Ecology + Design

The Art of Landscape Engineering in Westchester

In our landscape design and construction business we often run into issues which might not ordinarily be considered “landscaping”. Case in point would be infrastructure drainage. Many water management problems

start with the infrastructure. This includes displacement of ground water due to overdevelopment by increasing impervious space. Same is true of surface water or storm water/rainfall. Very simply, water needs to go somewhere, especially in storm events. This means if there no positive flow and directing of sheet flow to a designated utility (i.e. storm chamber/ catch basis, perimeter /curtain drain etc.) it may wind up in the wrong place causing a problem or damage.

In landscape design we should always deal with and anticipate water. After all, water management is essential for successful, sustainable planting, construction and maintenance.

Simple rule of thumb is to be sure water is conducted away from the foundation of the house (usually from discharge from gutters/leaders) at a minimum distance of ten feet. This can be accomplished by piping to a dry well. Something as simple as a wagon wheel which is constructed by overlaying perforated PVC in a gravel trench with filter fabric.

A more advanced design solution involved the use of sub-surface drainage in addition to reducing and limiting the impervious space/displacement. For this application we employed attractive fieldstone to establish/construct tracks to enable the client to move his vintage auto (with a very low clearance) in and out of his beautifully restored, rustic barn/garage to the road while maintaining as much lawn and grass joints between the stone both for appearance on managing storm water.

Before any underground excavating is undertaken call 811 to have the utilities marked. This is a free service and is required by law. We very often have to work around water, electric and other utility lines.

Jay Archer, President


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