How do I absorb a narrow stream of water that flows by my patio?


When it rains a strip of lawn in front of our patio swells with water that runs downhill from the woods on county land on the other side of a fence in our back yard. Although the hill in our yard spreads across the entire property, it is only in a small area where the water does not sink down underground and creates a stream right where we step off the patio. What DIY project will cover this wetness and extend the patio to a dry area of lawn. The home is 50 years old that we just purchased and may have something underground impeding the absorption of moisture.

  4 answers
  • Without a photo and from what you describe, the soil is probably compacted. You have options. Have a consult with a soils expert. Have a consult with a licensed landscaper. Possibly install a French drain or even a dry creek bed with stepping stones. All depends on how you wish to proceed and your budget. If it were my house, I would take photos or a video showing the problem areas during a rain event to show any contractors so they get an idea of what the problem looks like.

    Here is how to hire a contractor:

  • Karen Brunck Karen Brunck on Jan 18, 2019

    It could be a low area on the county side that fills and spills. Water will always find the path of least resistance. You could trench along the fence line to divert the water. It could also be an underground spring that overflows during rain. (That's what I had under my house!) If it's the latter, you'll need to get much more creative and locate the source of origination.

  • on Jan 18, 2019

    It's tough to fight water's natural tendencies- especially on a budget. You might consider embracing it with some river rock and make a swail feature (basically a ditch lined with stones to prevent erosion).

    You could then add a small deck or bridge other it for a dry creek bed look. You can find lots of visuals like this:

  • JulieMeasures JulieMeasures on Jan 24, 2019

    We've used rocks to fill in a trench for a backyard with drainage issues.