"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Dry wells
are underground structures that disposes stormwater runoff, by dissipating it into the ground, where it merges with the local groundwater.


Dry Wells
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Water from downspouts should be carried away from the foundation walls. If not, you may end up with a damp or wet basement. In rural areas this water can be drained to nearby streams or ditches. If this is not possible, a dry well can be installed.
Dry-well. A dry well is a gravel filled container buried about 20" (500 mm) below the surface and located no less than 10 ft. (3m) away from the house. Dry wells spread the water over a large area. Simple dry wells consist of a pit filled with gravel, rubble or other debris. Such pits resist collapse, but do not have much storage capacity because their interior volume is mostly filled by stone. A more advanced dry well defines a large interior storage volume by a reinforced concrete cylinder with perforated sides and bottom as shown on the left.
Dry wells can also be made of:
- Loosely laid cement blocks as illustrated on the right.
- Pre-cast concrete as shown on the left.
- A large perforated drum.
- Wire mesh, landscape fabric, or any other webbed material.

Cement block dry well
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