5 Types Of Drainage Systems For Your Home

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Proper drainage is a crucial element in ensuring the longevity and beauty of your outdoor space. Excess water, whether from heavy rainfall or improper irrigation, can lead to a host of problems like soil erosion, waterlogged plants, and even structural damage to your home. To avoid these issues, it is imperative that homeowners understand the different types of drainage systems they can install on their property. 

This guide will explore several types of drainage systems for your lawn and yard, each designed to address specific drainage issues and keep your green oasis in top condition. Be sure to check out our drainage installation services for more information on how to maintain the healthiest yards possible in Louisiana. 

Surface Drains

Surface drainage systems are designed to handle water runoff on the ground's surface, preventing puddles and surface water accumulation. Surface drains offer numerous benefits for a property, contributing to both its aesthetic appeal and structural integrity. These drainage systems work by efficiently channeling water away from critical areas like driveways, patios, and walkways, surface drains help maintain a safe and dry environment, reducing the risk of slip hazards. The discreet design of surface drains ensures that they integrate seamlessly into the landscape, providing an effective and visually pleasing solution to manage excess water and enhance the overall functionality of outdoor spaces.

Trench Drains

Trench drains, also known as channel drains, are widely used to manage surface water in areas with high foot traffic or where water tends to accumulate. These drains consist of a long, narrow trench fitted with a grating or a slot to capture water efficiently. Trench drains are often installed in driveways, patios, and walkways, effectively diverting water away from critical areas. The discreet design of trench drains makes them aesthetically pleasing while providing a highly functional solution to surface water management.


Swales offer a more natural and visually appealing approach to surface drainage. These shallow, vegetated channels are designed to direct water away from low-lying areas. Swales not only prevent waterlogging but also provide an opportunity for landscaping. By incorporating plants that thrive in moist conditions, swales contribute to the overall aesthetics of your lawn. This eco-friendly solution enhances water absorption, reduces erosion, and promotes a sustainable approach to surface drainage.

Subsurface Drains

Subsurface drainage systems focus on managing water below the ground, preventing soil saturation and promoting optimal conditions for plant growth. Subsurface drains offer significant benefits for a property by addressing water-related challenges beneath the surface. Systems like French drains and dry wells efficiently manage excess water, preventing soil saturation and potential damage to the property's foundation. These solutions are often discreetly installed, minimizing visual impact while providing a highly effective means of preventing waterlogged landscapes, erosion, and structural issues. Subsurface drains are particularly valuable in maintaining the long-term health and integrity of a property by mitigating the risks associated with underground water flow.

French Drains

French drains are a versatile and widely-used subsurface drainage system. They involve a perforated pipe surrounded by gravel or rocks and are installed below the ground's surface. The perforations in the pipe allow water to enter and be efficiently redirected away from the area. French drains are particularly effective in sloped landscapes, preventing soil erosion and maintaining optimal moisture levels for the lawn. This subsurface solution is discreet and highly efficient, making it a popular choice for addressing various drainage issues.

Dry Wells

Dry wells are subsurface chambers filled with gravel or rock, providing an underground reservoir for excess water. These wells collect and disperse water, preventing surface water accumulation and soil erosion. Dry wells are especially useful in areas with poor soil drainage, offering a discreet and efficient solution. By creating an underground storage space for water, dry wells contribute to maintaining optimal lawn conditions without compromising the aesthetics of the landscape.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps serve as integral components in a home’s drainage systems, particularly in structures prone to water accumulation, such as basements and crawl spaces. These devices effectively manage excess water by utilizing a sump basin, into which water naturally flows. When the water level in the basin reaches a certain point, the sump pump activates, efficiently pumping the water away from the property and directing it to a designated drainage area. This prevents water from infiltrating the building's foundation and causing potential structural damage, mold growth, or other water-related issues. 

Sump pumps are available in various types, including submersible and pedestal pumps, allowing for flexibility in installation based on the specific needs of the property. Regular maintenance, including checking for proper pump operation and ensuring unobstructed discharge pathways, is essential to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of sump pumps as a vital component of a comprehensive drainage system.

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens offer a host of benefits, making them an increasingly popular and environmentally friendly solution in landscaping. These purposefully designed landscapes serve as natural catchments for rainwater, effectively managing runoff and reducing the risk of soil erosion. This is accomplished by having rain diverted directly to these garden areas via PVC piping or other similar materials. One of the key advantages is their ability to enhance water quality by naturally filtering and absorbing pollutants before they reach larger bodies of water. Rain gardens also contribute to the conservation of local ecosystems by providing habitat for a variety of plant and animal species. 

Beyond their ecological benefits, rain gardens add an aesthetically pleasing element to landscapes, introducing a diversity of native plants with deep roots that enhance water absorption. Rain gardens represent a sustainable and holistic approach to water management, making them a valuable addition to any property seeking to balance environmental responsibility with a beautifully landscaped outdoor space.

Lawn Grading

Lawn grading stands as a fundamental practice with a myriad of benefits for ensuring proper drainage on a property. By strategically shaping the contours of the land, lawn grading facilitates the efficient flow of water away from structures and low-lying areas. This preventive measure helps prevent water accumulation, soil erosion, and potential damage to the property's foundation. A well-graded lawn promotes optimal soil moisture levels, creating a healthy environment for plants to thrive. Additionally, proper lawn grading enhances the effectiveness of other drainage systems, such as surface and subsurface drains, by providing a natural slope for water to follow. 

Call Professionals For Proper Drainage Installation

Selecting the right drainage system for your lawn involves considering various factors, including the topography of your land, the severity of drainage issues, and your aesthetic preferences. A well-designed drainage system protects your investment in landscaping and contributes to the overall health of your property. Consulting with a professional company like Oliviers can help you assess your specific needs and create a customized drainage solution tailored to your lawn's requirements. Remember, a proactive approach to drainage ensures that your lawn remains a thriving oasis for years to come!