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Drainage Problems: Why Standing Water is No Good

Having drainage problems at your home or business? Besides the obvious nuisances like mud, large puddles that appear after heavy rains can cause long-lasting problems from your property if left unfixed.

drainage problems oahu

Not everyone minds the mud, however

In Hawaii, we’re blessed with small bursts of regular rain. This keeps the foliage beautiful while preventing an excess of water buildup, but every so often we’ll get a wet season. While our islands get a littler greener during this time, especially on the leeward sides, it can cause a wide variety of issues for homes and businesses. Find some common problems below, and solutions for them!

Key Drainage Problems

  1. Root rot – if left sitting in water too long, the roots in your turf grasses start to die off. This makes it more difficult for the grass to grow back, thus creating patches of yard that always get muddy when it rains. Mostly, this just creates a generally unattractive landscape.
  2. Home problems – though the water might be sitting in your yard, drainage problems can also cause huge issues for your home if the puddles are close by. Water can seep into walls and foundations, causing mold, foundation cracks, and a host of other costly headaches.
  3. Mosquitoes – with dengue fever making its way through Hawaii Island, standing water should be removed as quickly as possible. It only takes two days of still water for mosquito eggs to hatch.
  4. Enjoyment – Finally, your home has a lawn, that you own/pay for and maintain…. you should enjoy it! You shouldn’t have to wait a day or so for the water to recede.


Fortunately, just as there are many issues that come with drainage problems, there are many solutions. See just a couple below:

  1. Regrading – adjusting the tilt of your yard by just a few degrees can make a huge difference in terms of drainage. It’s an intensive process, but is by far the most effective, long-term way to knock out any drainage problems.
  2. French drains – come in many different forms, but are usually a perforated pipe buried in an easily permeable material like gravel. Sod can then be grown above them.
  3. Pop-up drain emitters – these are extremely effective if water likes to pool up around your home during heavy drains: water is collected, sent down a buried, closed pipe, and is emitted from a discreet spout, keeping your home nice and dry.
drainage problems hawaii

A pop-up drain emitter in action.

Fixing drainage issues is difficult, labor-intensive, often tedious work – if you don’t have much landscaping experience, we recommend entrusting a professional with this task.

On the island of Oahu, Total Landscape Management are drainage and irrigation experts, with 10+ years experience in solving drainage problems.

Every yard is different, see what we can do for yours! Call us at 808-779-6133 to set up your free estimate.

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