The Memphis area is notorious for its clay and hard pan. Many sites feature perched water and are commonly soggy. Mid South Drainage regularly encounters such drainage challenges. The recent purchase pictured here featured serious drainage issues around the house and in the lawn. Jerry Mason and his crew from Mid South Drainage first removed a French drain system that was only 10 years old and had been blocked up for some time already. Next they dug a 4-inch wide trench, cutting down through the hard pan. They installed a convenient and effective Multi-Flow drainage system and surrounded it with clean coarse sand. The system’s geotextile was securely taped at all fittings to prevent system contamination. Some of the excess water now escapes down through the hard pan; the balance is carried away by the Multi-Flow system. Due to the improvements, flower beds and lawns are well drained and should remain so for many years to come.
This charming fifty year old suburban home in central Minnesota contained a nasty secret! In spite of functioning down spouts and adequate surface drainage, this house had a wet and unusable basement. The invading groundwater was not finding its way to the sump pump. It accumulated in the corners leading to stale air, high humidity, and of course, mold.
The owners wisely called on the local wet basement specialist – Jesse Trebil for an evaluation and estimate. Jesse and his crew arrived a few weeks later and spent two days transforming the basement.A jack hammer made short work of the concrete around the basement perimeter. Because the footings had not originally been poured into forms, they were wide and irregular. This necessitated a wider trench than had been planned.After the concrete was removed a narrow trench was dug. This trench extended down to a level just below the footings. Some sites allow for a conveyer, on this location, however, excavated soil and concrete had to be carried outside by pail. Day one proved to be the more strenuous one.A series of holes were drilled into the blocks just above the footings. This allows water that might enter the block to freely flow out the bottom and into the trench.
This serves to reduce the pressure of heavy soil on the walls. Residue from the drilling was removed with a shovel.The Multi-Flow arrived in a 150 foot roll. It was rolled it out next to the trench. The Multi-Flow used was six inches tall and was positioned in the center of the trench.An end outlet was snapped on to the end of the line to accommodate transfer to a round pipe. The filter was taped down to prevent clay or silt from washing in behind it. The system was then connected to a sump pump basket.
Backfill was sent down a chute through a basement window and wheeled to the trenches. The Multi-Flow was held in the center of the trench to allow sand on both sides of the product.Jesse put Shad drainage boards, made from polystyrene, over the newly placed sand.
Shads provide a pathway for water to move across the footing and into the drainage trench. This includes the water that seeps out of the drilled holes in the block as well as any condensation that might run down the walls.The basement was then ready for cement which was troweled out carefully to prevent unevenness or cracking.
A sump pump was installed and connected to an outdoor storm sewer.
The homeowners are eager to begin remodeling their basement and putting it to good use. Jesse and his crew are pleased that they have another satisfied customer. They are also confident that there will be no call-backs since Multi-Flow is a system that will last.
In October of 2003, Edelman Productions filmed a television show demonstrating a solution to a back yard drainage problem. The show was filmed for the Do it Yourself (DIY) network as part of the Weekend Handyman series.
In the series, host Paul Ryan and his able assistant Beth, demonstrate to viewers how to carry out common household repairs and improvements that can be carried out by homeowners in a weekend project. The scene of this project was a charming back yard that had plenty of slope, but rain water was getting trapped in flat areas. Of special concern was a corner where water accumulated due to run-off from the roof and driveway with nowhere to escape.A laser level was used to determine slope and a Ditch Witch trencher was used for the excavation. The crew began digging at the low point of the yard and backed toward the high point. After the trench was complete, it was measured again to ensure continual fall.Next, the strings on a 150 foot roll of Multi-Flow were cut and the white protective wrapping was removed. The roll was then uncoiled along the length of the trench. Setting the pipe in the trench was the easy part of the project. No additional connector was needed, even in the hairpin turn. The trench ranged in depth from 10 to 12 inches. This placed the top of the Multi-Flow 4 to 6 inches below the surface.Centering devices held Multi-Flow in the middle of the trench so that filter sand could be inserted on both sides. Black poly plastic was laid out over the sloped area between the house and the trench. This will direct water away from the house.
A thin layer of fresh clean soil was sprinkled over the drain line. The sand backfill extends up near to the surface. This homeowner placed sod over this area. The drain line is no longer visible but will carry water for years to come.
· The DIY web site documents the project: Do It Yourself – Weekend Handyman WKH-302:
Nantucket resident Marjorie had a perennial problem. Her backyard became soggy and her basement became wet. With a little help from Multi-Flow, a Ditch Witch, and some friends and relatives she solved her drainage problems and now has a dry basement.
Columbia, Missouri: Resident
A resident of Columbia, Missouri was plagued by soggy soil around his house. Getting his lawn and shrubs to flourish was a losing battle. Not that this was an uncommon problem in his area! The thick Missouri clay in Columbia might be great for pottery, bricks, and tile but it is disastrous for drainage. The upper left photo documents the result of a downpour prior to the Multi-Flow solution.
The homeowner carefully researched his options and decided on a Multi-Flow system. After drawing up a plan and parts list he enlisted the help of a general handyman to do the installing. Painted lines on the grass identified the trench paths. A Bobcat trencher made short work of the trenching and the spoil was soon removed.Separate trenches were cut for drain tile to carry away the water from the down spouts. There are at least two reasons for this practice. If the Multi-Flow collectors are busy carrying away roof water they are less available for desaturating soil. And contaminants from the roof and eve troughs might block up the collector lines.
After all the collector lines were installed, they ended up at an elevation too high for gravity flow into the storm sewer. Consequently, the collected water was emptied into a sump pit and pumped into the storm sewer from there.
When the photo below at the right was taken, the relandscaping had not yet occurred but the drainage system was in place and functioning flawlessly even through some unusually heavy fall rains. Minimal surface disruption occurred and with clean sand backfill surrounding the system, it should continue to perform for many years to come.