Outdoor Drainage Project: Carving Swale To Improve Drainage

The Drainage Problem: Water Issues in Backyard Near Patio Require Re-Grading

The homeowners have had water issues in their backyard for many years. Especially during spring melting, the water in the backyard has collected and pooled on their patio and in their backyard. They called us looking for drainage help with this water pooling issue. With our expertise, we were able to come up with a wide range of options. The option that seemed to fit with their goals and budget was to carve in a swale just outside the patio area. We would use a laser level to make sure the re-grading was correctly down sloping all the way into the backyard area. 


Step #1:  Outdoor Drainage Consultation

The customer reached out to us at KG Landscape and scheduled an outdoor drainage consolation with Kent, our owner and lead designer. Kent met with the customer at her home to observe the backyard drainage issue in person. While there, he collected the site information needed to provide a detailed plan/estimate for a long term solution to the drainage problem.   

Step #2: A Detailed Proposal

After careful consideration of the drainage problem and the options available to correct the issue, we put together a detailed plan to solve the customer’s backyard drainage problems in a cost effective and dependable way. There were a variety of different proposals from french drains to sump pumps discussed but ultimately we went with the most straightforward solution, re-grading. By carving a swale into the yard outside the patio, we would be able to move water away from the home. 


Swale Work Section # 1:

Install new swale grading from patio area to the wooded side yard as shown below in green. The width of disturbed soil/lawn space with be about 12-14’ (shown in dark blue below) where swale work is performed, with the rough center of the Swale shown using a green dashed line below (center of swale will sit 4-6” lower than the adjacent edges along the length of the swale). A laser transit will be used to ensure there is proper slope in the swale with a minimum of a 9” and max of 18” drop in elevation from the center of the start of the swale near the patio to the end of the swale (at grass/wooded area border) where it empties into wooded section on the South end of the swale. This covers grading work and assumes we can dump/spread removed soil/turf in the wooded area in the SW corner of the lot and does not include sod or turf repairs in swale or machine access paths.

Drainage Swale Proposal


Swale Section # 2:

This area is meant to be the holding area for water draining out of the lawn section nearest the house in the backyard, this area will need to be dug out about 16” -20” and will be sloped towad the West end of the property in order to allow water from the swale to flow into it and hold enough water to make the swale from section #1 work effectively. This will include removing and relocation about (20) cubic yards of soil from the section shown in red below. The removed soil will be spread in the SW corner of the lawn. Pricing does not currently include. Price include brush removal needed for machine access into this section.

Drainage Swale Proposal 2

Step #3: Installation of Drainage Solutions

Step #4: Project Completion

All of the work described in the proposal was completed and thoroughly tested by running water through all components of the system. Both we and the customer were 100% confident the drainage issues have been solved in a high quality and reliably way.  We’ve kept in touch with the customer and they’ve had no flooding or water issues  since this work was completed in 2019.  You can see in the pictures below how the drainage swale is graded correctly and pulls the winter melted water away from the patio area and into the un-used area in the backyard. 


Drainage Swale Grading After 2

We’ve never seen an outdoor drainage issue we couldn’t fix.  Do you have an exterior drainage problem? Call us today to schedule an outdoor drainage consultation at 763-568-7251. You can also submit a quick quote to our website to get in contact with us!