Driveway Drainage

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-10-2007, 07:47 PM   #1
C.C.R.'s Avatar
Trade: Remodeling contractor
Join Date: May 2006
Location: northern MA.
Posts: 442

Driveway Drainage

Hi guys,
I have a long time, very loyal, customer who has a problem with rain water draining into his garage and then into his finished basement (it's been like that for years.) due to the grading of the driveway (backwards). The town he lives in was built on, basicly, a swamp so it has a very high water table (about 2-3 feet in some sections of town).
So he asked me if I could fix it so he could get his basement back (obviously, after the water problem is fixed there will be a basement remodel to do) so I'm thinking, to fix it, and please tell me if I'm wrong or if there's a better way, I will:
~Cut a trench at bottom of driveway and install a horizontal drain tray the width of the driveway
~Dig a trench from the "Tray" out to the backyard/swamp
This is where I have questions. I know there are basicaly two schools of thought here.
1. the drain should drain to daylight.
which I would assume use solid corragated pipe.
2.Use perforated corragated pipe and stone
I think draining into daylight would be best with the high water table.
If I'm using the solid pipe (because the whole idea is to get it away from the house) do I need to line the trench with stone?
Any and all input would be appreciated.
Complete Custom Remodeling
"When Quality is Top Priority"
C.C.R. is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!


Old 04-10-2007, 08:57 PM   #2
concretemasonry's Avatar
Trade: Masonry consultant
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MSP, Minnesota
Posts: 3,081

Re: Driveway Drainage

Get the trench water into the pipe as soon as possible. Drain to daylight using soild (non-perforated) pipe as far away as possible. Keep it as level and deep as possbile because of the freezing problems. No need for rock.

Your big problem will be keeping the basement dry, which will probably require drain tile and a sump pump draining to the same area, but not using the same pipe.


Engineer, designer and consultant recently active domestically and internationally on construction and design in about 40 countries.
concretemasonry is online now  
Old 04-11-2007, 12:56 PM   #3
Registered User
MacSapiens's Avatar
Trade: Developer
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2

Re: Driveway Drainage

CCR, I think Dick's advice is accurate. When laying non-perforated drain pipe, stone is only used as a base to prevent damage from heaving or settling. So if the drain pipe is below the frost line then it isn't necessary. I assume in northern Mass that you have a fairly long period during winter when the ground is frozen. In Minnesota, a drainage system such as you propose may well receive a lot of runoff during a sunny late winter day only to freeze up by late after noon. The next day's runoff then drains into a frozen system. We realized after installing a number of "well designed systems" that several factors were crucial to success. First, during cold weather the drain pan must be sized to empty very rapidly. Which means the pan must carry an adequate pitch to remove congealing water, before it turns to slush and creates a dam. Second, the drain outlet diameter must be sized large enough to carry off the greatest expected flow of water. And third, if the drain line is not below frost, it too must be sized large enough to rapidly dump all the water it is expected to carry. This means that not only do you need sufficient pipe diameter, but also you need sufficient pitch to generate flow.

Our experience with driveway drains in the mountains of Colorado was somewhat different, but they still utilize those three main design features. There, because of the usually steep natural grade of many mountain homes and the depth of snow cover, we carry the water away from the driveway in a 6" or 8" pipe, buried only inches below grade. We bring the pipe end to the surface where the grade is steep enough to have gravity flow the water away, freely and fast. In Minnesota, in climate circumstances similar to yours and with little natural grade to work with, the cost of installing a drain line ending in a French Drain type of underground basin is usually prohibitive. So we locate the house sewer line, drain the driveway as discussed, and tap into that line. City inspectors often balk at this because it's an unfamiliar method for them. But because the system is laid in the apron directly in front of the garage and because their predecessor "approved" a malfunctioning home to be built in the first place, they have little choice.
Good Luck with your project
MacSapiens is offline  
Old 04-11-2007, 01:58 PM   #4
bill r's Avatar
Trade: residential (marine) piers
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tidewater Virginia
Posts: 205

Re: Driveway Drainage

I'm way out of my own field, but I want to add one note to the above post. Down here on the coastal plain, sudden downpours are hard to manage. It's a serious NO-NO to drain rainwater into the sewer system because it floods their plants. I do love the psychology at the end of the post, however.
bill r is offline  
Old 04-11-2007, 04:07 PM   #5
C.C.R.'s Avatar
Trade: Remodeling contractor
Join Date: May 2006
Location: northern MA.
Posts: 442

Re: Driveway Drainage

Thanks for the help guys. I think I'm going to charge them by T&M because I haven't done anything even close to this to base an estimate on. Thanks again.
Complete Custom Remodeling
"When Quality is Top Priority"
C.C.R. is offline  
Old 04-11-2007, 06:32 PM   #6
jmic's Avatar
Trade: manager of excavation division
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: danbury,ct.
Posts: 3,660

Re: Driveway Drainage

Do yourself a favor and do not use that flexible black corrugated pipe. Use a solid SDR 35 or sched. 40 solid pipe. That corrugated pipe crushes to easily. For the little bit extra it'll cost you you're better off with the better pipe.
___"Remember You Never Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression"______________________
jmic is offline  
Old 04-12-2007, 10:40 AM   #7
C.C.R.'s Avatar
Trade: Remodeling contractor
Join Date: May 2006
Location: northern MA.
Posts: 442

Re: Driveway Drainage

Thanks Joe, I'll do that.
Complete Custom Remodeling
"When Quality is Top Priority"
C.C.R. is offline  
Old 05-06-2007, 01:27 AM   #8
Driftwood's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 803
Thumbs up

Re: Driveway Drainage

IN the bay area ,S.F. all roof water [down leaders ] are tied into the sewer laterals ! Also street run off catch basins,get treated. If You let down leaders run on yard ,tie it in or Jail !! ,I was told. The oil run off from streets is kept out of the bay and ground !!!! Interesting how different locals deal with water .

Driftwood is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Neighbors wall allowing drainage into my yard Team Scream Masonry 20 11-04-2007 01:05 PM
Gravity drainage basement systems skidmark845 Construction 5 08-01-2007 09:22 PM
gravel driveway darren Excavation & Site Work 3 04-01-2007 11:04 AM
gravel driveway darren Landscaping 0 03-27-2007 09:48 PM
concrete driveway finish standards henryr Masonry 10 04-29-2006 05:53 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for

At we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?