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Drainage problem

Hi all. I recently dug the turf up in my back garden and left the topsoil to dry out. Whilst i was preparing the ground for new turf i disturbed a pipe lying in the ground and broke it. I dont think its a service pipe because it consists of several different sizes and styles of pipe that are all joined by simply placing them side by side. After i disturbed this pipe now the ground around the area is extremely boggy. When i decided to dig out the disturbed area there is no connecting pipe further upstream so it cant be connected to an upstream drainage elsewhere. In this area the water table seems to be excessively high. When i left the hole open overnight i returned to a large puddle of water, this did not drain off because the pipes are all blocked. Digging the old run of pipes out reveals it used to run down the garden and into a discharge pipe that runs into the river. When i dig anywhere else in the garden the water table is nowhere to be seen which i expect as we are about 50-100 meters above sea level and about 5 metres above the height of the river. Once i improved the slope of the old trench and left it open the water stared to run away again but the whole area doesnt seem to dry out. After leaving it running away down the cleaned out trench for a day it is still trickling through fairly constantly. It seems to be seeping out of the ground around.Is it possible that the pipe is part of a bigger drainage run that just happens to terminate in my garden or am i just victim of the natural drainage of water (my garden is at the bottom of street which runs down plus all the gardens in the street slope away from the houses) One thought was that it was maybe part of a drainage at one time and now the long established conifers have disrupted the line and i cant see the other side of the pipe for roots. Has anyone seen ground water trickling through constantly like a stream. All input welcome.


  • It's very possible. It seems just a little bit too much flow to be just ground water seepage. I dug some test holes around the area and I didn't find any ground water to speak of so it is only coming through the small area under the hedge and affecting a 1 metre radius around it. Problem is that next doors garden is worse than mine so without a lot of effort I couldn't excavate on their side to see what else I could uncover. 

  • fred#60fred#60 Posts: 58

    Could be a natural spring.

  • Whatever it is there is a constant trickle through. I've open up all the old drainage run and since I've cleared the original path and left it open its been running constantly. It's poopooed my original idea of it being collected ground water. I doubt all the water from the whole street ends up in my garden. Might have to dig a big diversion trench along the side of the garden to reclaim it for grass purposes. 

  • fred#60fred#60 Posts: 58

    If it was a natural spring then you could make a feature of it, otherwise i would be tempted to pipe it to a soakaway, an open ditch will attract rats unless it has a very good flow.

  • been doing more digging and waiting today. I got a glimpse of the underside of next doors garden underneath the canopy of weeds and i can see there are large puddles of water and sodden ground in abundance which answers one of my earlier questions of where the water is coming from. Whenever i disturb a piece of ground underneath the hedge line i get a woosh of pent up water escaping. I dug another hole further up the garden where i said i wasnt seeing a water table. Initially it was empty and dry but after leaving it for several hours it now has about 1 foot of water in it. Think that means im gonna have to dig that trench along the hedgeline to act as a barrier/diversion to the advance of groundwater from next door. Was thinking about a french drain style solution but what do you guys think of covering it up with turf to hide it? Obviously i will grade it properly with different sizes of stone to act as a filter and will put an overflow pipe in it incase it gets really wet in there. I will also line it with permeable landscape fabric to keep it clean whilst allowing the water to enter. Does that sound ok or more like a recipe for disaster, im basing the idea loosely on a premade solution that is like a bag of stones, long and thin like a sausage that you can just pop in the hole and cover up. Before you ask, the remoteness of my location makes any solution require to be diy style and based on manageable chunks of 25kg or less that can be manually handled. If it cant be carried it wont go.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    could there be a broken water main in the area? your local council should have a map of the drainage and water supply systems. Water is funny stuff and sometimes it emerges in the most peculiar places - not necessarily near the leak.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    The French drain sounds like a plan to me.  Good idea to use the landscape fabric to stop it silting up.  If you can unblock and re-use the existing pipes at the bottom, all the better.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • There was a couple of usefull looking flexis that might be good for some of the odder angles that will no doubt emerge. Waterbutts, now that you mention it i seem to remember a few years back the scottish water came round looking for a leak at the back of our flats and the block next door. I dont know if they found it but it could well be something like that. Its the usual practise for those guys to sit on something like that and wait until someone complains to get to the bottom of it finally. The wife is going to pay the council a visit today and see if they can come and investigate. For the meantime the problem is coming from next doors garden which is still rented so i believe they should have a duty of care (crosses his fingers and hopes)

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