Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Standing yard water? Downspouts & drain pipes to the rescue.

Dear Ray,

We’ve noticed the annual return of mosquitos in our backyard. We love spending time on the patio-grilling, gardening, and outdoor family time are among our favorite things. Spraying insect repellant and breathing citronella candle smoke are not. We’ve isolated the problem to a low, wet spot in our yard that is a mosquito breeding ground. Can you help?

Ray Responds…

The short answer is, of course Allied Reddi-Rooter can help. Standing water (a.k.a. groundwater) can be tricky – in most areas, groundwater is a code-sensitive topic. The longer answer is, Allied ensures that groundwater mitigation is performed in accordance with local groundwater codes to ensure compliance with your municipality. Typically, your options include:
• Downspout adjustments/replacements
• Drainage tiles (repair, replacement, or new installations)
• French drains

Let’s examine each option a little further.


If water is pooling around your home or entering your basement, downspouts are generally the culprit. There are a couple of approaches, depending on your needs. Downspout diverters can be installed and let you captured rainwater into a rain barrel for use in watering the garden, washing the car, etc. The most common and inexpensive way to route water away from your home’s foundation is downspout drains.  In older Cincinnati homes, many downspouts are tied to the main drainage tile (the downspout goes into the ground and connects to the tile, routing the rainwater to storm drains). Over time, the underground tiles can crack and the system become broken, resulting in standing water. If that’s the case, refer to the next bullet.

Drainage tiles (repair, replacement, or new installations)

If your yard has a constant ‘soft spot’ or the driveway drain floods at the slightest rainfall (followed by tiny trees growing up through the grate), you likely have a damaged main drain tile. Although damaged tiles look intimidating to repair, with the right equipment and talent, it’s completely fixable. A qualified plumber will perform a “locate and trace” operation to find the path of the tile in your yard and minimize trenching. Once the tile is located and the break is isolated, the old one is removed and a new one installed. Note that it’s not uncommon to have multiple breaks in a tile, especially if your home is more than 50 years old.

French drains

French drains (or the shallower version called “curtain drains”) take advantage of the “water flows downhill” concept. Typically, a French drain installation involves trenching, a gravel bed, and a length of drainage vented plastic pipe, and a top layer of gravel. The key to a successful execution of this type of project is defining where the water will go. Routing it to your neighbor’s yard is just wrong. Diverting the water to a drainage ditch, an outlying area of your property, a “dry well” or the street may be acceptable. Familiarity with local groundwater codes beforehand is crucial to success. A professional plumber such as Allied can help scope ground water drainage solutions in a way that is compliant with local environmental codes.

Water You Waiting For?

At Allied, we love family-friendly back yards and operating the trencher. We do not like mosquitos.   Call or Contact Ray today for a free estimate on turning your backyard wet spots into a playground in no time.  (513) 396-5300We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.