How to Get Rid of Standing Water in Your Yard: A Guide

You've got a garden, you live in the south, it's summertime, and you're trying to figure out how to keep your yard from getting flooded this season.

I'm here today with information on just some of the many ways that you can get rid of standing water quickly without having to use toxic chemicals or hire a contractor. Exactly how often and how much you should water your lawn depends on your grass type, your soil type, the average rainfall in your area, and the season.

I'll also show you what steps beginners should take first in order not to do any more harm than good.

How to Remove Standing Water in a Yard

Standing water in your yard isn't just annoying — it can actually pose serious health risks. Left untreated, moisture left behind by rainfall can cause damage to foundations, support walls, and even your roof. In addition, standing water provides a perfect environment for mosquitos and other insects to breed. And while you may think that there's nothing you can do about it, there are several options available to help dry up the area.

The most common solution to standing water is simply waiting for the rain to stop. But if you're looking for something faster, easier, and less expensive, here are some tips to consider.


Professional landscapers can provide you with a survey of your average lawn's trouble spots, natural drains, and channels. They can then address the aspects of lawn care. Re-grading your property surrounding your home should be done before addressing pooling water issues in other parts of your backyard.


Clear your yard of any blanket debris that may be causing the rainwater not to drain properly. A dethatcher or a good old-fashioned rake will help you do it. If you don't have either tool, try putting down some plastic sheeting to catch the water while you're raking. Be sure to clear out the area around your sprinkler heads, too, because those could become clogged up with debris.

Aerate your lawn

Remove debris from around your home with a garden rake. Then, use a lawn aerator to place tiny holes in your lawn. These holes are called "lawn depressions." They help plants absorb moisture and nutrients better, allowing them to grow stronger and healthier. You'll see immediate results, such as increased growth and fewer weeds.

If you don't have an aerator, your local landscaper should be able to provide it.

Give your soil a boost

If you have hard or sticky ground on your lawn that pools standing water, you may want to break up the soil with a shovel or rake. Adding some compost, mulch, and manure to the top of your soil could help give it a much-needed boost.

Install a French drain

A French drain is used to divert surface water away from your house. This prevents flooding and erosion around your property. A french drain consists of a concrete pipe buried underground. Water flows down the side of the pipe and drains into an open area, where it runs off into the ground.

The best way to install a french drain is to dig a trench into your yard, usually about 2 feet wide and 4 inches deep. Then you pour some gravel into the trench. Next, you place a layer of sand over the gravel. Finally, you add another.

Create a Dry Creek Bed

If you want to install a french drain to keep rainwater out of your basement, you might think about creating a dry creek. A dry creek is a way to redirect water away from your home and down the street. You can use rocks, gravel, or even concrete blocks to make a dry creek.

A dry creek won't work if there are no drains nearby. So if you're installing one near a driveway or walkway, make sure to divert the water away from those areas. And remember, always divert your water toward a drainage system -- never towards your neighbor's property or onto a public sidewalk. Doing so could get you in hot water.

Control Runoff Water with a Storm Drain or Dry Well

Dry creeks and French drains divert rainwater away from streets, yards, and lawns. They're great for keeping grass green and preventing flooding during heavy rains. But unless they're properly controlled, they can cause problems like erosion, sediment buildup, and even damage to nearby buildings.

A dry well is a large hole filled with rocks that run off stormwater and drain into the ground. This method allows water to flow without collecting in pools or puddles. And because dry wells don't collect standing water, there's no chance of mosquitoes breeding.

But dry wells aren't always easy to find. If you live near one, make sure it's working correctly by checking for signs of leaks, cracks, or damage. You might also want to check with your local utility provider to see if they offer free inspections.

If your yard already has a dry creek or French drains running through it, here are some things to consider before installing a dry well:

- Make sure the area is completely flat and level.

- Avoid digging too close to existing pipes or utilities.

- Keep the bottom of the well about 4 feet above grade.

Extend downspouts

If you have a plant bed near your house and landscape it by placing rocks or a raised artificial barrier, rainwater that falls into your garden could collect there. This could cause flooding inside your home. To prevent this, extend the length of your downspout or sump pump drainpipe further away from your house. You can do this by extending the downspout pipe from the gutter outwards towards the edge of your property.

What are the consequences of standing water in my yard?

Standing water in your yard can have a variety of consequences, depending on the lawn's grading and soil composition. If the water cannot be absorbed by the soil, it will accumulate and cause standing water. Add layers of gravel until you reach the bottom of your trench. Once you finish digging the trench, you fill it up with gravel.

You can use PVC piping for the french drain, but you'll need to cut it to size. If you don't want to do that yourself, you can hire someone to help you.

If you have a lot of standing water in your yard, it can lead to a number of problems. Poor drainage can damage your plants and flowers, create mosquito breeding grounds, and even cause structural damage to your home. It's important to address any standing water issues as soon as possible to avoid these consequences.

How can I prevent standing water in my yard?

If you're having problems with standing water in your yard, the best solution may be to hire a professional team. HomeAdvisor Landscaping can help you find a local contractor who can solve your drainage issues quickly and effectively. However, if you're determined to try and fix the problem on your own, here are a few tips that may help:

You can usually solve standing water issues by yourself by replacing items or doing proper maintenance. If you're a fan of DIY and want to save money on professional lawn work, this could be a good option for you. However, if you have standing water in your yard and don't know how to fix it, it's likely because you need professional help.

