Surface drains are better than pipes

After spending 30 years repairing sprinklers and installing landscape in North Dallas, what I have noticed is there are very few drainage problems.  What I find most of the time when I’m called to fix a drainage issue is we have an over-watering issue instead.  When there is a real drainage issue most people want to solve it with pipes.   French drains that are filled with gravel are not very effective in the heavy, clay soils we have in Dallas, Richardson, Plano and the surrounding areas so where possible, we want to use surface drainage instead.  The area in the photo below used to run across bare dirt, over a retaining wall and straight into the neighbor’s pool.  We added river rock along the path of the water to slow it down and added ivy where the  was likely to spill out to further break up the water.  Yesterday we had two inches of rain starting at 2am and continuing into the afternoon.  There is no sign of run off on the other side of the retaining wall and the neighbor is delighted with us.  His problem was solved and our client has a beautiful addition to his landscape – much nicer looking than gravel and pipes.


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