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French drains. French drains are subsurface drainage systems commonly used to solve the wet, soggy ground problem. A French drain consists of a perforated pipe surrounded by gravel and separated from the dirt by landscaping fabric. Water from the surface seeps through the grass, earth, and landscaping fabric and enters the gravel. It flows through the gravel, and then enters the pipe through the perforations. The slope of the pipe carries the water away from problem areas and to a discharge point.

Surface drain systems. Surface drain systems consist of a number of drains installed at the low points in the yard. Each drain is actually a removable grill covering a catch basin with a five- to ten-gallon capacity. The removable grill opens to allow cleaning out the catch basin. Four-inch or six-inch sloped drainpipes connect to each catch basin and then to either a collection point with an automatic sump pump or a discharge point on the curb. Sump pumps are used when the catch basins are located lower than the street, and water must be pumped up to the street discharge point.