How to Install Backyard Sump Drainage

Keith Allen

A wet backyard reduces your enjoyment of the outdoors around your home and can promote water infiltration into the basement. Installing a drainage system helps move the water away from the yard. Yards with little slope may require a sump pump to remove the water. Depending on the size of the water problem and backyard, this may become a large project requiring a lot of labor.

Step 1

Plan the locations of the drain trenches for the backyard drainage system. Place the trenches where the water accumulates in the backyard. The trenches should connect to accumulate water in a central location within the yard.

Step 2

Dig the trenches to a depth of about two feet. The system can accumulate and carry away any water in the soil above the level of the bottom of the trench. It cannot pull water from deeper in the ground. Dig the trenches deep enough to clear groundwater from the top soil. Use a small excavator, available from rental stores, or a shovel for smaller jobs.

Step 3

Place drain tile and perforated 4-inch PVC pipe in the bottom of the trench. Connect the drain tile together using PVC fittings and PVC glue. The drain tile should be level or sloping slightly towards the central accumulation point.

Step 4

Excavate a pit at the central location of the backyard drain system. Create a hole big enough to accommodate a sump pit. These pits are available commercially and have fittings for the drain tiles.

Step 5

Cover the drain tile with coarse gravel or crushed stone to a depth of about four inches above the tile. The large size of the aggregate allows water to flow through from the ground to the drain tiles. Cover the gravel with soil left from the excavation or fill the entire excavation with stones. Filling the entire trench with stone allows surface water to drain directly to the drain tile.

Step 6

Fit the sump pump in the pit. Connect a drain hose to the pump and plug the pump into an electrical outlet. Place the end of the hose at an appropriate location to dispose of the water. This can include draining into existing drainage ditches or a city storm sewer system.