March 28, 2012 – 800 Feet of French Drain

Today we put in 400 of 800 feet of French drain. This was done to lower the water table in a vineyard field. The water was sitting anywhere from 1-3 feet down, and as you can see from the video it was running pretty good down just the trench as we were digging it. This helps the vines not have “wet feet” and helps the soil have good drainage.

To start, we dig the trench about 3 feet down. Then afterwards, we go back in and put pee gravel down along with a 4 inch drainage pipe. This is basically a plastic pipe with little slits all along the sides to let water in and flow down the hill. Finally we top it off with sand so it the water will filter through it as it goes down the drain.

Now, if you are doing this yourself, it is MUCH better to use rigid PVP with the holes in the bottom as it can be cleaned out, and it is easier to set on a slope than the corrugated flexible pipe that we are using. However, if it is never gonna be cleaned out, or you are trying to save some expense, the flexible pipe is quite a bit cheaper. The PVC is usually used in yards, etc, and the flexible pipe in farm fields like this one. It is also a good idea to add a fabric cloth to the outside of the drain pipe to help prolong its life. This just provides an extra barrier to prevent silt, sand, etc from clogging up the pipe.

Here is a image just showing what the finished drain will look like:

I will take more pictures as we finish other stages of the project, but here are some of the pictures of us digging the trench.

Finally, here is a video showing just how much water was in the trench as we were trenching. That is ALOT of water. Its a good thing we are putting in this french drain!!!


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