What are Dry Well Drainage Systems?

dry well drainage systems

We often get asked “What are dry well drainage systems?” Dry wells are one of the earliest models of a water runoff management system. This type of drainage system disposes of water by dispersing it into the ground to reach groundwater. It is a type of passive structure, as the gravity encourages water flow into pipes along the top portion of the system. The water then discharges through smaller openings along the sides and bottom.

What are Dry Well Drainage Systems?

In some towns, it may be necessary to install more than one dry well system to solve drainage problems and reduce the impact on the town’s storm drains. If your yard has spots where water drains away quickly, you may be an ideal candidate for a dry well drainage system.

However, if you have slower drainage or have property on heavy clay soil, you may require an alternative solution.

Applications of Dry Wells

Dry wells are essentially an underground storage system to store water before it filtrates into the soil. They solve drainage problems by channeling runoff water from your gutters and keeping all of your yard area above ground dry.

The versatility of dry wells allows them to handle most applications, including water from the following:

  • sump pumps
  • driveways
  • gutters
  • roof runoff
  • storms
  • most other applications

However, we DO NOT recommend dry wells if you have areas where any of the following occur:

  • Hazardous materials are present, known or expected
  • Use of chemical-based solutions such as solvents, petroleum and pesticides in large amounts
  • Toxic material spills are real risks
  • Storm water runoff interacts with source material (any material including water that directly interacts with a manufacturing process or other industrial activities)
  • Soil has low impermeability or contains granite or bedrock

Benefits of Dry Wells

The following are just a few of the many benefits of dry well drainage systems:

  • Versatility to handle a variety of applications, including sump pumps, driveways, gutters, roof runoff and storms.
  • The dry well contains oxygen to help keep the drainage pit dry, which keeps the soil around it healthier as well.
  • Dry wells help in both irrigation and drainage needs. They help areas to dry out from the significant rainfall and allow for water to move back into the groundwater. This allows tree roots, for instance, to still have access to this necessary water without sitting in puddles.
  • These drainage systems are an affordable and long-term solution that don’t require significant disturbance of the ground within an area to install it.


These are just the basics of dry well drainage systems. Contact Agscapes Landscaping with the link below for more information or to get started on your next drainage system project today!

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