop a French drain with a set of pipes, filter cloth (wrap it about the pipes for added safety), and plenty of gravel. French drains don’t visually impact the yard in any way. Additionally, they are quite modest however provide for many a long time, if not many years. As for the downsides, these drains clog very usually.

And it’s generally a challenge to clean the pipes. Also, while the installation/developing method isn’t very difficult, and French drains don’t expense a fortune, we do recommend renting a trencher. It will help you get the work accomplished significantly more quickly. See that the drain is 9–12 inches broad and 18–20 inches deep. Dig a little trench, place a pipe through, and link it to a drain exterior of your garden.

  • No visual impact on the yard
  • Compact, yet highly efficient
  • Durable, can last for decades
  • Tends to clog quite often
  • You might have to rent a trencher

3. The Dry Well System

 Cost Low
Difficulty Low/Moderate
Estimated Completion Time 24–36 Hours
What You’ll Need Filter Fabric, Topsoil, Gravel, Post-Hole Digger, Downspouts

Dry wells have usually been the “little brothers” to French drains. Initial, they are less costly next, they get less time to construct. Again, you will require a filter fabric, some gravel, and topsoil, along with pipes or downspouts to immediate the drinking water. A dry well is a huge underground basin, and the gravel is there to support with drinking water absorption. Above time, that h2o spreads more than the soil and groundwater.

If you hire a huge adequate put up-hole digger, you’ll be in a position to build a dry nicely in much less than two times. This is critical: the nicely requirements to be fairly deep and wide to hold all around 50 gallons of water (at minimum 3 toes deep and 3–4 feet in diameter) so that the effectively doesn’t overflow. In addition, because you will be using pipes yet again, they will clog from time to time.

  • Can be dug in a day with a hole digger
  • Serves as a water conservation system
  • Must be deep and wide to work
  • Clogging is a common issue

4. Plastic Tubes (Corrugated)

7 Types of Yard Drains (With Pictures)
Image Credit: paulbr75, Pixabay
 Cost Very Low
Difficulty Low
Estimated Completion Time 24 Hours
What You’ll Need Corrugated Tubes

Wait around, didn’t we just speak about tubes when discussing dry wells and French drains? Effectively, of course, but corrugated plastic tubes are a various story. They are really sturdy, versatile, and effortlessly deal with temperature extremes. Unfortunately, they are not specifically crush-resistant: so, it would be smart to keep them underground. On prime of that, these tubes are even more challenging to cleanse when clogged.

Corrugated tubes are also low cost and straightforward to perform with. They are not at all heavy and can be very easily moved all around. You should be ready to have them set up in considerably less than 24 several hours. In addition, they are able of managing huge amounts of h2o. Just keep in mind to maintain height variations to a least for appropriate drinking water stream. Location the tubes right beneath your downspouts, and that’s it!

  • Highly flexible and bendable
  • Lightweight, easy to move around
  • Height variations are going to be a problem
  • Not that durable: can be crushed
  • Hard to clean when cluttered

5. Channel Drains

7 Types of Yard Drains (With Pictures)
Image Credit: Structuro, Pixabay
 Cost High
Difficulty High
Estimated Completion Time 3–4 Days
What You’ll Need Dry Well System, Drains, Pipes

This appropriate here is the most pricey drainage method for your yard. So, will it be a deserving expenditure, or not? Nicely, channel drains are incredibly efficient towards runoff. Plus, they previous for a really lengthy time. And they’re even much more resilient than corrugated tubes. The installation method is fairly extended, nonetheless, and does demand experience.

Aside from, you will not be in a position to customize these drains until you dig every thing out, which, once more, expenses a lot. For a channel drain, make sure you have the real drains, pipes, and an innovative dry effectively system. Or, just dig a deep sufficient trench and set the drains over it. Channel drains operate in any atmosphere, if you hook up the pipes to a complete-fledged drainage program outside.

  • Efficient and long-lasting
  • Not afraid of environmental factors
  • Prevent water collection in the yard
  • Expensive and time-consuming to install
  • No room for any modifications

6. Catch Basin

 Cost Average
Difficulty Moderate
Estimated Completion Time 1–2 Days
What You’ll Need PVC Pipes, Catch Basin

In some ways, a capture basin, also identified as a property drain, is the less costly and significantly less innovative model of channel drains. It can be set up in 1–2 days at a reasonable speed. All you’ll want is a established of PVC pipes to guide surplus surface water away to a capture basin. The best factor about it—is you can simply connect a basin to other drainage techniques (like a dry nicely, for instance) and thus increase its efficiency.

Apart from, lawn drains are known to enhance the price of a home/house. However, their potential is instead minimal, and on their personal, capture basins will not do significantly great for a large landscape. Sinkholes are one more widespread situation. Also, you may possibly have to deal with a pest infestation, as property drains are inclined to entice bugs.

  • Easy to integrate with other drainage systems
  • Increases the value of your property
  • Rather weak on its own
  • Attracts bugs and pests
  • Known to cause sinkholes

7. Dry Creek

7 Types of Yard Drains (With Pictures)
Image Credit: Bureau of Land Management, Flickr
 Cost Very Low
Difficulty Moderate
Estimated Completion Time 2–3 Days
What You’ll Need Drainage Rocks/Stones, Mortar

If you stay in an arid area, a dry creek could be the excellent drainage technique for you. What is a dry creek, exactly? It’s a trench, but 1 filled with river rocks and stones of numerous measurements that take in h2o. When properly built, a dry creek will not only be effective from large rainstorms but also provide as a ornamental aspect for the garden. Commence by outlining the mattress, then dig it out and provide in the stones.

To hold the stones in mattress, we suggest utilizing mortar. Be really complete with this otherwise, the rocks will be washed absent by the runoff, ruining the entire issue. A dry creek can be constructed more than the weekend (in 2–3 days) and is nearly as cheap as a grassy swale. And you won’t have to try out and hide it because creeks incorporate a nice “rustic” touch to a landscape.

  • Looks great; easily fits in any environment
  • Handles large amounts of water
  • Simple, hassle-free installation
  • The rocks require strong anchoring
  • Might wash away during heavy rain

Plants, Barrels, And Rain Gardens: Cheap DIY Yard Drains

If you really do not have the time, price range, or skills for any of the drainage systems we just discussed, there are nevertheless some choices on the table:

What About Pavement Drainage?

You could try this, of training course, but we would not necessarily recommend it. Very first, paving supplies typically expense a good deal. Next, even though they do work, if you stay in a humid and wet region, you’ll be let down by this system. Here’s how the pavement drainage functions: you insert layers of rapid-draining gravel. Subsequent, you place paving materials with very small gas on leading of the gravel.

The h2o “sneaks through” these holes and retains the surface nice and dry. You can go with concrete, asphalt, or plastic, but, again, this drainage system’s performance leaves a lot to be desired.


If you’re an avid gardener or just like to maintain your home in stellar problem, you need to make positive the drainage technique is up to the activity. There are plenty of different options out there, and while specified sorts of land tremendously advantage from dry creeks or grassy swale, that will not often function. Often, you are going to have to spend a lot much more to have channel drains put in.

It also comes down to your recent price range for the undertaking and how much time and work you’re willing to commit. If you are hunting for the center of the lane, catch basins and French drains will be a first rate spot to commence. Or, if you are into one thing cheaper, go with plastic tubes or a dry well.

Highlighted Picture Credit score: ArtisticOperations, Pixabay