More driveway : French Drain?

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  • More driveway : French Drain?
  • Premier Icon howsyourdad1

    Hi all, due to rapid snow melt here in Sweden our driveway  (uppfart in Swedish, snarf snarf!)  has a water issue. We moved in this time last year and saw the same , so it’s a recurring problem at this time of year.

    Water on the gravel/dirt part, plus water in front of the tree there..


    We are planning on sculpting the driveway  (more gravel) and laying some soil turf/ grass seed, but i want to deal with the drainage problem at the same time.  Is a french drain the answer?


    French drains are more associated with low flow rates, or low volumes of water.
    If the flow or volume of water is to high or the fall, slope, is too steep then the drain will just get washed away. The water gets funneled into the drain and then takes the path of least resistance, and can wash away a chunk of soft ground.
    Slotted concrete drains are possibly a better solution. Once the water is in the drain then it will not wash away soft ground. This is important for high flow rates or steep slopes / fall.


    Being Sweden I assume the rock is near to the surface so there will be minimal soak away

    Premier Icon nedrapier

    That’s not a huge amount of water. I think the high flow rates paton is on about aren’t an issue for you.

    We’ve got springs in our garden and put in land drains a couple of years ago. Trenches lined with Geotextile membrane, gravel, perforated piping near the bottom. I think technically, French drains don’t have the pipe, they’re just filled with rubble, gravel.

    Plastic piping is cheaper than the gravel that would fill the space, and it’s lighter to lug about, so it’s a good idea anyway.

    Most of ours is perforated all the way round, but for the main run from the main spring, we put in sewer pipe with slots cut in the top. The drain will still take water in from the top, but most of the water being carried just needs to get from one end to the other, and the solid bottom does that without it leeching out in other areas. That’s taking 3,500l a day. Not huge amounts, but more than you’ve got.

    Big question is where would you drain the water to? What’s downhill from there?

    Premier Icon nedrapier

    And looking again at the photo, it might be easier/quicker/better to build up the level of the low spots in the drive, and just have the water run off and pool in the grassy bit before it dries out again later in the spring.

    Might not be better if you want the grassy bit to look nice too. but you can build that uop as well and makes sure you’ve got a gradient so there’s nowhere for water to pool. All depends on how close the nearest lower ground is, what it is and maybe whose it is!


    Is there onward drainage available by way of streams or ditches?
    Another consideration could be a bog garden which is just as the name implies a bog but cultivated to make it look like it was meant to be. Wildlife will be attracted to it – mainly things that want to bite you – and you can call it an eco friendly area set aside for nature.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1

    cheers so far.   The whole area slopes to the left (as you look at the photo)  down to the lake, approx 150m away. to the left of the car is a greater slope that leads to a drain, but it’s a way away.  between the road (gravel, in the background)  and our driveway is a ditch that runs parallell to the road, with a vägtrumma there (you know, like a pipe under the crossover)

    It’s not a serious amount of water no, but the ground to the left where the standing water  is pure mud, like your foot sinks up to your shin.

    i was thinking a trench, pvc pipe with holes drilled in it on a bed of gravel then more on top would assist.  The driveway is going to be  / kind of currently is gravel anyhow

    I’m no expert though!   Should the pipe lead diagonally out towards the road and the ditch?  or perhaps he left of the car, under the driveway+ we will eventually be putting a garage over there though….

    edit rock underneath is not a big problem

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