How to Install a Drainage Pipe in Your Yard


A French drain improves the drainage in a yard. Water moves through the perforated, corrugated pipe, down a slope and typically empties into a sewer drain or a ditch. Although it requires only a series of simple steps to install a drainage pipe in your yard, the process can be quite labor intensive.

Step 1

Dig a trench 6 inches wide by 24 inches deep, and slope it downhill. The drain should end at a drainage ditch or sewer opening.

Step 2

Fill the bottom 3 inches of the trench with 1-inch gravel.

Step 3

Slip the corrugated pipe into a drain pipe sleeve. This sleeve keeps dirt out of the pipe and prevent clogs in your French drain.

Step 4

Lay the pipe onto the gravel in the bottom of the trench.

Step 5

Cover the pipe with 8 inches of gravel.

Step 6

Cover the gravel with 4 inches of coarse sand.

Step 7

Spread topsoil over the sand to fill the trench completely.

Step 8

Place sod over the topsoil to disguise the presence of the trench.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Corrugated drain pipe
  • Drain pipe sleeve
  • 1-inch-wide fill gravel
  • Coarse sand
  • Topsoil
  • Sod


  • Ask The Builder column: Linear French Drains
  • Mississippi State University Extension: Amending the Planting Site For Landscape Plants
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Planting Techniques for Trees and Shrubs

Who Can Help

  • Grounds magazine: How To Install a French Drain
Keywords: installing French drain, drainpipe in a yard, improving yard drainage

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."