7 Ways to Drain Storm Water & Keep it Away from Your Home

7 Ways to Drain Storm Water & Keep it Away from Your Home

You hear that a storm is coming up the East Coast and will be hitting Virginia Beach within the hour. You’re also in a meeting and can’t do anything about the ponding and flooding on your property that will result from this storm. 

You can prevent ponding in your yard and flooding in your home with proper stormwater management.

By incorporating good yard drainage on your property, you’ll no longer have to worry about water damage when a summer storm or a hurricane moves up the coast. Your Hampton Roads property will be safe because you invested in smart stormwater management.

You Have Two Choices When It Comes to Stormwater Drainage

When it comes to stormwater drainage, you have two choices:

  • Capture and store
  • Redirect the water to someplace else on your property.

Capture and Storing Rainwater

• If you think you have yard drainage problems, read this blog.

When you capture and store rainwater, you keep it for later use. Use the following containers for capturing stormwater:

  1. Rain barrels or cisterns – These containers collect rainwater and hold them until you can use them to water your lawn and landscaped beds.
  2. Rain gardens – Rain gardens are semi-deep depressions in your yard that can fill up with water when it rains. The garden contains water-friendly plants such as cattails, sedges, Joe-Pye Weed and many other plants. Virginia Tech provides a list of rain garden plants in this pdf.
  3. Drywells – Drywells are also known as infiltration trenches. They’re gravel-filled underground spaces that store water. When it rains, the stormwater drains and fills the empty spaces between the gravel until it can percolate into the soil or flows out through the underdrain.

• Here is a new way to add a terrace to your backyard!

Redirecting Stormwater

Redirecting StormwaterYou can also add a feature to move water away from your home and yard. Some of these features include

  1. A grassy or stone swale – Swales can be all grass. If they’re built with rocks and stones, these swales are known as dry creek beds.
  2. A French drain – A drain pipe with perforation is installed underground to catch water and move it to a more suitable place.
  3. A catch basin – A catch basin is a slotted drain with a box. The top of the box catches the water and the bottom of the box drains water back into the ground.
  4. A downspout extension – A downspout extension moves water off of the roof, away from your house and into a suitable outlet.

Redirecting Your Stormwater into a Capture & Store

A swale, French drain or a catch basin only redirects water away from your home and poor drainage areas. Since the water table is so high in the Hampton Roads area, you need a place for the stormwater to drain into such as a rain garden, terrace or a stormwater drain.

When you hire a landscaping contractor to add a swale, French drain, catch basin and/or a downspout extension, he’ll recommend directing water to a place where it can either drain into the soil, be kept as part of a cistern or a rain garden or directed into a storm drain.

Check out Fairfax County, Virginia’s website for more stormwater management ideas.

How a Virginia Beach Landscape Designer Can Help You with Stormwater Management

How a Virginia Beach Landscape Designer Can Help You with Stormwater ManagementAt Visionscapes Land Design, we’re experts in drainage control systems and stormwater management. We’ll come to your home and retrofit your landscape to include a rain garden, a sunken terrace, or add a rain barrel to catch stormwater before it ponds in your yard.

We can also help you with downspout extensions, French drains, catch basins or a swale to direct water away from your home. Matter of fact, we’re experts in creating beautiful dry creek beds with boulders, rocks, pebbles and plant life to create a vertical context, curved lines and vivid color to your landscape.

Watch this YouTube video to see how a dry creek bed transformed this backyard.

When there’s a big storm coming, you don’t have to settle for water draining into your home or for it to pond in your backyard. Instead, take action and retrofit your home and property to move stormwater away from your home and into another stormwater drainage area.


There are many solutions for managing stormwater runoff on your property. Find an option that works for your landscape with our free downloadable, full color guide "Managing Stormwater Runoff in Your Home Landscape."

Managing Stormwater Runoff at Home Small CTA