Backyard DIY Project – How to fix a water drainage Issue

Backyard DIY Project; How to fix a drainage issue

How to create a river creek bed to help with drainage issues

A river rock stone creek bed is where we finished. A drainage issue in our backyard is where we started. Having too much water being dumped and directed into the backyard. We found out that the previous homeowners had diverted all the water from one of our sump pumps into an old (cleaned out) septic tank.

So after pumping the water out of the tank, hubby jackhammered the top of it and we proceeded to fill it with sand. 

Four plumbing companies who gave me estimates to re-route the plumbing and 2 of them told me it could prove dangerous to leave a concrete tank empty due to our freezing conditions. The concrete top or walls could crack, collapse.

Then with one pass with a large riding lawn mower, someone could get hurt. So let the shoveling begin.

ok, stop the shoveling and lets take a gander at my present.

Ok, not a present but a darn good surprise. Hubby had a stroke of luck and managed to bring home a rental machine (aka bobcat) to finish the job.

Using a bobcat to help save time with a backyard diy project

20 tons of sand delivered later....

Yes that is what the landscaper supply house said it would take to fill it in.

"G" and I had shoveled about 1/4 of the sand in on Thursday. It only took about 2 hours. We both agreed we were not going to kill ourselves trying to get this job done in one day!

So when he brought this baby home on Friday, I was yelling Jackpot and Yahtzee all day!

We took advantage of the brawn and also did some re-grading of the backyard and filled in some low spots with leftover sand

Bobcat re-grading the backyard

As you can see this lot/home that was built in 1965 has quite a few low spots.


I am guessing, but the grading issue we have up close to the house, might just because the water constantly filling up a huge concrete tank and all the water constantly in the backyard.

As you can also see we took out that garden bed that was around the a/c unit.

Mr Mulberry tree is next on the landscaping list of things to go bye bye. He was also a gift from the previous owner.

We will be hitting him with the chainsaw before the first snow. He is planted way too close to the house.

using sand and a bobcat to fill in an old septic tank

Here's a tip:

Unless your tree is a miniature version and only going to get ten feet tall, it should not be planted within 15 feet of your house.

I hate the thought of losing this tree but, roots against a home's foundation? Not good for foundations unfortunately.

Bobcat work in the backyard

Another advantage of having this bobcat blessing, hubby ripped out the old sidewalk for me.

It needed to go for two reasons:

1 - it was ugly and I hated it
2 - like the yard was slanted towards the house

Not a good thing, unless you want your basement to be a swimming pool. So now I get a new walkway. Plus, a bonus! It will be farther away from the house and wider. 

We are waiting for some compacting of the new sand/fill we put in. Mother Nature is helping, as we are getting a large amount of rain in the last 2 days.

how to do a backyard diy project of taking out an old concrete sidewalk

See the brown brick pavers lining the old sidewalk in the lower right hand side? We will be using those for a new walkway. We currently have enough to do a 6' by 7' pad at the backdoor, so when our budget recovers we will get more and finish the job. Hopefully by September.

Busting up concrete for a backyard diy project

I can joke about it now, but that sure was a lot of calls, follow emails, arguments and plumbers coming and going.

Cha Ching!
Cha Ching!

Taking out an old concrete sidewalk with a bobcat

I thought I had some pictures of sand being dumped into where the old walkway, was but in the confusion I guess they got lost.

Now for the pretty part of this whole mess. The sump's pvc piping now runs out front. So to help distribute the water, I decided to try a creek bed.

I really hope my blonde idea will work!

With large boulders leftover from the old garden bed in the back. We laid down landscape fabric right on the grass and put them here. Bought 8 bags of various small pebbles and threw them wherever they wanted to go.

River Rock Creek Bed to help dispel water erosion

After all the rain we got this week, there will be some tweaking we will have to do, but I am hoping this will help keep soil erosion down.

The water does come out fast at first, so we may have to enlarge this another 3 feet. But time will tell.

Dumping sump pump water into a dry creek bed @

I admit it, when the water pours out, the sound of gushing water over the rocks, is really soothing.

Ok Caitlin, Mom and Dad have that pond you wanted now! Ok, not a pond but it has flowing water. Close enough.

Creating a creek bed to help soil erosion @

But I can still hear cha ching every now and again.