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Adding a drain to gravel driveway?


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#1 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 07:01 AM

Okay, before anyone says to crown the drive, etc, it won't help. My situation is that my drive is closed in on 3 sides, garage, carport, and a wall. It does drain out the 4th side, but that part of the drive is a steep grade and with heavy rains, it washes it out. ( see pics) so i need to try to drain water from up top before it hits the slope.

 

What my question is, has anyone added actually drains to a gravel area? I have a long gutter style drain in mind connected to some under drive drain tiles that drain off the downspouts, but I am worried about getting gravel down in it. I know I can keep larger stuff off with small screening, but the drive is a crushed limestone with dust so have the possibility to getting a lot of fines or basically mud in the drain. I guess I can maybe add larger gravel around it or even pour a 3-4" cement skirting around it? I dunno, just tossing ideas around.

There is not much info on the web regarding this type of issue, they are all either encased with cement or blacktop

 

Here's the drain I have in mind.

 

drain.jpg

 

here is the upper area

 

20151212_162148.jpg

 

 

Sloped part

 

 

Sears driveway grading.jpg

 

 

 


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#2 farmer john OFFLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 07:19 AM

I had basically the same issue, that gutter type drain looks great and should do an excellent job, mine was not as fancy as yours and i did get fine screenings filling it up until i ran it at a good angle off the driveway, this washed away most of the screenings and i would occasionally just clean ot the out washed out screenings, i also have a stihl br600 blower which will blow away the bigger stones


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#3 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 07:25 AM

Looks like you get bunches of water coming down on that drive, not only from the gutters. That would help I would think. May have to make some provisions for the water on the slopes to keep some of that from adding in too.


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#4 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 07:36 AM

Drain the water before it gets on the drive.  Tile the gutter down spout. Why put the problem water out on the drive, then worry about how to get rid of it.  Tackle the problem at the source.


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#5 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 08:15 AM

I would suggest at least a foot of concrete around it to protect the gutter. Possibly more on the uphill side for an apron to catch some fines.
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#6 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 08:28 AM

Drain the water before it gets on the drive.  Tile the gutter down spout. Why put the problem water out on the drive, then worry about how to get rid of it.  Tackle the problem at the source.

 

All the downspouts already go into drain tile that runs down under the wall on the side and out into a ditch. This is purely rainfall water that's the issue. I can connect to that drain tile, but my issue is with the question of keeping gravel/debris out of the drain.

 

Here's the area, you can see downspouts going into drains. The main issue is water building up in front of both garage and carport aprons then flooding down side of drive and washing it out. I've actually removed probably an inch of gravel, we used to get water inside the garage because gravel had built up over the years. I just need a "floor drain" to move water into drains.

 

driveway downspouts.png


Edited by TAHOE, April 03, 2018 - 08:31 AM.

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#7 greenb6901 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 08:47 AM

I completely understand. I live on top of a hill and ground water is down 35 feet. This means that every so often going down the driveway a spring breaks out and keeps the road a mess until the level drops. Water will follow the easiest path so I plan on putting in several French drains to direct water off to the side of the road. Not a permanent fix but should last several years.
You have a plan. Go with it and keep us informed.

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#8 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 08:54 AM

When dealing with drainage on gravel roads it is never easy. When I was a shared town engineer, we had over 500 miles of paved roads and 100 miles of gravel roads. The gravel roads cost more per mile to maintain than the paved roads. We had to run a road grader over the gravel roads several times each year and we had to add gravel. Rain and traffic move the fines out of the road surface and need to be replaced.

Chieffan is right that the first step for you should be to prevent out side water from getting onto your driveway. It is best to intercept the water and channel or pipe it away. Putting a pipe under the driveway on the right sides could carry roof water away. A swale or curtain drain in front of the retaining wall could catch water from the slope. Crowning the drive would put the water to both sides. If you crown and form a swale, you will need to line it with 1 1/2" stone to prevent washing out. If the slope is steeper than I can tell from the pic, you may need to use bigger stone.

Curtain drains can be very effective but are expensive and are easy to screw up the installation. I used over 900' of the 4" ADS corrugated drain pipe in drains around my house when I built it. I have a dry basement and no ponding problems. If you want to try a slightly risky solution, you could make a combination storm drain and curtain drain. Mine has worked well for over 20 years but I was very carefull about the installation. The advantage is that the storm water running through the pipe tends to wash out the sand that migrates into curtain drains.

