Weekly Green Tip: Waterlogged Woes ☔


A topographic map of our client’s property. Keep reading for tips to understand it!

Reclaiming a perpetually waterlogged yard is no simple feat. It requires thoughtful design and intentional intervention. Understanding the topography before any shovel hits the ground is a must.

Thankfully, our Comprehensive Site Analysis (CSA) report gives us clues before we’ve even stepped foot on site. For a recent client of ours (see above photo), our standard topographic map gave us valuable context. The tightly bound RED, ORANGE, & LIGHT GREEN contour lines show us a sharp slope from the northern neighbors down towards the client’s property. The wide distance between the DARK GREEN and TEAL line shows us that there is a plateau smack dab in the middle of the backyard.

Our client’s backyard the day of the site visit. A swampy, pooling mess!

Let the brainstorming to un-swamp begin! Despite barely any rain that week, the waterlogging was still very apparent. The plateau on the client’s property was allowing significant stormwater in but not letting it out. Our plan evolved into creating an extra wide dry creek bed that would be broadly collecting runoff from all of the wet areas of the landscape.

A small sketch from our designer to show the team where we intend to implement the dry creek.

Following the natural grade of the earth, we dug the dry creek to direct water all the way downhill to the street. The shape of the dry creek straddles our drier, grassy zone. Even if the uphill runoff is feeling extra brazen from heavy rainfall, our berm (the gentle hill we create adjacent to the dry creek) will catch it and keep it channeled along our creek bed.

The install was VERY muddy. Shout-out to our hard-working crew!

By encouraging the stormwater along this centralized path, we MITIGATE pooling elsewhere on the property, PROMOTE percolation within our creek bed, and DIRECT the heavy rainfall further downhill.

All done! The crew moved a ton of stone (actually several tons…) to make this happen.

The robustness of this dry creek gives us a wider range of collection and stronger percolation. No-longer will you need knee-high muck boots to traverse this property! Water-logging woes be gone… let us know if you need any drainage solutions!