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The Life of a Dry Well

M.E. Breeze

A dry well is a subsurface storage area that collects and temporarily stores stormwater runoff. For a dry well to work effectively it must have the ability to disperse water into the soil around it.

Simple dry wells are constructed using gravel

Constructing a Dry Well

A simple dry well is typically constructed using gravel, rocks, rubble or other porous materials. The more sophisticated dry well is constructed using a pre-fabricated storage tank with a perforated bottom and sides for easy drainage.

Placement of a Dry Well

In order to install and properly maintain a dry well, the soil around it must have the ability to effectively capture the water runoff. Dry wells should not be installed in areas near potential contamination, or where they might create a risk for seepage or flooding. An effective maintenance plan will go a long way in protecting the life cycle of a dry well.

The Life of a Dry Well

If properly maintained, a dry well can work effectively for more than 30 years. The best way to maintain a dry well is to inspect it four times a year, as well as after every storm with accumulated rainfall over an inch. Periodically cleaning sediment and removing debris and weeds can extend the life of a properly installed dry well indefinitely.