Get Rid of Annoying Water Puddles on Your Property

Ok, here’s a scenario you might find familiar: You’re off to work first thing in the morning only to be greeted by strong rain. “It’s alright, I’ll just take the car today”, you say positively to yourself as you jump out the front door. You whistle your favorite tune, at the same time reminding yourself of how lucky you are to have landed such a good job.


Whoopsies. I know that sound. Yeah, your foot just landed in the mucky, mud puddle that seems to always appear every time it rains. All prior thoughts of thankfulness are now replaced suddenly by anger and frustration, even rage. Not only your shoes are drenched, but your socks are too. You might curse yourself for falling prey, yet again, to this vicious attack on your patience. This is extremely annoying, and can often be enough to ruin your entire day.

Hmm. This is a very troubling scenario indeed, but not one that cannot be remedied. See, I’ve experienced just this sort of thing, but thankfully was able to eradicate the problem before things got “too serious”.

We had a concrete slab with a slight grade sloping downward, ending abruptly at a certain point, and rocky ground continuing from there. This concrete slab was coming down from a garage and then joining with the remainder of the driveway. Driveways or former driveways are exceptionally compacted to accommodate vehicular traffic and are thus considerably less porous than average ground.

This is why driveways must be constructed with a grade that allows the runoff to escape in an organized and efficient manner. Another factor that affects the rate of percolation is the percentage of clay and rock within the soil. Clay lies at one extreme of the soil percolation chart, with sand at the other. Unless you either live in the Sahara or a rice paddy, you probably have something between the two.

But if by some past or unforeseen circumstance, your driveway does not contain the necessary characteristics to ensure it stays puddle-free and well-drained, you must take measures to somehow disperse the water that will most certainly accumulate. Here is what I did. Rain runoff was accumulating relentlessly at the point where the slab met the ground. I will let the pictures do some explaining:

So this was what I was dealing with. A straight-out marsh where people needed to walk.

Trench for PVC drain pipeCouldn’t take any more and decided it was time for eradication. I dug out a 20cm by 20cm trench, almost severing some water mains while I was at it. Lesson learned! It was here that I understood fully why the water wasn’t percolating through the ground very fast – it was damn HARD to dig out.

I put an initial bed of gravel down and leveled it out. I then placed the PVC piping into which I drilled “leach holes” on both sides of the pipe for the water to enter. The water then travels down the pipe and out some holes I drilled at the base of the cinder block wall. I make sure to rotate the pipe so as to situate the leach holes on the two sides of the pipe, not the top and bottom, so the water level only has to rise halfway up the diameter of the pipe while still providing a smooth “U” section for the water to travel.

And here we are at the end of our journey. As you can see, we are “in action” with the rain coming down. Compare photo 1 with photo 4. No puddles or muddles, just honest-to-goodness, simple, DIY trouble-shooting at its best. The entire project took me about half a day from start to finish. Very inexpensive and doable! Everyone’s needs will differ, but the general concept can be applied and tweaked to suit your needs.

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