How to a Build Dry Creek Bed

How to a Build Dry Creek Bed

How to a Build Dry Creek Bed the text gives you an idea of ​​the Garden.
look at How to a Build Dry Creek Bed article to beautify your garden spaces.

Project Overview

Total Time:
16 hrs

Skill Level:

Estimated Cost:
$3 – $4 per square foot

If you have a slope or low spot on your property where excess water flows or collects, you can correct the problem naturally with a dry creek bed. A creek bed, also called an arroyo, is a shallow trench lined with landscape fabric and filled with boulders and stones of various sizes. During wet weather, excess surface water is channeled down the creek bed to a suitable exit or collection point where the water can percolate down into the soil. This helps prevent pools of water in undesired areas, such as near the house or on a neighbor's property.

A dry creek bed is an effective drainage solution, but it can also be an attractive landscape feature that needs very little maintenance. It’s a form of hardscaping, a non-organic landscape design element. Best of all, you get to decide exactly how it looks, designing the path of the creek and choosing and placing all of the boulders and stones. Once the bed is in place, you can add plants along its edges to enhance the natural look and provide some balance for the hard stone materials.

Codes and Regulations

In many cases, a dry creek bed is not something you need a permit for, but it’s very important to plan the drainage path carefully to direct excess water to an appropriate location. In most areas, it is illegal to send drainage water into the street because it stresses storm sewer systems and can wash lawn treatments and other contaminants into local waterways.

Ideally, a dry creek bed terminates at a natural settling area—well within your property lines—where the water can pool and soak into the soil. If this is not an option, contact your city office for recommendations. You may need to submit plans for your project and gain approval from the appropriate city authority. It's also important to make sure water isn't directed toward neighboring properties, or you might be faced with unhappy neighbors, or possibly a lawsuit.


Before getting started on the project, call 8-1-1, the national “Call Before You Dig” hotline, to have all underground utility lines marked on your property. This is a free service, but it can take a few days, so call well in advance of your start day.

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