Dry Well vs French Drain: What’s the Difference? (2022 Guide)

Considering that many men and women throughout the United States fight day-to-day with excess h2o gathering on their home, a number of draining systems support with flood management. The dry properly and French drain are exceptional illustrations of these techniques that successfully drain the h2o from your property and absent to ponds, regional h2o sources, or deep in the floor. These drainage methods have a lot of rewards and disadvantages that make them various, so it is crucial to know which program is the perfect one particular for you.

To discover all the characteristics that make these draining programs vary, go through the article underneath, as we’ve gathered the vital details you need to know.

Overview of the Dry Well

How it Works

Dry wells are underground chambers that assist drain and acquire undesired water, this sort of as rainfall or stormwater. Large rainfall tends to accumulate on a specific region of the home, triggering flooding and, in far more severe cases, erosion of the ground. Dry wells perform as water displacement programs meant to transmit all water collecting on the surface area right to the underground. Dry wells are normally dug up thirty to 70 toes underground on the area, they are generally three ft wide. The inside partitions of dry wells are usually lined with gravel, which little by little drains the h2o and filters into the soil with no contaminating it.

dry well
Image Credit: Dry well, Timothy Jarrett, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

What it’s Good For

Setting up a dry nicely appropriately in a ideal place can drastically support drain extra h2o from your property. Due to large rainfall, h2o tends to acquire in the cheapest point in the yard, leading to erosion and harm to the property. By setting up a dry properly in the lowest location, the drinking water will gradually collect and drain into the selected location, generating your house much safer.

Dry wells have a lot of environmental positive aspects, especially for taking care of stormwater runoff and protecting against it from moving into and polluting lakes and streams. Stormwater runoff, if not managed or correctly drained, can also trigger erosion and damage aquatic habitats. Dry wells can also have a considerable affect on minimizing the results of drought by restoring groundwater stages.

What Are the Risks?

One particular common danger when working with a dry effectively is when the rainfall becomes way too hefty for the dry effectively to take care of. This water displacement method can turn out to be simply confused by storms and heavy rainfall and clogged owing to branches and particles getting into the dry well method. To prevent this, you can have your dry well cleaned often and cleared from debris. When a dilemma this extreme occurs, it can treat the flooding of your whole home, creating extra hurt and fix expenses.

Dry wells have been acknowledged as an efficient way to drain stormwater by transferring it to underground water, despite the fact that some hazards can show up when the rainfall is contaminated. Dry wells are an excellent way to recharge the nearby groundwater materials. Even now, the groundwater can quickly turn into contaminated when specific substances or unlawful floor spills uncover their way into the dry nicely. You can keep track of this by accurately setting up a dry nicely and utilizing acceptable pretreatment.

  • Controls the amount of water accumulated on the surface
  • Reduces the risk of soil erosion and damage
  • Promotes healthy plant growth
  • Durable, versatile, and long-term solution
  • Storms, heavy rainfall, and debris can overwhelm the dry well
  • Installation can be expensive
  • The stormwater runoff can contaminate the underground water

Overview of the French Drain

How it Works

The French draining method discounts with excessive drinking water and melting snow by redirecting the stream absent from your residence. The French drain is set up in your property’s most problematic regions, where h2o often accumulates. In these particular areas, trenches are dug up and crammed with perforated pipes that are lined with several layers of gravel for much better drainage and filtration. The water is then transferred to regions away from the residence meant explicitly for storing h2o, these kinds of as a rain bucket or the municipal wastewater drain. The pipes need to have to be positioned at an optimum angle to give the drinking water with an unobstructed stream avoiding build-up and flooding.

man digging french drain
Image Credit: K Quinn Ferris, Shutterstock

What it’s Good For

The principal benefit of installing a French drain in your property is protecting against the accumulation and pooling of excess water in 1 area rather major the h2o absent from the lawn. This can drastically reduce the chance of flooded basements, weakening foundations, and cracking or soil erosion. One more excellent reward, and a essential a single, is that your home’s basis and crawl area can keep dry, reducing any potential injury. When setting up a French drain, you can keep on maintaining a excellent eco-friendly garden or yard with the prevention of suffocating your vegetation and vegetables.

What Are the Risks?

Even though a French drain is an incredibly practical technique for draining water, there are some dangers that you require to be informed of just before setting up this technique in your backyard. The very first issue you need to have to maintain in mind is the location where you are putting in the French drain and whether or not there are any electricity lines or conversation lines buried beneath the ground. In particular states in the US, you are needed to get authorization from the authorities just before producing any changes to your home.

An additional threat when installing a French drain is the probability of heavy rainfall and particles clogging the underground pipes. These drains can quickly turn out to be jammed without having warning, causing bigger injury than before any draining was mounted.

  • Effective at moving the water away from the property
  • Excellent at preventing flooding and water damage
  • Appealing as they can easily be covered up with garden decor
  • Energy-efficient and cost-effective
  • Installing the system can be a frustrating and time-consuming process
  • The system can sometimes become clogged causing further damage
  • Some existing structures may need to be removed to install a French drain
dry well drainage
Image Credit: Jasmine Sahin, Shutterstock

Which System is Right for You?

When to Use a Dry Well?

Installing a dry nicely in your garden is the greatest solution when you want to drain drinking water from your garden, but there are no close by storm drains or ponds to redirect the drinking water into. With a dry well, there doesn’t have to be any close by water rather, the water is directed deep into the ground.

When to Use a French Drain?

A French drain directs the surplus stormwater to the river, pond, or close by drainage region. Unlike the dry properly, the place water is directed deep underground, the French drain carries the water by means of the perforated pipe into an area in which it drains.


After studying the various features and providers these draining systems provide, you can hopefully make a decision which program is ideal for you. These programs reward your complete residence, as they can reduce the risk of damage to your home’s foundation and avoid soil erosion. Putting in them in your backyard will demand time and work, but you can keep a healthy garden without frequent flooding.


Showcased Graphic Credit rating: (L) bochimsang12, Shutterstock | (R) Stephen Reeves, Shutterstock