How to Improve Water Drainage


There are several ways to improve water drainage in your yard. The method you choose depends on your landscaping. Some yards are flat, which makes it harder to move excess standing water. Some yards have a slight slope, which makes it much easier to move excess standing water. The method you choose also depends on whether you want the drainage to be seen as part of the landscape or hidden from view.

Step 1

Clean ditches and drains near or in the yard. Remove leaves and other debris from the ditches and drains so that water is not forced to pool when the ditch or drain fills up.

Step 2

Create a French drain to move water from one area of the yard to another area. Dig a ditch that is about 2 feet deep. Fill the ditch with gravel and stone, then cover it with sod. If the French drain is along or within a flower bed, cover it with rich soil and plant perennials on top of it.

Step 3

Build a water feature in the area with poor drainage. Sink a large bucket or other waterproof container in the ground. Place a fountain in the center of the bucket pond. Plant water-loving plants around the edge of the water feature. Excess water will drain into the water feature.

Step 4

Create a berm to divert water away from an area. Dump a load of fill dirt against a wall that you want to protect from excess water. Smooth the fill dirt into a slope away from the wall. Build the berm a few inches high against the wall---just high enough so that the water runs away from the wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Stones
  • Fill dirt
  • Gravel


  • Ohio State: Drainage Fact Sheet
Keywords: water drainage, French drain, water feature

About this Author

Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.