The State of Utah has experienced one of the wettest years on record in the last twelve months. At the public works department we have received several phone calls reporting issues related to all the groundwater. There are various alternatives in dealing with groundwater and they vary depending on the utilities in your neighborhood and the lay of the land. There are some important guidelines to ensure you choose the proper fix for your situation.
Many streets in Layton City have a land drain collection system installed below the street surface. The pipes are similar to sewer lines but connect to streams or storm drain pipes instead of sending the clean groundwater to the treatment plants. Homes that were built in the neighborhoods with land drain pipes have a lateral which is stubbed into the property behind the sidewalk. If you are trying to collect and release groundwater from your lot using a pump or other system the land drain lateral must be used. Downspouts can release stormwater onto the landscape around your property or to a gravel sump. Roof drains are not to be connected with the land drain lateral. The city’s building department maintains records indicating the location of the laterals in a subdivision. In areas without a land drain system, a connection to the storm drain system may be approved by the city engineer on a case by case basis. Curb cuts to allow pipes to discharge to the gutter are not permitted. These modifications damage to the integrity of the right of way and the water produces a public nuisance in the form of moss and ice.
If your property has drainage issues you are encouraged to use landscape grading to compel water away from your home. Typically a minimum 6 inches of fall for the first ten feet from the foundation wall is recommended. Common property lines are to be used as drainage paths to allow water to pass safely from higher to lower ground. Stormwater typically provides a runoff for short periods of time as opposed to groundwater which runs seasonally. Groundwater varies from area to area and even house to house. The city has adopted a standard to require foundation drains on each new home. The foundation drain is connected to the land drain system during construction. If a groundwater problem is encountered after construction it may be caused by a leaking sprinkler line, reverse grading or other unnatural condition. The situation for existing homes varies and to find out your circumstances please contact the city building department at (801) 336-3760 or engineering department at (801) 336-3700.