If you want to try, put a curtain drain atleast 3' deep (so that it can't freeze) several feet in front of the retaining wall. Use the ADS 4" corrugated plastic pipe that has slots cut into it. Start under the downspout with a plastic yard drain that they sell. This will put the roof water into the pipe. To put the top of the drain at 3' you will have to dig almost 4'. Line the bottom of the trench with 1/4' or 3/8" pea stone in a layer 6" thick. Lay the pipe on the stone. Backfill the pipe with the pea stone to 6" over the pipe. From here to the top of the trench, you can backfill with the original soil or pea stone or bigger stone. Clean stone is the key to curtain drains working. For a better chance at success you can use filter fabric to line the bottom and sides of the trench and then fill ontop of it at the bottom. When the pea stone is finished backfilling, fold the sides of the fabric ontop of the stone and finish backfilling. The fabric will prevent sand from migrating into the pea stone so that the drain will have a longer life. I did not use filter fabric because I felt that the roof water would flush it out enough on mine.

I have seem one of those "U" drains used on a gravel driveway. It worked okay but was a maintenance headache after each heavy rain. Part of the problem is that this one was not wide enough for a regular shove and a garden spade had to be used. Jim sometimes had to work on it for over an hour to get it clean. Several times the drain got the bigger stone into it(when snow plowing) then completely filled when a heavy rain came in. Since I don't know the lay out of the yard or the local conditions, what I have said is based on your pics. You may know of an easier solution that is not shown. BTW, Lowes and Home Depot used to have brouchures that cover yard drainage. You should get them and see what they offer. Then check out your local lumber yard. My local yard is cheaper, better quality, and has free delivery(if you are wiling to wait up to 2 days). Good Luck, Rick

Note: It took me so long to type this that I didn't see several of the posts. One thing that I wonder, could the tiles have gotten plugged?

Edited by boyscout862, April 03, 2018 - 09:15 AM.

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#9 Sawdust ONLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 09:17 AM

I like the swail method boyscout862 mentioned but only swailing it on the right side near the wall catching that slope. If you swail on the left side will it drain across the driveway right above your tractor in the last pic. Like Chieffan mentioned too would be good if you could go up on top & drain it away before it gets near the drive. I have had very good results with the black perforated drain pipes with a bed of gravel first then lay the pipe & make sure it's surrounded to keep the dirt out. One thing important if you have a lot of clay all catching methods can't be very deep. Most drain water only drains slightly beneath the top soil.

Edited by Sawdust, April 03, 2018 - 09:19 AM.

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#10 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 10:48 AM

There are several issues you are dealing with here.  The first one, as I see it is the rock you have on your drive.  Wrong stuff and not put on right.  17 years ago when I built the new garage and drive to it I put down about 4" of 3" unwashed rock with fines on top of clay.  That was leveled out and 3" of 3/8" rock with fines was put on top and leveled.  An asphalt packer was used to pack that down solid.  When it quit leaving edge ridges we quit.  I have added nothing to the drive since, bladed and blew snow from it many times, but I keep the blades, box blades, etc off of it.  Only thing it gets is drove on.  SAM_0528.JPG

 

It may not be as steep as yours, mine has about 30" of fall from the road to about 10' in front of the garage a distance of about 100' plus two house down spouts run out into the drive.  Any water that come down this drive goes around the garage and drop into a drop inlet which is tiled to a pond.  SAM_0530.JPG

 

There is a second drive that has nothing added, only the clay it was built from which runs to the drop inlet also, along with two gutter drain from the 48' garage.  Have some very minor washing on the left side of this near the drop inlet but other than that no problem.  SAM_0531.JPG

 

This drive to the lower buildings and garden area is a lot steeper.  I has about 10' of fall in about 200' and yes it did wash the clay.  It was started 17 years ago also and never put anything on it but I now have 4 loads of dirt waiting to be put back in it to level it up with the ground on both sides.  SAM_0529.JPG

 

Get the right rock on your drive and pack it in good and the water will run off without much if any washing.  No way you can pack 3/4" loose road stone and make it stay.  The drive wheels tear it loose every time you drive up the drive. Using the blade keeps it loosened up so it can wash even more.  Your getting more water on your drive than what falls on it.  Next time it is raining hard put your rain coat on and go out and find where the water is coming from.  Don't assume those down spout drains are working.

 

As for drain tile, it works.  There is thousands of miles, not feet, of field drain tile buried in this country to drain field wet spots.  This is 90% clay country, tile is put down about 3' to keep it below the rodents as they love to eat on the plastic tile.  No pea gravel or anything put around it either.  Trench is dug, tile is laid right behind it by the same machine and the trench is filled with the dirt removed.  


Edited by chieffan, April 03, 2018 - 10:50 AM.

