Problems That Lead to Poor Surface Water Drainage

Problems That Lead to Poor Surface Water Drainage

Inadequate surface water drainage leads to major problems as the excess surface water has nowhere to go. Yards, landscaping, and buildings become damaged from the standing water. In this article, we’ll discuss the problems that lead to poor surface water drainage and what you can do about it.

Inadequate Pitch

When the pitch or slope is poorly designed, meaning it doesn’t properly direct water away from a building, the water has nowhere to go except into the landscaping and toward the building.

Soil Issues

Soil issues are one of the most common problems that lead to poor surface water drainage. There are three forms of soil complications caused by poor water drainage. They are impacted soil, depression in soil, and erosion. Let’s look at each one.

Impacted Soil

When soil is impacted, it becomes so solid that nothing can drain through it. That means that as excess water flows over the impacted soil, the ground doesn’t absorb the water.

Depression in Soil

A depression in the soil leaves an area that is lower than the rest of the surrounding area. Water easily puddles in a depressed spot, leading to improper drainage.


As erosion happens, often in landscaped areas, the ground becomes less absorbent, and much like the impacted soil, it gives the excess water nowhere to drain. As the water doesn’t drain properly, the erosion becomes worse.


Without a downspout, especially if land near a building is flat with no slope, water can wreak havoc on the land and the building. Downspouts are a necessity to direct water flow away from the building and out of the yard. Sometimes, downspouts are overlooked, but they are incredibly helpful.

Clogged Grates

When too much debris, especially large pieces, collect in the grate of a trench drainage system, excess water won’t drain well. The simple solution is to clean out the grate. Make sure your property has the correct trench drain grate for the job. Grates not only allow water in while keeping most of the debris out, but they also protect those who are near the grate or need to go over it.

Solving Drainage Problems

As mentioned, sometimes something as simple as a downspout helps with water drainage issues. Other options like a dry creek, a catch basin, or a trench drain system are needed to stop excess water from causing damage.

Using this list as a guide, keep a close eye on the excess surface water on your property. If your drainage system is failing, it’s time to take steps to improve it or replace it with something better in order to protect your property from water damage.

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