How to DIY tiers/retaining wall for storm shelter?

New house w/ new underground shelter needs landscaping to prevent further erosion of dirt surrounding it. Two challenges: sprinkler pipes and heads on every side have sunken since shelter installation and close to septic system. Suggestions are much appreciated.

  3 answers
  • Darlene Williman Darlene Williman on Jan 08, 2019

    Either your sprinklers are working overtime or you have a leak somewhere that needs to be looked into. Or rain is running off the shelter roof and washing the dirt away. However you ground is sinking you need to check it out before you do anything otherwise all the work you put into it will just wash/sink again.

    After you make sure you don't have a leak problem I would carefully dig a trench around the shelter and maybe a trench out from each side of it (make sure the trenches slop away from the shelter so the water drains away). Then put some gravel in the bottom of all the trenches. Check to see if your sprinkler system has sunken too, if it has you will need to carefully level them out again so that the water flows to them. Cover all the gravel with more dirt. Then depending on whether your problem area is in the sun or shade plant with grass or possible a ground cover or some type of plants that won't clog up your septic system. Plants will depend on your area and conditions as well as your preferences.

    Hopefully this will solve your problem. If not you need to contact an expert.

    • Elh33835910 Elh33835910 on Jan 08, 2019

      Darlene, thank you. We had not thought about constructing trenches. Good idea. Thanks!

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Jan 08, 2019

    send us pics to see please have too many questions for proper info/help I use to be landscaper/gardener did lots of different installations so probably can offer help but where do you live(climate,soil type),is it eroding towards house or away, did you/yourself put in sprinkler system,what exactly is close to septic system the sprinklers,the house,the under ground shelter yes you can install plants,build retaining walls,add trenches,spillways,french drains for erosion but if ground is sinking need to resolve some issues; water-usually main cause of erosion &/or ground sinking? soil not compacted before/after ? have the heads actually sunk or getting buried due to soil moving from erosion?

    • Elh33835910 Elh33835910 on Jan 08, 2019

      Lynn, our shelter installer and the sprinkler installer both stated the soil settling is normal. The sprinkler heads were exposed as a result; ‘had hoped to level them with fill dirt before tie ring around the shelter (which is relatively close to septic lines). As a former pro, your thoughts would be valuable. We live in the middle of “tornado alley.”

  • This could be simple . . . Or not. Sinking concerns me. I would have a consult with a soils expert and a compaction analysis before you place a band aid fix on it. If something is seriously amiss, your builder is still on the hook for cost of any repair.

    • See 1 previous
    • So welcome! I see you live in tornado alley. Glad you had a shelter installed. I had to drive across country one year when the tornados were bad that year. Since I am a west coast earthquake girl, tornados while driving didn't thrill me (although I am a weather junkie and if I was younger, I would be a crazy storm chaser), so I took the southern route. Check off all your boxes to make sure the shelter is safe for you and your family. You are doing the right thing and it will all come together soon. 🌞