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#11 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 11:59 AM

Thanks for suggestions.

 

I'll clarify some more..

* I already have a drain tile under the landscape wall, it's at least 12" maybe 16" down. I had to dig down to connect the downspout drains when I installed those.

* You guys keep suggesting I divert the water coming in....I am not sure how I can divert the water coming straight down from the sky, I do not have any water running in from other places. The garage, carport and wall form an area that is actually higher than surrounding area, both the garage and carport stay dry so no water is flowing in, landscape wall had drains behind it so no water is coming through it. The 3 sided area is basically the "dam" around the drive. I have pulled downspouts out during heavy rain, no clogs or water sitting in drains to come back up on drive.

* I have very good drainage for the main drain pipe, both on exit and below ground. It is a slotted pipe and only really flows out the end into ditch when we have really heavy rains, most of the gutter water must seep out during the length of the pipe before it reaches the end.

* My drive is a base of B19 gravel/rock, about 3-5" and then we have about 1" of packed 3/4" limestone with dust in it. The drive is packed hard, I only use tractor and scarifier to roughen it up as once it get packed, the dust rises to the top and turns to almost a muddy mess. Bringing some of the gravel back to the surface with tractor helps in not tracking the "mud" everywhere.

 

Chieffan, you are seeing the drive in the pics after I roughened it up a bit. It normally has the look of a washed concrete with stone in it, usually packed hard and not much lose gravel anywhere....except on the slope cause it keeps getting washed out and I keep replacing it. Dad and I have fought that slope since he built the drive back in 1980 even before he built he wall and carport since 2000. Now its just worse with those structures. The only reason I do any blading is to eliminate some of the gray clay mud that pools cause the water is pooling and gravel hasn't gotten backed down.

 

I could try to grade the drive so it run the water towards the wall, etc, but my problem is the slope on the hill ( would have to rent something with some butt to it, no way my Sears is going to grade this hard pack down enough)  Even if I grade it so water doesn't pool or I can get it to move o the wall side, when it runs down the slope, it cuts it out and washes out my gravel.

 

**I need to do something to get water into the main drain before it rushes out to the slope, thus my ideas of some type of drain basin whether is a french drain by garage ( which would suck to drive or walk on) or some type of small gutter drain or basin drain. Other than having some puddles in a drive, this washing out is only a nuisance with big heavy rains.Normal rains area not a problem. We has some heavy  T-storms this morning, I am betting I will have a groove cut out in the slope when I get home tonight.

 

Boyscout, ironic you mention ADS, I went to church with an engineer that retired from there and I only live about 15 mins from one of their plants/storage yard. The guy I knew actually designed a long slender drain tile they used on many interstates/highway, its call AdvanEDGE highway edge pipe.


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#12 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 01:17 PM

I still say your drive is not packed down enough with heavy enough packer.  It takes something with some weight.  Driving on it only does the top inch or so.  Also if you have clay coming up in places, there is no rock base layer there.  If you look at my first photo you will see a curve in the drive.  That is the scratches from aggressive bar tires on a 4 wheeler with solid rear axle.  That drive is packed hard.



#13 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 02:16 PM

I still say your drive is not packed down enough with heavy enough packer.  It takes something with some weight.  Driving on it only does the top inch or so.  Also if you have clay coming up in places, there is no rock base layer there.  If you look at my first photo you will see a curve in the drive.  That is the scratches from aggressive bar tires on a 4 wheeler with solid rear axle.  That drive is packed hard.

 

Then I guess we have to agree to disagree.

38 yrs of driving on it and also cement trucks, the oil truck twice a year, etc should have it packed. I do not have clay coming up. My gravel was a 3/4 limestone with dust i.e. not washed. When it gets wet it forms "clay looking mud" that is the limestone fines.  Being packed really has nothing to do with my drainage issue, In fact, it's so packed the water lays on top and doesn't go anywhere and when it does, it washes out other parts of the drive....which was the point of my post, looking for suggestions of drains, not gravel.


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#14 TomLGT195 ONLINE  

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Posted April 03, 2018 - 04:43 PM

Could you use a heavy duty commercial grade landscape fabric under the grate in the drain you posted in the first pic? That should keep out the fines and may only need to be cleared occasionally. That's all got.


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#15 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted April 04, 2018 - 07:00 AM

Could you use a heavy duty commercial grade landscape fabric under the grate in the drain you posted in the first pic? That should keep out the fines and may only need to be cleared occasionally. That's all got.

 

I had thought of doing something like that if I install a drain. Make something like a removable/replaceable filter.


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