In some cases - like when repairing drainage would take more than an average person has time for - it's not worth trying to fix the problem on your own. Good contractors usually warranty their work, so it's worth considering hiring a professional team to take care of things for you.

Another way to prevent standing water in your yard is by using a rain barrel or cistern. You can also install a septic system to help remove waste from your home. If you have clay soil, adding organic matter can help absorb water and reduce the risk of flooding.

What are some common causes of standing water in yards?

There are a few common causes of standing water in yards: low spots, poorly draining soil, and improper drainage. If you can identify the cause of the problem, it will be much easier to find a solution.

Low spots in yards can easily become collecting points for water, and often all it takes to fix the problem is filling in the low spot. Poorly draining soil can also lead to standing water, so correcting the drainage issue is often key to solving the problem.

It's important to understand what causes standing water in your yard so that you can address the issue correctly. Once you know what's causing the problem, you can take steps to fix it and keep your yard looking great.

How can I identify standing water in my yard?

It can be tough to identify standing water in your yard, but there are a few key signs to look out for. One is pools of water that don't seem to go away after a good rain. Another is if you see low areas in your yard that tend to fill up with water after rainfall. If you can't tell just by looking, try marking the area with flags or bright paint so you'll know for next time.

Is there a way to test for standing water in my yard without actually seeing it?

There is. You can use a moisture meter to test the soil in your yard for standing water. This will help you determine if there are any low spots that need to be fixed.

What is the best time of day to check for standing water in my yard?

The best time of day to check for standing water in your yard is early in the morning. This is because the ground will be wet from overnight dew, and you will be able to see any low spots more easily. If you wait until later in the day, the ground will have dried out, and it will be harder to see any pools of water.

If I find standing water in my yard, what should I do about it immediately?

If you find standing water in your yard, the best thing to do is try core aeration. This will help to improve drainage and get rid of any stagnant water. If that doesn't work, you can try lawn thatching using a lawn unthatcher, hoe, or aerator. Be sure to remove all of the thatch from your lawn to prevent muddy patches and stagnant water. You may also need to adjust or repair your irrigation system to keep your lawn looking great for many years.

Can I treat standing water myself, or do I need to hire a professional?

If you're dealing with standing water on your property, it's important to take action as soon as possible. However, before you start any treatment methods, you should determine if you can handle the project yourself or if you need to call in a professional.

There are three main ways to treat water issues: adding drainage ramps, soil replacement or mulching, and using rain barrels. If your soil is high in clay or compact, heavy rainfall will make standing water worse. Mulching and adding loam to the soil can help absorb runoff while giving plants a better chance at life. Planting more trees and shrubs can help reduce stagnant water from pooling in areas.

If you're comfortable with doing some basic DIY projects around your house, then adding drainage ramps might be right for you. These ramps slope gently towards a designated area where the water will drain away from your home or yard. Be sure that the entire length of the ramp is covered in gravel so that water doesn't collect on top of it.

If replacing soil or mulching sounds like too much work, consider using rain barrels to store excess rainfall until drier conditions return. Rain barrels come in all shapes and sizes, so there's sure to be one that fits your needs. Just be sure to place the barrel under a downspout so that it can catch as much water as possible.

Health Risks of Standing Water in a Yard

Standing water in your yard can lead to a number of serious health issues. If there are large puddles of water in your backyard, it is important to take action immediately. These problems include:

* Mold: Mold loves to thrive in wet conditions, so standing water in your yard creates ideal growing conditions for mold.

* You must never let pooling water near your house's foundation because mold can start to grow up the walls. And as spores spread, the whole foundation could become contaminated.

* This can be expensive and dangerous for you and your family, as well as your neighbors' homes.

* Bacteria: A large amount of standing water makes the perfect environment for bacteria, viruses, and other harmful organisms.

* In addition, water left unattended around swimming pools can contain fecal matter from animals like dogs and cats. This can contaminate the air and pose a risk to people who breathe it.

Watch How to get rid of standing water in your yard

How to get rid of standing water in your yard (FAQs): 

How do I break up the hardpan?

If the hardpan is less than a couple of feet thick, you should be able to break up the soil with a garden shovel after it's had time to dry out.

What is standing water?

Advertiser Disclosure Finding a growing puddle of water around the perimeter of your home can be frustrating, especially when you have standing water in your yard and no rain to attribute it to.

What is the best lawn care service?

If you don't want to attempt removing the water yourself, House Method's experts recommend TruGreen as the top lawn care service for fixing standing water.

What Can I Do About Standing Water in My Garden?

Once you know what's causing the standing water in your garden or yard, take a look at these strategies to help you get rid of the excess water.

What do you do if your soil is sticky?

If you have hard or sticky soil in your yard that pools standing water, try breaking up the soil with a rake or shovel.

How do I use a lawn aerator?

Once you've removed debris, use a lawn aerator to place tiny holes in the surface of your yard.


Standing water is an issue that plagues homeowners across the country every year. It can cause damage to your lawn and landscape, but it can also pose serious health risks. The good news is that most standing water problems can be fixed by following a few simple steps that have been mentioned above.