A shaded outdoor space is transformed from waterlogged to waterwise.

Download Courtyard Drainage project PDF

Transforming a small backyard into a waterwise space is achieved with clever design. The aim was to fix the waterlogged flat area by creating slope for water runoff into gravel drainage pits around the paving.
Pavers were spaced with 50mm gaps for planting between and to let water penetrate the sub base. The rest of the yard was thickly mulched for water absorption and retention. The 1800mm-high wire-mesh fence inside the Colorbond fence was removed using wire cutters and a 300mm angle grinder.
Garden beds were dug up to aerate soil and broken pebblecrete path, concrete steps and footings around the steel fence posts were cracked with a jackhammer.
The yard was then given fall by sloping the ground away from the house to the drainage pits with heavy raking and shovelling.
The major costs were for the pavers, $250, plants, just under $600, and equipment hire of the skip for rubbish, jackhammer and compactor.


Establish fall and drainage
Use a laser level to check the fall away from the house, establishing the high point from the slab at the backdoor and providing 25mm of fall per metre to pegs set at the perimeter. Dig 400 x 400 x 400mm drainage pits at low points and fill with gravel.
TIP: Cover the pits with geo-textile fabric to prevent clogging.


Prepare the sub base
Set stringlines to mark out the paved area, excavating to 150mm below the finish level. Bring in road base and rake it to 100mm thick, creating fall to drainage pits. Use a plate compactor to pack it tightly, lightly spraying with water as you go.



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