Which One Is Suitable: Dry Well Vs French Drain

Both dry wells and French drains can control runoff water in your home or property. People construct French drains around the perimeter of slab-on-grade foundations to protect their property from overflowing water. A dry well drains stagnant water into the earth, whereas wet wells direct water to particular sections of your house.


What Is A Dry Well?

A dry well is a dry excavation in the ground with waterproof coated material that is commonly used to relieve groundwater pressure at the bottom of an existing property, including a foundation wall, and can help to reduce frost hump.

A dry well could also be used as an absorption trench for rainfall-runoff from a rooftop or car park. On the other hand, a French drain is a tunnel that redirects standing water off the ground before penetrating the soil beneath your house.

In this post, we will compare dry well vs French drain so you can determine which is ideal for your requirements.

When Should a Dry Well Be Installed?

If there is no adjacent reservoir or storm drain to make a trench drain and you need to divert water from your yard, a dry well is an excellent option.

Dry wells function by removing standing water from the earth and soil. The further the well should be drilled, the more rainwater has to be drained so that it does not overflow during rainstorms.

Over time, the gravel will gradually drain the surplus water, allowing it to filter into the soil with no harm to the landscape.

A dry well gathers no water on its own, and you may require a rain gutter or catch basin to collect rainwater and bring it into the dry well.

When Should a French Drain Be Installed?

A French drain is a good option for a dry well and, in certain situations, a preferable solution to surface drains. You can redirect excessive water to a storm drain, pond, river, or other suitable drainage places.

In contrast to dry wells, which drain water deeply into the earth, a French drain transports groundwater underneath a perforated conduit; this helps you remedy a property flooding problem by directing runoff water to a nearby drain.

Installing Dry Wells as well as French Drains

In some cases, installing a dry well together with a French drain is logical. Dry wells and French drains may dry out a damp region of your home and channel water away from it.

If you are using two drainage systems together, you should create dry wells around the building’s wall and have them flow into a French drainage channel in another section of your yard that will direct runoff water into the dry well pit through a gutter drain.

For instance, you might use a dry well to dry out a yard while diverting runoff water from the top into a French drainpipe. You should consult an expert or contractor when constructing and establishing any water management system on your properties, as they have specialized knowledge in these types of projects.

So, Which Is Better, A Dry Well or A French Drain?

Numerous property owners wonder if a filtration process, a French drain, or a dry well is preferable.

A dry well is an efficient and cost-effective method of draining excess surface water from your house. You may use French drains as an option for drainage, but they can be more costly than dry wells based on where you place them. If a French drain cannot channel runoff into the earth beneath your property or towards another nearby structure, it may require a pump.

What Factors Contribute To A Dry Well Being The Best Option?

Installing a dry well on your home’s drainage system might be what you need to manage your property’s drainage all the time. The following essential benefits will help you decide if it’s perfect for your compound.

·         Reduce the Demand For Sump Pumps

Generally, dry wells are adaptable in terms of delivering drainage relief in a variety of situations. For instance, if you are using a sump pump that pulls water from a location on your land, a dry well will dissipate the rainwater into the earth. The installation and regular servicing of a dry well can extend the life of your sump pump.

·         Gutter Mitigation Solutions

You can use a Drywell drainage system on your gutters. When gutters do not have sufficient drainage, they can get clogged with water, threatening their performance. Dry wells easily filter rainwater into the earth and ensure that runoff water isn’t near your home’s foundation.

·         Hardscaping Drainage

Because of their capacity to drain massive volumes of water, dry wells may also drain tarmacked driveways. Storm water from streets and sidewalks can trouble you, and a filtration unit is necessary if the tarmacked surface is not hard.

Deflecting significant amounts of water into the drainage channels, on the other hand, creates a needless demand for these essential services. Water that flows into storm drains gathers up garbage and contaminants into the sewer system. These toxins frequently end up in natural streams, threatening the ecology. On the other hand, a dry well gathers rainfall where it pours and filters it down into the underground aquifers. Having your dry well

·         A Vibrant Environment

A dry well may keep your property fresh and flourishing. A dry well system gathers water and uniformly distributes it back into the surrounding region, guiding water down the water bed in the right place while preventing oversaturation.

Drainage is critical since the groundwater is where your landscape’s plant life, particularly huge trees and shrubs, pull water. A dry well keeps the natural water supply fresh and guards against foot infection and decay by keeping the soil from being too wet.

Frequently Asked Questions

French drains and dry wells – which is better for water runoff?

Dry wells and French drainage are essential for draining water from your land. However, French drainage is more expensive than dry wells. French drain requires a dry well to drain massive quantities of runoff water because they do not drain water into the earth straight below them, providing water flow around your property.

What differentiates a French drain from a dry well?

Dry wells carry rainwater into the ground, but French drains are a much more complex drainage system that redirects overflow towards another spot in your home for proper drainage.


French drains and dry wells are both effective ways to control runoff water. French drains are built to prevent overflowing water on slab-on-grade foundations, whereas a dry well is meant to drain stagnant water into the earth.

If there is no adjacent reservoir to drain and you need to divert water from your yard, a dry well is a great option. French drains are preferable to surface drains, so you can use them to direct excess water to a storm drain, pond, river, or any other drainage area.

Dry wells are an efficient and cost-effective way to drain excess surface water from your home. As an alternative to dry wells, French drains are an option, but they can be more expensive depending on where they’re located. Pumps are sometimes needed if a French drain cannot channel runoff into the earth beneath your property or towards another nearby structure.



Bill is a DIY plumber, handyman, and homeowner with more than a decade of experience. He has replaced and repaired sump pumps, backup pumps, float switches, check valves, and many other things around his family home. An engineer and tinkerer at heart, he is always looking to see how things work and taking on new home projects that help him grow his skillsets. He is a husband and father of two boys, has a bachelors degree in Computer Engineer and minor in Mathematics and likes to make homebrew beer in his free time.

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