How does a french drain work?

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I think I need to have a french drain installed to handle heavy rain water coming off a slope. Not at all familiar - because the water collects 20 feet from the downspout, does a french drain need to be connected to a downspout or can it be laid in the ground (not attached) And independently take the water to the street? Does the french drain pipe have to be run to the street?

Do I need a plumber or landscaper for the drain?

Appreciate all the help I can get!

Thx.



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