We get a lot of great questions from the clients we work with. One of the more common we hear is: ‘how do I get rid of standing water in my Bowie MD yard?’
It’s an excellent question, but one for which there’s no easy answer. Since the particulars of each situation and property are different, there are no cookie cutter solutions to be found. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at possible causes and solutions in the hopes of providing a comprehensive answer to the question ‘how do I get rid of standing water in my Bowie MD yard?’
Broadly speaking, standing water can be traced to one of two root causes. We’ll refer to these as habit-based and design-based issues.
Habit-based issues are, as the name indicates, things that you’re doing or not doing that may be contributing to the issue. For example, it may be the case that you’re simply watering your plants too much. If you’re giving them more water than they need, and more than the soil can absorb, it’s going to just sit there, creating an unsightly mess and providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Not good.
Fortunately, the solution here is simple, and the very first thing you should try is to simply water your plants a bit less and see if the issue goes away.
Another possibility here is that you’ve created a decorative raised bed but haven’t built in drainage channels to allow the water to escape. In that case, when you water the plants in the bed, the roots and the soil will soak up what they can, but the rest will just sit there.
The worst instance of an issue like this occurs if you’ve constructed a decorative bed next to your house, and the downspouts connected to your rain gutters are emptying into it. That’s going to virtually guarantee you’ll have standing water pooled right next to your house, which, if not addressed quickly, could cause serious damage to your foundation.
As we said though, in cases involving habit-based issues, answering the question ‘how do I get rid of standing water in my Bowie MD yard?’ tends to be simple and straightforward.
Design-based issues are significantly more of a challenge to address, but there are viable options in every case. We’ll cover those next. Here are the most common culprits:
Thatch is the layer of organic debris that exists between the grass you can see and your topsoil.
When this layer gets too thick, it will prevent water from trickling down to your topsoil and draining away. If this is the root cause of your issue, answering the question ‘how do I get rid of standing water in my Bowie MD yard?’ is as simple as removing the thatch layer and aerating your lawn.
Hardpan is created when the layer of sub-soil that exists beneath your topsoil becomes incredibly compacted. This can occur naturally or be caused by the presence of heavy construction vehicles moving repeatedly over an area. The problem here is that hardpan is so tightly compacted that it’s virtually impossible for water to filter through it, which leads to the creation of pools of water on the surface above it.
If this is the root cause of your issue, answering the question ‘how do I get rid of standing water in my Bowie MD yard?’ is a bit more involved and requires the use of specialized equipment. Experienced do it yourselfers are likely to be able to get it done, but if it’s a bigger project than you’d care to undertake on your own, we’re happy to help.
Clay Soil Or Poor Grading Issues
We’re grouping these two together because the solution to both problems is the same. Soil quality and composition can vary widely from one property to the next, and even in different areas on the same property.
If you’ve got extremely dense soil or clay on one portion of your land, the water’s just not going to drain very well without help. The same is true if your land is improperly graded. While it’s certainly possible to bring in heavy equipment and radically alter the grading of your property, the easier solution in this case is to install some type of drainage system.
There are lots of possibilities here, but the most common solution is the deployment of a French drain, which can redirect the water to some other area such as a swale, a decorative pond, or a nearby stream or drainage ditch.
If this is the solution needed, it bears thinking about any other landscaping you may want to do in the future so that when the drain is installed, its position doesn’t run afoul of any future landscaping plans you might have.
The best way to do that is with the creation of a master landscaping design document, which we can help you create. It’s a document that captures and prioritizes all the landscaping initiatives you ultimately want to undertake. Building that document first will ensure proper placement of the drainage system we ultimately install.
As you can see then, resolving standing water issues is a lot more complex than first meets the eye, because there are so many possible causes to the problem. Whatever the case though, help is just a phone call away. Give our office a call, and we’ll identify the root cause for you, and propose a solution that will solve the issue once and for all.