How to Soak Up Water in Your Backyard: Tips and Tricks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

In this blog, we will be going over a few tips and tricks to help you with your water issues in the backyard. We know that it can be frustrating when you invest time and money into your yard, only to find out that water is seeping up from the ground or pooling on top of your yard, making it unusable. Discover How To Stop Water From Pouring In Your Yard!

Create good drainage by incorporating organic matter into your soil. Garden compost, leaf mold, and manure will all open the soil up and create more minute channels through which water can escape. Dig in a shovel to address hardpan problems that won’t break down with just time or rain alone!

While that is the quick answer to the problem there are more things to think about. The first being finding the route of the problem before moving on to dealing with the water. We help you identify the problem and offer some excellent tips for stopping it from happening again below. 

What Are Causes of Standing Water?

The first thing we need to do is discover the source of the water. There are a number of things that could be causing water to pool in your yard, and it is important to know what the problem really maybe before you start trying anything. 

Below we will look at some of the most common reasons for standing water in your yard:

No Grading

Your backyard should have some element of grading to the earth, which will help the water runoff of it. If there is an area that isn’t graded, then this may be where standing pooling occurs most frequently. Because nothing helps to move or drain away excess rainwater and melting snow faster than grading your yard correctly.

A good way to test your grading is by using a stick or hose. You will want the water to flow from the end of it away downwards. So that you can see how fast and in what direction (downwards) any excess rainwater runs off. Into nearby parts on lower elevation as soon as possible! 

If there are areas where pools of water are forming, then the grading needs to be improved or more drainage installed.

A Clogged Gutter or Downspout 

If you have a water pool around your home then the problem could be a clogged gutter or downspout. Here are some tips to get rid of the problem.

Check your gutters and make sure that they’re not overflowing with leaves, sticks, etc. This can cause a blockage in them which will backup water around them. Start with what is lower down around your home and work up to the top.


The permeability of a lawn has a big bearing on the drainage and thatch is the material that acts as a kind of buffer. If you have an area with thatch then there will be more water retention. Therefore, thicker grass is needed to soak up this excess moisture so it doesn’t stay in one place for too long which can cause puddles

If your lawn has been neglected because someone else has been tending to it, then the thatch layer will be too deep and an excess of water may not soak in. You could use a lawn aerator which works by punching holes into your turf at intervals so air can get through providing oxygen for roots as well

You should also rake up leaves before they decompose because this releases their acidity from the leaves and this can cause moss to grow. If you have a lot of leaf litter on your lawn then it may take longer for water from rain or sprinklers, not just to soak in but also to dry up

Hard Soil

If you have hard compact Soil this will make water absorb into the ground at a slower rate and can cause water to pool up or runoff. To help with this, you should add organic material like composting grass clippings on top of your soil. Which will allow for better aeration in hard compacted Soil.

Hard Subsoil

If you have big construction equipment in your backyard then these will have compacted the subsoil making a hardpan. To help with this you should add organic material to break up the subsoil before adding top soil. This will allow for better drainage of water and not pooling it in one place. Hardpan can happen naturally over time so it would be worth digging to see if you need to break up the subsoil before adding top soil.

High Water Table

If you have a high water table, this will cause your soil to be saturated with moisture and can lead to standing water. You should check the level of underground springs or consult an engineer if it is that bad just in case there are drainage issues happening below ground.

Underground Leak

If the problem comes out of the blue the problem could be a leak. A leak can happen anywhere from the pipe leading to your house, a broken water line underground, or even faulty sprinklers and pipes on top of ground level that are spilling out onto lawns

If you suspect there is an issue with drainage in any way it would be worth checking for leaks by looking at outside faucets where they lead back to the house.

If you have a large leak, it will seep out where ever there is an opening in your pipes (inside or outside) and this can lead to wet spots.

Best Ways To Get Rid of Standing Water

Luckily almost certainly a standing water problem is always solvable.

There are a few things to keep in mind so that you can get rid of standing water the most efficient way. These tips will help make sure your problem is fixed and not just temporarily alleviated by wasting time, money, or resources on trying methods that won’t work for long-term success.

Re-grade Your Yard 

If you have checks and you have a grading issue the job may be a little bigger than the other.  The first thing you need to do is re-grade the yard.

The best way for grading your backyard if it has checks, slopes, and hillsides in various directions. Would be with a backhoe or bulldozer so that all of these irregularities are smoothed out into one consistent slope towards where water will naturally flow. Away from the house rather than pooling up.

Once you’ve graded the yard, remove all topsoil and sod from a 12-inch depth of soil down to bare earth so that water will easily sink into it instead of pooling up on your grading slopes. As well with this method, there is no need for drainage aggregate or piping since everything falls back Away from the house now when rainwater hits the ground.

Once you have the perfect grading you will then be able to lay grass seed or turf to help soak even more water.

De-thatch Your Lawn

A much easier task to deal with is a lawn that is waterlogging due to thatch. Thatch is the layer of dead grass and roots that builds upon topsoil. It provides a natural barrier between soil layers, which slows down water penetration into deeper soils.

Simply use a dethatcher to remove the thatch from your lawn. It will allow water to be absorbed into the soil more quickly and it also provides a healthier environment for roots because they are not covered in thatch anymore.

Break The Soil

To make your backyard more amenable to water absorption, you should break up the soil. Once you have your soil broken up work in a layer of compost to help keep the soil fertile and free from weeds.

Breaking up your lawn will allow water that gets on it, or is applied with a sprinkler system for instance time much more quickly be absorbed into deeper soils.

Water Table Problems

If you have a high water table the problem will be much harder to overcome. You need to have patience and continue working on the problem.

You will want a couple of inches between your soil level and any water that has accumulated on or near it. So you can install some sort of system like an underground drain field for instance. These systems are not expensive but they do take time to install.


You can feel the despair when your backyard floods. You don’t know what to do and it just seems like you’re sinking deeper into a hole. Of muddy water in your out-of-control garden, but we promise that there is hope for you!

We have all been through this at some point or another; struggling with how to soak up spilled water from our backyards. We are not always sure about which solution will be best for us. 

However, by taking the actions we have outlined in our article you should be better at identifying the problem. An then intern be in a much better position to solve the problem once and for all.