Building a dry creek bed for drainage

There are many homes and yards with drainage problems. Almost all times there is a solution to these problems, and some of them re quite attractive. This is the case of dry creek beds.

Not only that they will help collect the overflow of water and direct it to another location, but they also look great.

Some of the tools and materials that you will need are:

  • Landscaper’s paint
  • Landscape fabric
  • Fabric pins or garden staples
  • River rocks and boulders
  • Mortar
  • Wheelbarrow for mixing the mortar
  • Tamping tool
  • Shove


  1. The first thing that you will need to do is plan the route of the dry creek bed. For the visual part, you should create a meandering course, because it looks more natural. Identify the highest point from where the problem may begin. Plan the course from that point.
  2. It’s very important to know where you are redirecting the water. You could redirect it in the street, but, because it’s on public domain, you may encounter some problems. Check the public regulations first.
  3. If you cannot redirect the flow of water in the street, then you can redirect it to a place on your property, where it won’t do much damage, or you can always build a pond.
  4. The dimensions of the dry creek bed are relative, and differ from project to project. Because dry creek beds are not trenches, they are more wide than deep.
  5. After all this planning, you can start digging. You can also hire someone to operate a small excavator, to dig the dry creek bed faster.
  6. One nice trick is to place the excavated soil on the sides of the dry creek bed. This way you will need to dig less because you raise the sides.
  7. After digging the trench, use landscape fabric to cover the entire length of the trench. You should also cover the mounds on both sides.
  8. Now it’s time to work with the rocks. These will need to be glued together by using mortar. This will create a solid channel that will better carry the water, and it will also prevent rocks from falling and rolling on you.
  9. Some great additions to the dry creek bed are plants and maybe you can build a small bridge over it.
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