Does anyone have any advice for draining/drying standing water?

I really need advice on things I can do to drain my yard. Plants that soak up a lot of water are appreciated too! Little backstory: 8/9 years ago our cities water company came and installed a water line THROUGH the middle of my yard. To do this, they cut down about an acre of woods outside of our yard, filled/ruined our drainage, filled my pond, and cut down my huge weeping willow. Ever since then, my yard has been filled with water. The pipe has been left by the city, no one has been out to check on anything after it was placed. It's also not hooked up to anything, or anyone of the neighbors. My yard and the woods around, are now a marsh. My feet sometimes sink to my ankles when I walk through. The city, about 2 months after, had put up a sign,saying, "Protected Wetlands", but those "wetlands" were dry before they came. I grew up here, and remember well what the yard used to be. I'm sorry for the mess, but I am trying my best to describe the devastating effects, and conditions of my yard with the word limit. I'm not in any condition to hire a landscaping service, or anything along those lines. Money is something I don't have a lot of. All work is going to be done by me, and a few close friends that have agreed to help. Please keep in mind the yard is pretty large, and I don't have experience in landscaping (though one of my friends has a little). So please try to dumb down complex advice, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you for your time, and your advice.

Rick B

Have French drains installed.

Spock (rhp)

find an attorney and sue

Dances with Weed

Sounds like you need a drainage ditch going from the high point of the yard to the low point so the water can drain off the property


If the ground is that soft you need to cintavct the City. Your property is effectively floating on the ground and is at risk of structural damage. In the mean time you need to improve the soil drainage away from buildings. Find the low point on your property, dig a soak well(s) there and install 4" diameter poly pipes connecting it to the stormwater drain on the street. If you have the space and feel ambitious, collect the water in a dam and pump it to a rainwater tank for use in summer.

Mr. P

I would go the litigation route. They have affected your property and reduced it's value. You had no say in the matter and they destroyed your trees and your property and now you cannot use your land for which you must be compensated. I would start by finding out who declared it protected wetlands as you remember it being dry land! They made made you live in a swamp and you deserve compensation to relocate at their cost. - Or they drain the wetlands and reinstate your property to the condition it was - including a fully mature 30ft high willow.


I had the same problem, and got mold in the walls of my house from standing water. I had to save up and install a French drain. That might not solve your problem, though, since it's a large area. Call your Corps of Engineers and see what they can do for you. If someone says it's "protected wetlands", then find out who the property is supposed to belong to.

Not Really a Doctor

Contact the Army Corps of Engineers. Someone I know had neighbors re-grade their yard causing flooding to the adjacent yards. The engineers came in, measured stuff with surveying equipment and cut a bunch of ditches to drain off the swamp that formed. Next, I'd contact whomever you pay your property taxes to, you might be able to get a reduction. If these are 'protected wetlands' they might not belong to you anymore. On the other hand, you may be in the position to be the 'protector' and get a nice stipend from the state for doing so. Friends with a farm get a big fat check from their Dept. of Natural Resources to NOT farm certain fields to allow wildlife to thrive there.




better get a lawyer, "protected wetland" blocks everything that you could do to drain the property, until the protected status is repealed

curious cat

City Council is where I would start.


Plant a bog garden... Sorry to hear about all the destroyed woodland... and all that machinery compacting the soil means that drainage is a non-starter... the soil just won't perc... and trying to dig a trench just puts the water on somebody else's yard... I'd re-dig the pond too.

Big Mike



It does sound like you need a drainage ditch. If worse comes to worse, invest in a cheap water fountain that recycles the water already standing there.


Well, you need a plan that stays off of their "wetlands". But you need a place lower in elevation than your yard in order to drain in. Typically that is the road in front of your house. Surely your property is higher than the road, or you are going to flood. If so, dig a swale (shallow ditch) and drain the water from your yard to the road. Now, it could be that the wetlands will simply recharge your yard with water, and if that is the case, you have environmental problems. Because you cannot drain their swamp. You might try getting road grader and moving dirt, raising the elevation in the better part of the yard and lower the elevation in others. Then draining the low spots with the swale to the road. Something like this may require approval of the city and a survey to set the grade for the grader. Also, depending upon how cold you get, you will have the most beautiful St. Augustine yard there can be. Perfect for grass.