The power of mother nature after Hurricane Harvey shows the importance of good drainage when you live at the bottom of the hill.

The following case study is real.

The homeowner lived near the bottom of a long, gradual slope where rain water shed naturally to the foot of the hill.
Property owners can spend years throwing money at insufficient solutions to battle nature. Daniel Dean solutions are long lasting.

Poor drainage saturated this property, replacing good vegetation with a boggy swamp.

Grass seldom had time to recover and the owner’s dog often tracked mud onto their porch.


Little attention was paid to yard drainage during the construction of a custom home in 2015. During heavy rains, water shed from one side of the property and accumulated at the house and drive, which acted as a dam. The property easily became saturated, which promoted a mossy growth, ant piles and muddy pathways from the owner’s dog.

Major NW Houston rain events included:

  • May 2015: 5 to 11 inches of rain in under 10 hours.
  • April 2016: 5 to 17 inches in less than 24 hours.
  • May 2016: between Houston and Austin saw 18 inches of rain in 24 hours.
  • August 2017: Harvey hit.
  • Sep 2019: Tropical Depression Imelda dumped 9 inches of rain in one day.

Both the 2016 flood AND Hurricane Harvey in 2017 flooded the owner’s pool with black mulch, dirt and debris.

Daniel Dean had the right equipment for all property sizes.

Back yard: dirt from swale was moved to side yard to create berm.

Side yard: a gentle elevation blocked shedding water towards house.


The owner finally had enough. He contacted Daniel Dean.

Daniel Dean explained the most cost efficient and longest lasting solution would be to build a berm / swale combination. The berm would prevent shedding water from approaching too near the house and route it to the back yard, where a swale would carry the water away to a lower elevation and into the roadside ditches.

The crew (of two) surveyed the property’s elevation before and after to ensure the correct slope.

Dirt from the swale was used to create the berm, saving money. Roots were pulled up from the swale, the dirt berm compacted, and the area was raked smooth and seeded with winter rye grass.

The job was completed in half a day.

Side yard: the new berm effectively blocks naturally shedding water from collecting against the house.

Back yard: this new swale receives the excessive flow at berm, rerouting water around the pool.


On December 31, 2020 the owner’s property received nearly 6 inches of rain in 24 hours from a winter storm and flash flood watch. Within hours from the worst part of the rain, Daniel Dean’s solution had expelled nearly all water, with only a trickle still flowing away. Two days later, with only occasional sun, most of the property was dry.

Daniel Dean’s solution was proven effective. Every rain event like this would have threatened flooding the property owner’s pool.