French Drain - Soakaway Crate - Clay Soil

2 Nov 2021
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United Kingdom
Good morning,

I recently had my garden leveled from quite a steep slope that previously had water streaming towards the house.

The problem is we have a retaining wall that encloses the garden on 3 sides, with the house and garden path being on the 4th and a layer of clay soil on top.
A lovely murky swimming pool is provided when it rains, however, I was thinking a garden would be nicer in the long run :)

So, I'm wondering if there are any drawbacks or issues with the following, and any/all advice is welcome and appreciated.
  1. Regrading the garden slightly to have the water run down to one side.
  2. Digging in a french drain with perforated pipe along the side of the garden
  3. Digging in a 1m3 soakaway using a soakaway crate near the center back of the garden (at least 5m away from the house and 2.5m away from the garden wall).
  1. Has anyone used the soakaway crates before as an outlet for a French Drain?
  2. Any issues with them or connecting the perforated pipe into them?
  3. What distance from the retaining wall foundations should I place a french drain, so as not to cause any issues in the long term?
  4. Anything I should think about well in advance or plan for with regards to the above?
Little bit Extra:

We do have gutters that drain into rainwater outlets at the side of our house, but since there is a garden path there I can't burry a pipe from the french drain to them (unless I break up a trench in the path and relay which I am keen to avoid).
Although also not sure about the legality of running extra stormwater from a french drain into them and a little nervous about pushing all the runoff towards the house.​

Thanks and have a nice day,

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My thought would be, if it's really clay then will it down away into the ground?

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