How to Install French Drains That Run to the Sidewalk
- 1). Insert wood pegs in the yard where water collects after it rains. Lay a long rope on the ground from the wooden pegs to the drain outlet, adjusting it so the course is as straight as possible.
- 2). Spread a plastic tarp on the ground nearby and use a shovel to dig a 10-inch-wide drain canal that follows the course laid out by the rope. Dump the soil on the tarp and dig down 18 inches. From the beginning, dig a smooth, slight slope in the bottom by removing another inch of soil for every 8 feet of horizontal distance. Pack the bottom of the canal with the end of a 4-by-4 until it feels hard.
- 3). Lay down synthetic filter fabric over the bottom of the canal.
- 4). Pour 3/4-inch gravel over the bottom 6 inches of the canal and spread it with a hoe.
- 5). Place 4-inch rigid perforated PVC pipe in the center of the canal. Use "T," "Y" or elbow connectors to join lengths of pipe, depending on the angle at which they connect.
- 6). Spread another 6-inch layer of gravel over the pipes and cover it with filter fabric.
- 7). Scoop some of the soil you removed back into the canal until it's ground level. Replant the growth you removed and water it.