How Does a French Drain Work? Does it Need Maintenance?

How Does a French Drain Work?How a French drain works. I just wanted to go over how a French drain works. We remove 14-inches by 14-inches of the existing soil. We cut the sod off first and we always cut it really thick so that we take two and a half inches of root with that grass so it’ll grow over the system.

We go ahead and fill that 14 by 14 with a coarse wash rock and yes, there is a pipe in that. We go ahead and we pin this back. Now, this is a fully contained, a French drain system, so it doesn’t need maintenance. It will never need to be cleaned. The pipe can never end up plugged full of debris because we have this filter ramp;  This is not plastic. This is a filter wrap. It’s a soil separator so it keeps the stone separate from the soil. You don’t want your stone to migrate into the subsoil and the subsoil to migrate into the stone.

Now, this French drain is going to take in all the water and it’s discharged right here at a culvert.  Now you gotta maintain your culverts. This culvert was half full of mud, so we went ahead and cleared it.

All we have to do is put the side back over the system and it’s complete. I thought this would be a good anatomy shot to show you we are catching all the water that comes down the hill. We have all the water that’s coming off of the neighbor’s house, the neighbors outdoor living space into the swale.

Actually, the neighbors caused part of the problems here. Have drainage because they planted a tree in the swell. We went ahead and we’re helping to evacuate the water quickly. We got the French drain coming across the catch-all that water that’s coming down the slope before it saturates the yard and ends up leaving this play area saturated with standing water and the kids can’t come out and use it.

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