dry well tanks

A Guide To Residential Dry Wells

Table of Contents

What Is A Dry Well?

A dry well tank is an underground structure that disposes of unwanted water from your home – typically stormwater, and at times, gray water, which is all water from your household except for the water from your toilet.

It is a covered, porous-walled chamber that allows water to slowly soak into the ground (that is, percolate), dissipating into the groundwater.

As you know, living in Oregon means that we experience a lot of storms and water excess. With uncontrolled stormwater, you can expect erosion and localized flooding time and time again. Dry wells are just one means by which stormwater runoff can be collected and controlled.

When Dry Wells Can Help

Imagine what happens when there’s a storm:

  1. Water falls onto your roof and drains into your gutters, or wherever it can find an escape route.
  2. Gravity does it’s business, and the water finds its way into the ground.
  3. If you have a dry well, a successful installation means that gravity pulls water into the lowest point of the yard, giving the runoff water a place to collect until finally, it dissipates into the soil, instead of building up across the lawn surface and pooling into depressed areas.

While dry wells typically are used to collect runoff from the roof, they can also be used to relocate gray water (the relatively clean water wasted by sinks, baths, washing machines, and dishwashers).

Common Dry Well Problems

Dry wells typically do not need much maintenance beyond periodic inspections and cleanings.

Sometimes, you may notice leaves or debris clogging the lid. Simply move it out of the way and your dry well should be back in business.

Another common problem is sediment buildup inside of the dry well shaft. Water may have a hard time dissipating into the ground if the bottom of the shaft is covered in dirt and other debris, which is common in older dry wells.

In order to avoid buildup, check the dry well frequently to make sure there isn’t standing water. If there is standing water, and it hasn’t drained in 72 hours or less, it is a solid indicator that your dry well needs to professional cleaning.

Maintaining Your Dry Well

Regular maintenance and checkups are critical to keeping a properly functioning dry well. If your dry well floods, it can cause further headaches as there remains a potential of property damage.

Keeping your dry well lid clean and clear of debris is a simple maintenance task.

But, if your home or business relies on a dry well to drain stormwater, we can make a dry well tank inspection and cleaning part of your regular service package.

Give us a call at 503-292-5346 to schedule your dry well checkup or cleaning.

Contact Us

A trusted member of our team will reach out within 1 business day to schedule

Why Choose Alpha Environmental

Our goal is to get the job done right while protecting our client. We are committed to ensuring you are safe in your residence, no matter what. We are fully licensed, bonded, insured, and here to help with all of your environmental needs.

Family Owned & Operated

We pride ourselves on strong company values that translate into service levels which go above and beyond average service providers

21+ Years Experience

For over two decades we've been doing the dirty work, serving residential and commercial customers in the greater Portland area

Care & Ownership

Our entire team is committed to ensuring your home or place of business is safe and every job gets done the right way

David D.
Lake Oswego, OR
Read More
My wife and I experienced a hot water pipe busting in the crawlspace. It has been a total nightmare. However, Chris and his team provided expert quality care, with timeliness and the greatest degree of professionalism. I would HIGHLY recommend Alpha Enviornmental!
Zhanna S.
Beaverton, OR
Read More
Can’t say enough about Alpha Environmental! Their costumer service is 10/10, they have really good systems in place, responsive, and professional. The gals in the scheduling department are always so kind! As a real estate agent, I use Alpha’s services numerous times a year. Either it’s for Mold bids, oil tank decommissioning, radon etc. They always do a fantastic job! Thank you for all the work you do!