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How Much Does It Cost To Construct A Dry Well?

National Average Change Location | View National
$2,542
Typical Range
$1,559 - $3,938
Low End
$800
High End
$6,000

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These days, homeowners and business owners alike need to take steps to protect their buildings from flooding. After all, flooding can be a devastating natural disaster resulting in expensive structural and interior damage. Fortunately, there are all kinds of ways to go about protecting a building from unwanted water infiltration. The installation of a dry well is one of those options.

What is a Dry Well?

A dry well is a structure that's dug underground to take in rain and other water so that it doesn't flood into a person's home or business. Once the water is taken in, the dry well gradually transports it to the groundwater supply, which is also underground.

What is a French Drain?

At first glance, a dry well may seem very similar to a French drain, which is another popular drainage system. However, the two are actually quite different in their appearance and operation.

Specifically, a French drain system is installed at the time a building is being constructed, usually right before the foundation is poured. Furthermore, a French drain features small perforations that allow water to flow through, but prevent other debris from entering. Unlike a dry well, French drains can become easily clogged.

Advantages of Dry Wells

Unlike a French drain, there's no need to worry about clogging with a dry well. This is perhaps one of its main advantages over other common forms of drainage. Unlike a French drain, a dry well can be easily installed after a building is constructed.

There are many other benefits that a dry well can afford, such as routing water away from walkways to prevent dangerous ice slicks from forming, helping to prevent erosion, and even removing excess water from a soil's surface.

Special Considerations for Dry Wells

Those considering having a dry well installed on their property should be aware of a few special considerations. For example, depending on where one lives, it may be necessary to obtain a permit before construction of the dry well can begin. These permits typically cost between $25 and $50, though some construction companies will include this in their installation costs and take care of the permit registration process for homeowners.

A percolation test may also need to be performed on the property before a dry well can be installed. The purpose of this test is to ensure that a dry well is a good drainage option for the particular property.

Why Not DIY?

Some homeowners and business owners make the mistake of attempting to install their own dry wells as a means of saving money. However, this is never recommended. There are too many factors that can go wrong with DIY dry well installation.

If the water-holding tank isn't properly placed, this could lead to very expensive damage to the building's foundation down the road. Only a trained and experienced professional will know the correct placement for a dry well. Furthermore, because a permit is usually required to have a dry well installed, DIY-ers are often turned down by their local municipalities anyway.

Importance of an Overflow Pipe

From time to time, even a large dry well can become overwhelmed. This is especially common during times of heavy, sudden rainfall and flash flooding. When this occurs, it's important that the dry well have a functioning overflow pipe in place.

An overflow pipe ensures that any excess water that cannot be immediately handled by the dry well gets safely routed downstream, rather than towards the home or business. These pipes are usually a few feet in length and should be installed by a dry well professional.

Other Considerations

Finally, there are a few more practical considerations that home and business owners may want to keep in mind before they have a dry well installed. For instance, a good area of the lawn must also be dug up in the process. As a result, homeowners may need to have the affected areas of their lawn re-seeded. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple and inexpensive task. In most cases, homeowners can re-seed their own lawn for as little as 25 cents per square foot.

Furthermore, homeowners should put some thought into where the dry well will be located. Wells can be a bit of an eyesore, so homeowners may want to have them installed in an area that is out of plain view. It's also possible to landscape around a dry well as a means of better concealing it.

Ultimately, all home and business owners can benefit from having a dry well in place as a means of controlling water runoff on their properties.

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Kevin Broderick More than 1 year ago
Very informative
Kurt Utterback More than 1 year ago
Very helpful. Link to a video showing installation would be a great addition- you tube style.

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