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The Most Frequently Asked Question I Received at the Home Show was…

By Ed Ball | Published on March 16, 2019 | 2 min read

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by Ed Ball

The Most Frequently Asked Question I Received at the Home Show was…

Drum Roll, please…

“Hi Ed, I’ve been having some water drainage issues, and I need help, what can we do about it?”

With the triple amount of rain we had in 2018, naturally, everybody’s property has/had to deal with significant additional amounts of water, and so it was no surprise to me that questions or needs regarding water drainage were asked of me more than anything else. The questions and needs were nuanced, of course, but they sounded something like this:

  • I’ve got ponding in my backyard and I want to remove it
  • I’m getting a bunch of extra water coming from a neighbor, and I need to deal with that somehow
  • I want to build a patio/garden in the backyard but I have too many mosquitos due to ponding; is there any way to eliminate that?
  • I want to use the backyard to create an outdoor space, but the ground always seems saturated/soft/wet for extended periods of time
  • Etc. Etc.

For starters, let me say that we often work with clients to help with drainage issues on their existing landscape. In fact, drainage is a large part of any design that we create because dealing with water as a homeowner is one of the critical issues to defend against.

Secondly, the heart of the matter is of course water runoff and rather than trying to just push the water downstream somewhere, I’m a fan of getting the runoff back into the groundwater table as efficiently as possible and in an eco-friendly manner. So in essence, we take that water from your roof or property, and we’re trying to get it to percolate back into the groundwater into the underground aquafers by providing a greater absorption area using various drainage techniques.

Furthermore, in older developments in the Washington DC Area, places like Arlington, McLean, Falls Church, Springfield, and other places, it is important to recognize that while you may be in compliance with county regulations regarding runoff water, it’s important to note that some water regulations are geared towards cleaner water, rather than the pooling of water per se. For instance, the Chesapeake Bay Act which influences county codes is really about producing cleaner water and less erosion in order to make the Chesapeake Bay healthier. That’s a good thing, of course, but it isn’t speaking to residential drainage issues is my point. Consequently, we have people in these older developments having to deal with greater impervious surfaces which only adds to the challenge of dealing with residential water drainage issues.

If you need help with your water drainage issues, don’t worry, we can help you. Send inquiries to: or call (703) 433-1863