Solving a Landscape Drainage Problem in Ford’s Colony

Dec 29, 2022

Client Concerns

The drainage problems at this residence had been developing over the course of a decade. Years of inundation, misplaced irrigation, and overgrown plantings had changed the flow of runoff and resulted in channeling and pooling of water at various locations around the house. Several attempts had been made to alleviate the problems, but they were merely ‘Band-Aid’ solutions to the underlying problem.

Our task was to design drainage solutions that would fix these issues once and for all, while also protecting and enhancing the existing landscape.

Site Analysis

The property is located in Ford’s Colony, a large development outside of Williamsburg that is about twenty years old. Over the years, we have discovered that our Ford’s Colony clients will often approach us with similar problems, all resulting from their original drainage plans which were often poorly designed. Some of the problems we frequently encounter:

  • Poor Grading – Yards may not have enough slope to drain properly, and may even drain slightly toward the house.
  • Undersized Ground Gutters – Ground gutters often don’t extend far enough away from the home to be effective during medium or heavy rain.
  • Poor Subsurface Piping Decisions – Many problems can arise from inadequate underground drainage systems: pipe diameters that are too small, improper pipe outlet locations, little to no pitch over long distances, lack of clean-outs at turns in the pipes, inferior materials, poorly located drain boxes, and improper sizing and use of dry wells.
  • Water Damming and Restriction – Landscaping features like raised planting beds, added after a home is established, can sometimes change or block the flow of water and create unwanted pooling. In other locations, they may channel and intensify the flow of runoff, causing bare surfaces and erosion.
  • Tight Lot Space – Since drainage plans are typically designed to address a single lot rather than an overall neighborhood, they often employ shortsighted local solutions to larger scale drainage problems. And the restricted space within a single lot will sometimes require creative solutions to address what should be a simple drainage problem, i.e. getting water to flow across a slope instead of down a slope (most likely to because you don’t want to drain onto a neighbor’s property).

Master Drainage Plan

When evaluating a property, our initial approach is to assess problem locations around the property, develop a map of where water is flowing, and formulate a plan for where water should be directed. This information is used to develop a master plan that addresses water movement throughout the entire property and implements drainage solutions at specific locations.


Move your cursor over the various areas to learn more about the various drainage problems in the yard.


Move your cursor over the various areas to learn how we implemented our solutions.

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