Are you struggling with settled water in your hard? Is your foundation at risk of water damage or cracking? Is there too much runoff from the road? One method for tackling any of these issues with standing water or flooding on your property is to build a drainage catch basin. The sole purpose of a catch basin is to collect this water or snow melt or runoff and send it somewhere else.


If you want to collect standing water, then you need a drainage catch basin. Here is everything you need to know, including how to build a drainage catch basin in your yard.


What Is a Drainage Catch Basin?

A drainage catch basin is basically a storm drain for your backyard (or anywhere it is needed). Catch basins are made to redirect water away from another place in an attempt to stop flooding before it starts. If you live somewhere that gets a lot of rain or snow, has runoff from streets, or simply experience a lot of sitting water, a catch basin could help.


Residential drainage catch basins are usually installed at the lowest point of your property where water gathers. Properties that have uneven terrain may require two or more catch basins.


In short, the benefits of having a catch basin are:


  • Prevents flooding around your property
  • Protects your lawn and landscaping from water damage
  • Helps route water away from your home’s foundation and driveway
  • Stops unpleasant odors from stagnant water and mosquito infestation


How Do Catch Basins Work?

A catch basin works on the simple premise of collecting water in an underground basin or tank. Some people might choose to use a trench filled with gravel that allows water to absorb slowly throughout their yard while others may choose a bucket or container that is connected to a reservoir or sump or a municipal water treatment center.


Concrete drainage catch basins have inlet and outlet pipes, metal grates, and a tank of some kind. As water rushes in through the grate, it fills the basin. Once the water reaches a certain height, it travels down the outlet pope into another location. The metal grate is meant to keep out debris—leaves, sticks, and garbage—that could clog up the inlet and outlet pipes.


How to Build a Drainage Catch Basin

Now it is time to outline some quick and easy-to-follow steps that help you build your own catch basin. Remember, this is a general set of steps. Depending on your yard’s layout, low points, and even the quality of the soil, these instructions may need to be modified.


You can buy all the materials needed for a catch basin from a drainage or plumbing contractor or from a local home improvement store.


Here is how to build a catch basin:


  • Seek out the place in your yard where water is accumulating. Stake this location. From there, chart out the course of the outlet pipe. Make sure the course is straight, direct, and goes away from your house.
  • At the staked location, dig a hole that is as wide as the top of the metal grate and as deep as you think is necessary. Usually, the basin is around 15-30 cm deeper than the size of the basin; it can be made larger to suit your needs.
  • Along the course you have plotted for the outlet, dig a descending trench that is around 20 cm wide and 46 cm deep.
  • Prior to installing the basin and the pipes, make sure that all connections between the basin and the outlet pipe is watertight. You do not want water to leak out. To ensure the connection is secure, use a waterproof silicone on the outside of the basin where it connects to the outlet pipe. Then insert the pipe into the hole, twisting to lock it in place. Some catch basins already have a watertight gasket included.
  • Now that the outlet is sealed, flip the basin over and drill a few holes into the bottom. This will prevent water from standing at the bottom of the container.
  • Fill about 15-30 cm of the hole you dug for the basin with gravel. Insert the basin on top of the gravel layer. The height of the basin should be level with the ground around it. If necessary, add some more gravel.
  • With the basin in place, attach the drainage pipe to the inlet. Again, the connection between the two needs to be watertight. Add silicone.
  • Lastly, glue every section of the drainpipe together until reaching the point from which the water will drain.


Tips For Maintaining Your Catch Basin

Now that you have installed a drainage catch basin in your yard, it is time to consider how to maintain it. Catch basins, just like other methods for protecting your home, need to be maintained in order to work properly. After storms, it is best to check the metal grate for any debris. Clean away any objects that could block the drain.


In the event your catch basin gets clogged or sediment has gotten too high, you can call a professional who has a vacuum truck or vacuum extractor to come. While you could clean the basin yourself, a professional ensures it gets done right the first time.


Occasionally, drainage catch basins will leak or crack. Pipes that have cracked will need to be extracted and repaired or replaced by a plumbing specialist. Fortunately, most repairs do not require the specialist to dredge up your entire yard.



There you have it—everything you need to know about catch basins and how to install one in your yard. Installing a drainage catch basin is an easy process. All you need to do is locate the lowest point in your property and follow the steps listed. But you need to keep in mind that maintenance is key to keeping it functioning! If you need assistance with maintenance or with repairs, don’t hesitate to call a drainage or plumbing professional.