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Illinois Landscaping Articles

Drainage Solution for Northern IL

Drain Tile - Drain tile run into culverts or storm sewers are the most common answer to drainage problems here in northern IL. Drain tile is also used to move water to French drains, water gardens, and outdoor sump pump pits.

Water Garden - Water gardens are usually placed at the lowest spot in your property. They are basically a small basin in the soil about 8 inches deep filled with plants that like to be over watered, and even have their root system  under water. Another asset of these plants are that they have deep root systems that assist in helping the excess water to drain through the soil back to the underground water table increasing the amount of drinkable fresh water supply.

After we have decided the location for your water garden and have chosen the plants to be in your water garden, we run all drain tiles from the gutter down spouts and any problem water spots so that they emit into this location.

Outdoor sump pump pits - Sometimes drain tile alone will not solve a drainage problem because the grade of the property may not cooperate.  If there is no way to run the drain tile downhill, so that gravity will move the water where we want it to go, We can install an outdoor sump pump pit to collect water and pump the water to the location of our desire. These pumps need to be removed in the winter and reinstalled in the spring unless the pump and ejection line are below the ground freeze.  Another answer in this situation is to re-grade your property. This is much more invasive and costs more. But when it is possible can eliminate the need for drain tile.

French Drains - French drains are recommended frequently on line. And in areas where there is not so much clay they work well, but in northern IL underground French drains just fill up and create a wet soggy puddle spots.  Unless your French drain is an above ground decorative gravel area French drains are not a good answer to drainage problems here. Open air gravel French drains aid in evaporation and if they are large enough will keep the water below the gravel.

Regrading - In some situations properties can be regarded to shed water. It usually is the most expensive way to solve the problem but does not require any use of drain tile.