Rain Garden - to manage back yard flooding

Asked February 18, 2019, 1:31 PM EST

Team, I like to see if designing and building a rain garden in my back yard would resolve some flooding in my back yard. The builder installed a drain; small channeled ditch that should direct the water run off to the perimeter of the house to the street. Regrettably, with more development in a nearby neighborhood has impacted the drainage; please see the attached photos. I'm looking for guidance on what I believe would be a great solution to addressing the flooding in my back yard by installing a rain garden. I am hopeful that whatever suitable solution can be offered, it can be a project that a homeowner can complete as a DYI project. VR, Earl

Prince George's County Maryland stormwater management

3 Responses

You are certainly not alone in dealing with stormwater and drainage problems, given the unusually high amount of rainfall last year. In this situation where you have quite a large area of standing water, a rain garden may not be the best solution. Since rain gardens depend on water soaking through the ground, it is important that the soil drain well. Water in rain gardens should soak into the soil within 24 to 36 hours. You may need to look at other options for diverting the water from this area in the first place. Professional advice and services offered by landscape contractors with training in stormwater management may be the way to go. The Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professionals has a list of certified landscapers who are trained in dealing with stormwater management issues. https://cblpro.org/

Since you expressed interested in DIY options, you could start by contacting your county soil conservation district (SCD) office. The SCD offices vary somewhat in the services and resources available to assist homeowners. In some cases they may perform a site visit and provide a written report that includes suggested actions. https://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/Pages/technical_assistance.aspx

In addition, I encourage you to take a look at the Prince George's County Rain Check Rebate program. Rebates are offered to PG County residents to help with the installation of approved stormwater management practices. Rain gardens are included in this program and perhaps there is someone from this program who can help address whether your site would be suitable for a rain garden. Here is the website where you can find more information. https://cbtrust.org/grants/prince-georges-county-rain-check-rebate/

In addition, we have compiled a list of resources to help homeowners who are having problems with poor drainage. Take a look at the following page under "Water Problems." https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/stormwater-management


Thank you so much for your timely response. I will definitely use the resources listed and start the process of evaluating options, after talking to subject matter experts, and acting on a plan that meets my family's needs to resolve the water issue in the back yard.