How to Install a Dry Well

How to Install a Dry Well. If you're experiencing problems with water runoff from your house soaking your lawn, you might want to invest some time and money into installing a dry well. A dry well pipes water away from the house into a well, where it can soak into the subsoil instead of damaging the topsoil.

With a post-hole digger or shovel and a free weekend, you can install a dry well yourself. Read on to learn more.


You can also install dry wells for septic systems.

  1. Locate a suitable spot for the dry well. Set it up at a good distance from the house's foundation. Measure how much piping you need. Both solid and perforated PVC piping is required.

  2. Dig a trench to a depth of about 12 inches from the gutter downspout to the spot of the dry well. Install any necessary fittings and adapters to the end of the downspout. Cut any pieces with hacksaw, as needed.

  3. Start with solid pipes, and use perforated pipes closer to the dry well. Lay pipes into trench. Using a level, slope pipe away from house 1/4 inch per foot of piping. Cover solid piping with dirt dug from trench, and tamp down.

  4. Line trench where perforated piping is used with then landscape fabric, and then a layer of drainage stone over it. Install perforated PVC piping. Fold ends of fabric over to cover piping. Add more stone, then cover trench. Tamp down dirt.

  5. Use a post-hole digger or shovel to make hole for the well, depending on how large you make the dry well. Line with landscape fabric, and pour in 3 to 6 inches of drainage stone and smooth out. Lay in concrete dry well shell.

  6. Attach drainage piping to shell. Extend approximately 6 inches into the well. Fill in around the shell with more drainage stone. Attach the top to the shell of the dry well.

  7. Install overflow valve, per the manufacturer's instructions. Wrap landscape fabric over top, and cover with dirt. Tamp down.