Author Topic: French drains? Try a rain garden instead.  (Read 2765 times)

shusherstache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
French drains? Try a rain garden instead.
« on: October 24, 2015, 10:38:06 AM »
I'm in an area that is experiencing some serious rainfall due to the latest hurricane. Earlier this summer, after a flood happened in a lower level area of the house and cost us $1500 even with doing much of the remediation work ourselves, we went searching for solutions from improved gutters to drains. Everyone was booked solid for the last 4 months and those that could come out quoted $5k for drainage systems. Heck no!

Our gutters on the floody side are still patchy, but those are getting fixed fairly cheap in a few weeks. What our local City government recommended instead of a french drain was installing a rain garden: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain_garden Why not, couldn't hurt to try - right? Plus it helps the watershed by keeping the water in the table instead of in the sewer.

I rented a tiller a few weeks ago from HD, plowed through an area 10' away from house. Tilled eight inches of clay and rock and created a berm. Routed the gutter over there and taped the holey gutters up to the best of my ability. Planted a few small, cheap Lantanas that will flourish in the flood/drought continuum.

When the storms hit this morning at 4am and our flood warning notices went off I couldn't help myself and went outside. Lo and behold, the water is far away from the house and in the rain garden. 4-5" in our area in 12 hours is no joke. (There are a few buckets to catch what the tape didn't get, but it was relatively effective.)  Just for fun, stuck a (still cheaper than remediation) HydraSorber flood barrier out in front of the door but the area was so dry it wasn't impactful.

After lunch, I'm taking a mid-day nap to congratulate myself on a job well done.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8934
  • Location: Oregon
Re: French drains? Try a rain garden instead.
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2015, 01:33:02 PM »
Sounds great! How did the price work out for you?

shusherstache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
Re: French drains? Try a rain garden instead.
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2015, 05:31:43 PM »
Tool rental and gas: $55.84
Plants and mulch: $50
Extended downspout: $19
Gutter tape and other gutter solution related purchases: $20
Already had the buckets, rake and shovel. Pulled together a level from kebab sticks, string and a short level to level the garden. (The ground that leads to the garden is level, not sloping away from the house.)

So total about $145. Feeling of "Fuck you" satisfaction: priceless.

Still needed:
 Landscaping rocks which will probably run around $30-40. (No, the rocks that were in the ground aren't big enough. Darn!)
Actual gutter replacement which will run $200 with cash discount. I am more than happy to outsource that one.

For resources, the following how-to (complete with plant guide) didn't steer me wrong: https://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Watershed/growgreen/raingarden_factsheet.pdf

« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 05:46:44 PM by shusherstache »

shusherstache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
Re: French drains? Try a rain garden instead.
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2015, 08:30:46 PM »
Update: Since the ground was wet but not pond-based today, we went to pick up some edging stones ($2/ea) at the store. We got back and ended up needing fewer than we bought. While my rock-hauling partner was irritated at the thought of taking the stones back, I was hell-bent on not keeping what we didn't need and thus did the return myself. I ended up going to the wrong area for returns and the garden staff directed me to the front. I dragged six 20-lb rocks halfway through the store on a cart and the CLANG CLANG CLANG and upper body workout amused me to no end and made me think of you all. The garden staff let them know I was coming, in case they couldn't hear.