With the rainy season well underway in Mohegan Lake, NY, drainage problems in your yard can become a persistent issue. Even robust drainage solutions such as dry wells are susceptible to a loss in performance over time. The rainy season offers an excellent opportunity to identify and resolve any drainage issues with your dry well to ensure you are well prepared for the seasons ahead.
What is a Dry Well?
A dry well is a very simple solution to common drainage problems such as puddling of water and surface water runoff. It is a deep, reinforced hole dug in the ground, strategically placed at the lowest gradient in the yard to encourage the flow of water towards it. Water flows into the well and accumulates during heavy rainfall and then assimilates into the surrounding soil and groundwater. This not only provides an ecological solution to water drainage but is also simple to design and construct, which explains its popularity over the years.
Even though dry wells are generally quite tough drainage mechanisms, they do require a little maintenance over time. The first sign of problems is slow drainage during high volumes of rain, typically characterized by standing water around the dry well’s opening. Often times, this is caused by leaves or debris accumulating over the metal grate or cover over the well’s mouth. Dual covers with one slightly below the next are also a common feature in dry wells for safety, but double the chances of debris accumulating and hindering the drainage. Remedying this situation is quite easy as it simply requires cleaning the area around the cover to ensure the smooth flow of water.
When to call a professional
The second, more pressing problem is the accumulation of silt and soil inside the well itself. This is a far more complicated issue as it can slow down the assimilation of water into the soil surrounding the shaft, slowing the drainage. A typical sign of this type of problem is the slow assimilation of water into the surrounding soil, with water typically standing in the well in excess of 72 hours. The most straightforward way to remedy this is to hire a professional to clean out the silt and debris. A contractor is recommended for this job given the high risk of cave in’s typical in any excavation projects.
Should this be a persistent issue, consider some preventive maintenance to resolve the problem on a more permanent basis. A silt basin is one such solution that accumulates and filters out silt and debris before it can enter the well.
For older dry wells with outdated structures, cave-in’s can also be an issue as the older structure fails to hold back the soil around it. In this scenario, a professional must be consulted to restructure the well to more robust specifications as well as to go over the option of relocating the well as the landscape around it changes.
Lastly, for dry wells using inlet pipes to route water from various locations such as the roof of your house or from trenches and underground drainage pipes, silt, leaves and debris can accumulate, slowing down the flow of water. While cleaning out the pipes is easy enough, consider having easy-to-maintain sieves installed to simplify this process.