Drainage Design Solutions

We design and install drainage solutions in the Ottawa Valley.

Does Your Property Have Drainage Problems?

If your property has water problems, it is crucial that these issues be addressed as soon as possible in your landscaping journey. If you’re looking to upgrade or improve the landscape of your property, fixing water problems at the earliest possible time is sure to save you money down the road. If you wait – addressing drainage problems after installing costly landscape features may lead to the need to remove and reinstall, or cause significant damage to your property. The addition of additional hard surfaces like patios and pools can worsen a pre-existing drainage problem.

Drainage problems are often identified on properties in the spring – during the initial spring thaw period when the ground is still frozen – or during heavy rainfall events. These events leave visible areas of ponding water in low spots, muddy lawns and gardens that become impossible to maintain, erosion, and an array of other issues. If you happen to live in an area with a high ground water table (sub-surface water) – rain events only make the problem that much worse.

An important factor in keeping your property and landscaping in tip-top shape is ensuring your property is setup to properly deal with drainage.

Drainage issues can cause property damage, damage to buildings and foundations, premature erosion and can be very expensive to repair. Depending on what your drainage issues are there could be a number of ways to address the problem and solve it once and for all.

What Type of Drainage Problem Do You Have?

  • Is your water problem seasonal or year round?
  • Do you have pooling/ponding water on your property?
  • Does water get into your house/basement?
  • Do you regularly have standing water near or beside your foundation?

Without proper drainage in place your landscaping and lawn areas are prone to flooding. Flooding can drown out your expensive plants, erode away expensive hardscaping, and even cause damage to your structures and their foundations.

Drainage Design

Because every project and property is different, we have found it is crucial to get the right professionals involved for every stage of your project. Rather than speculating to solutions that may work, we recommend that all drainage problem projects start with an initial consult. For foundation repairs and minor regrading works, a consult may be sufficient to determine an appropriate solution. For more complex projects with year-round ponding issues, particularly those making the property unusable – we commend the involvement of our in-house drainage engineer. As part of the engineering design process, our in-house designer will determine the appropriate grading and stormwater management measures required to address your site conditions. In challenging case, grading alone may not be enough, and other measures like low impact development or stormwater management measures may be required to address the conditions.

Drainage System Installation and Repair

  • Drainage system design;
  • Drain tile trench digging;
  • Drainage system installation;
  • Drainage ditches and swales to channel and convey water;
  • French drains;
  • Repairs to drainage systems;
  • Underground pipe networks for drainage;
  • Catch basin installation;

Drainage Problems We Solve

Surface Water – Pooling on the Surface

If your property has clay-based soil then you may have problems with surface water pooling up. Clay is a very dense soil material that does not quickly draw away the surface water. If you have water ponding on the surface – these issues can often be solved by re-grading the property:

  • to direct runoff away from the house;
  • to direct water towards ditches or swales to channelize flow;
  • to direct surface runoff towards French drains or infiltration trenches;
  • to direct surface water to existing storm drains.

A common drainage solution is a French drain. A trench backfilled with rock and perforated pipe allows surface water to infiltrate and percolate into the soil – drawing the water down into the ground over time.

High Water Table

A high water table can pose a challenge for any landscape. A high water table is when underground aquifers are located close to the surface.  The height of the water table can vary depending on where you are located and can fluctuate seasonally.  If you have a high water table then the low lying areas of your landscape may often have pooling water. Often the best solution to address a high water table is to plant appropriate trees, shrubs, and other plants that are capable of handling these wet, boggy, conditions.  These are often plantings that natively grow in riparian areas.

Another option to solve a high water table drainage problem is to bring in fill material and raise the property. This may mean raising the lawn or planting and garden bed areas up. You can do this by mounding up areas with additional soil and appropriate plantings to keep it held together or you can even used raised garden beds.


Other Considerations for Drainage Problems

Construction Practices

Drainage problems often come to light after extensive construction or site-work has been completed on a property. Heavy construction equipment may have compacted the soils or re-graded the property, impacting overland drainage patterns. When undertaking construction activities, it is crucial that construction practices take into consideration these challenges, and that appropriate remediation is done following the works to correct any impacts caused by construction. That may mean loosening the soil if significant compaction has occurred, or re-grading to channel water to the appropriate outlets; and away from your structures and foundations.

Irrigation Systems

Irrigation systems are generally set up to provide water to gardens, lawns or landscape features based on a set schedule, rather than based on the specific needs of the softscape features. It is important to consider that your irrigation system is configured to your specific setup, rather than relying solely on a timed schedule. For example, if your system is setup to run an hour every evening – but your plantings are sufficiently watered after 15 minutes, the remaining 45 minutes may be oversaturating the landscape and contributing to your drainage problems.

Broken Plumbing or Sewer Lines

In some cases, drainage issues can be attributed to broken, clogged or corroded sewer, stormwater or drain lines. Sewer issues are generally easily identified by their foul odour; however storm sewer systems can also get blocked or damaged, and are less likely to experience the same foul sewer smell. Storm sewer failures may be accompanied by sudden on-set sink holes on your property.

Similarly, a broken water line or irrigation sprinkler pipe can cause the soils to become overly saturated which may lead to excess water pooling on the surface.

Drainage Engineering

If you feel like you’ve tried everything and the on-going drainage problems are making your yard unusable, please reach out. Our in-house drainage engineer has extensive experience designing stormwater management solutions and addressing drainage issues in a variety of situations. Everything from existing, high density urban settings; to large rural estate lots, and everything in between. We can work with you to find a solution that fits your lifestyle and your landscape.

Shade Group is a licensed and insured excavation contractor based out of the Ottawa Valley in Ontario.  We specialize in drainage systems and offering real solutions for properties with a drainage or standing water problem. Many of our clients’ properties suffer from poor drainage or have drainage systems that just were not implemented correctly from the start. Improperly implemented drainage systems can lead to erosion problems, water pooling, pot holes in their driveways and parking areas, soft spots, and flooding in their lawns, gardens and landscapes. We can help solve these problems by developing a solid drainage plan for your property.

If you have a drainage problem or issues with your on-site drainage system, please reach out to discuss your options. Please fill out our online form and we will get right back to you.