Dealing With Standing Water in Your Yard

standing water in your yard

Every lawn needs regular watering, but frequent standing water in a yard is a problem, not a benefit. A yard that remains wet for one or two days after rainfall is normal. However, if persistent puddles or continuously soggy areas of the yard are still noticeable for a longer period following a storm, you may have an issue with standing water. Where parts of a lawn are frequently waterlogged and swampy, a number of drawbacks can be expected:

  • Soil that remains saturated for extended periods can degrade the foundation of the house and trigger chronic seepage
  • into the basement, resulting in indoor water damage and mold contamination.
  • Instead of supporting a healthy lawn, the continuous presence of water actually kills grass. Algae, moss, and other water-loving vegetation are spawned by standing water and these competitive plants destroy grass roots.  
  • Standing water provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other undesirable insects.   

Here are some actions to take to eliminate standing water and restore proper drainage.

  • Fill in depressions. If pooling water is due to existing low spots in the terrain of the yard, these areas should be filled with topsoil, compacted, and then graded level so rainwater will not accumulate. The area may then be reseeded with grass.  
  • Divert water from the foundation. The ground surrounding the home’s foundation should be graded so it slopes away from the house and standing water does not accumulate.  
  • Utilize french drains. A french drain consists of a perforated plastic pipe buried in a trench filled with gravel. In chronic problem areas where pooling frequently accumulates, the french drain continuously collects water in the soil and channels it away to another part of the lawn. Grass may be replanted above the drain.
  • Install a sump pump. Frequent standing water may be a sign of a naturally high level of ground water. Guard against ground water infiltration into the basement by installing a sump pump in the basement floor. Make sure the pump discharge pipe releases water far away from the house. 

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