We just purchased our house. The back yard has a large hill in it. The construction company that built our house installed tiling (french drain) in the hill that comes out right by the sidewalk in front of the house. There is almost always water stagnant on the sidewalk. Here's a photo: sidewalk with tiling outlet

Like I said, there is almost always water. The construction company said they thought there was water coming out of the hill, so it sounds like there will always be water seeping out and getting into the tiling. Is there anything we can do to keep the water from just sitting there?

** Update ** Here's a picture of the preliminary plat map with the elevation lines (We are on property 150). As you can see, the back yard (upper right corner) is decently steep). I added in the approx location of the french drain that was put in (red lines) As you can see from the first picture, the water comes out at the sidewalk, then follows the sidewalk down to the street corner (lower left hand corner) preliminary plat map with french drain location

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    Is that circular green object next to the walk a pop up sprinkler or a drain cap? – kevinskio Aug 30 '18 at 2:13
  • That circular green object is the end of the tiling (the pop-up drain cap). So that's where the water is coming out of – kevdog114 Aug 30 '18 at 2:42
  • Have never known a drain, french drain, tile drain of any sort to have a pop up drain cap. That is insane. Someone messed up and hopefully we are helping you fix and save your investment...not just the sidewalk (2 1/2 feet wide)? What possible purpose could a pop up thingy do for the process of drainage? – stormy Aug 31 '18 at 0:06
  • Really would like to see your entire drainage problem and take a peek in your basement. There should be not one sign of moisture AT ALL in your basement. Do you have mortgage papers with records from independent home inspectors? – stormy Aug 31 '18 at 0:09
  • I've got to go do 'stuff', this is a super chunk of information. Where is your walk in your picture on this map? Where do you think they hooked up their french drain? Storm drain? Daylighted. What were your original problems that caused them to do the french drain where they've installed it? How is the state of your lawn? Is it also a bog or a swamp? What is happening above this map? Where is your home on this map? Good job...Is there anymore of this map you could send? – stormy Sep 5 '18 at 6:41

You most certainly have a problem and your construction company is most certainly responsible for this. Not at all something to 'overlook'.

I taught this stuff, drainage and grading. Such a humongous deal! To see your walkway collecting water tells me that you are smart to ask questions. Are you the one who maintains the landscape? The irrigation? Do you have automatic irrigation? This head is part of some french drain thingy?

A pop up head on a french drain? Grins. Please give us more information with which to help you get this company to do a correct job. Send a simple hand sketched diagram of your site and what they supposedly installed. More pictures. I am not a fan of scammers in this landscape world of which there are many.

Again, who is maintaining this lawn? Truly needs a trimmer of some sort between the SIDEWALK and the lawn keeping the separation very very narrow, less than 1/2". I would design additional pavers to enlarge your walkway. Or make a more useful walkway to the car instead of the street? Show us what that company has done for you.

I'd like to see what is happening with your basement or crawl space if this is what that company called drainage mitigation!

And the law is on your side. Seriously.

  • You said "needs a trimmer...between the grass and the lawn" which confused me since I generally think of lawn as being made up of grass. Do you mean "between the sidewalk and the lawn"? – greggles Aug 30 '18 at 23:11
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    Yes. (so sorry) A thin strip ripped between the sidewalk and the body of the lawn MAKES a lawn. Actually the edge of the lawn needs to be kept crisp and controlled. A line trimmer is the best way. Takes a bit of experience to do it right but still critical. It is the edge our eye sees and as long as the body is an even texture and color...beautiful. Keeping the radius of the curves consistent within each curve...that radius can change from curve to curve but not during a curve. A shallow trench between bed and lawn is another professional 'trick'. Grins. I shall fix that error – stormy Aug 30 '18 at 23:51
  • Do you have automatic irrigation? This could also be a break in your lines. – stormy Aug 30 '18 at 23:54
  • We do have an automatic irrigation system (a Rainbird). I'm sure the fact that we are irrigating is contributing to the water, but even if we let it go for a week, there's still water – kevdog114 Sep 4 '18 at 14:32
  • The basement has not had any water issues thus far. The sump pump runs occasionally (I notice it run sometimes, but haven't really paid too much attention to it) – kevdog114 Sep 4 '18 at 14:33

I once solved a similar problem by putting down a layer of sand and then crazy paving surplus from another project on top. The few inches made a dry walk from the house to street. The advantage of such a solution is that it is easily reversible.

However that only worked because of the particular drainage patterns in the landscape. The surplus water had somewhere to go and just needed a bit of extra guidance. In your case it looks like there was insufficient planning to deal with water and the path was laid in the low spot. Time for a serious rethink.

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    @kevdog114 You would think that just extending the french drain to the street or city drain would do the job. We really need more information to see if raising the pathway grade like Colin suggests would work – kevinskio Aug 30 '18 at 10:47
  • It is against the laws of municipalities to direct surface water into sewers. Crazy, but you need to find what those laws are. Daylighting drainage is also very much frowned upon. Raising the sidewalk is but a bandaid on a bigger problem. Lawns do not like sitting in water like this. This is a sign you have a drainage problem that could be far larger than this sidewalk. – stormy Aug 31 '18 at 0:13
  • We initially thought about trying to extend the drain to the street, but we were told that we probably wouldn't be allowed to do that, although we haven't asked the city to confirm that. – kevdog114 Sep 4 '18 at 14:42

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