French Drain

French Drain Installation in Springfield, Nixa, Ozark & Republic, Missouri

History of 

French Drain Systems

You may think the French Drain was invented in France, but in reality, it was created by Massachusetts attorney Henry Flagg French in 1859. The concept was defined in his book Farm Drainage; the Principles, Processes, and Effects of Draining Land to support the agricultural industry. In addition to increasing the value and usability of farmlands, Henry strongly believed that wet basements could make a person sick by breathing in the “vapors from wet, swampy places.” Henry traveled to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in 1857 after the death of his first wife from consumption and learned about water drainage, which ultimately was the basis for his book. The French Drains he installed at his two homes are still functional today!

Here is a bit of interesting trivia. Daniel Chester French, son of Henry Flagg French, created the famous Lincoln Memorial built in 1922. Seventy-two years later, his father’s technology was needed, and a French Drain was installed around the memorial in 1994! 

Photo from Library of Congress

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Traditional French Drains

French Drains are utilized to channel sub surface water away from your home or help to dry up saturated areas in your yard. Most of the residential French Drains we install are created by digging a trench in the yard 18 to 24 inches wide by 18 to 24 inches deep. Next, a non-woven geotextile fabric is placed into the trench, covering the bottom and both sides of the trench and extending onto the yard. This type of fabric will keep dirt and sediment from clogging the system over time while allowing water to flow through it. That is followed by perforated pipe (4 inches to 6 inches in diameter typically) placed in the trench. The perforations in the pipe allow water to seep into the pipe (also referred to as drain tile). Then the pipe is covered with limestone rock (typically 1.5 to 3-inch in diameter). This creates voids in the subsurface surrounding the pipe to allow water to flow through the voids and into the perforated pipe.
The remaining filter fabric is then “burrito-wrapped” over the top of the rock, encapsulating the French Drain system.

•  For Covered French Drains, we then cover the ‘burrito-wrapped fabric with the remaining topsoil and sod. This makes the French Drain undetectable once the new grass or sod is established.

•  For Open French Drain applications, we at Glennstone Outdoor Drainage start by installing the same limestone over the top of the ‘burrito-wrapped’ fabric to the top of the trench level with the yard to allow water to fall through the voids of the rock to help with surface water issues as well as sub-surface drainage.

It’s important to note that the pipe should fall just over 1 inch every 8 feet upon its journey from the drain field to the exit point. There are a variety of ways to terminate the exit point, including pop-ups, basins, daylighting the pipe, and in some circumstances tying into an existing public storm drain.

This process is an excellent way to stop the water before it gets into your home’s basement or crawl space. It is much more cost-effective than hiring someone to jackhammer your basement foundation and put a drain inside your basement floor. It’s always preferable to prevent moisture from entering your basement to avoid any risk of mold or structural issues.

We know that no one wants to spend money on water issues…that’s why we offer financing.

Learn About the 

Modern French Drain Alternative

NDS EZ-Flow French Drain Systems

A modern alternative to traditional French Drains
This all-in-one package includes HDPE slotted pipe, lightweight gravel substitute, (Poly-Rock™) and Geotextile fabric. Making it an excellent option for homeowners with meticulously manicured lawns or other areas where access is limited.

• EZ-Flow installs without gravel, it’s lightweight allowing for less disturbance to your property from the equipment required to install the rock of a traditional French drain system.

• Poly-Rock™ aggregate features engineered flow channels that increase capacity. The result is a superior flow rate – 30% better than gravel and pipe.

• This product utilizes 100% recycled aggregate material, it is crush proof, and offers a 100+ year material lifespan.

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2131 West Republic Road, Suite 345
Springfield, Missouri 65807

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