If water tends to puddle in your yard after a good, hard rain, you've got bigger problems than a couple of muddy kids. When rain water refuses to absorb into the soil for whatever reason, the puddles become a place for mosquitoes to breed, which can be a health hazard for you and your family. What's more, the water can absolutely devastate your yard, killing off all the grass and all other vegetation, and may even find its way through your home's foundation and pour into your basement or first floor. If you've got standing water in your yard, you owe it to your home and family to do whatever you can to transform your puddled yard into a lush lawn.
Surface drains are a great option if you can't dig up large sections of your yard or simply don't want to. Placed at the lowest points in your yard, surface drains are simply in-ground drains that collect excess water and transport it to the street so it can enter your city's storm drains. The drains are connected to short, shallowly placed sections of pipe that empty out onto the street or sidewalk.
This option is the least invasive of all options, but it doesn't work in all scenarios. If water tends to collect all over your yard because of hard clay and silt, a couple of drains cannot effectively remove all the water. This option only works if water tends to collect in just a few places.
If your whole backyard becomes a swimming pool when it rains, a French drain system might be your best option. Constructed by placing perforated pipe in the ground and surrounding it with gravel, French drains can absorb a large amount of excess water and whisk it away from your property. Once installed, landscaping covers the drains and you won't even know they're there. However, you must take care not to drive over the drains or use any heavy machinery around them or you might damage them.
A permanent option, land excavating changes the slope of your yard so that water runs off toward city drains or a nearby ditch. This is a great option if you already have a wet basement or other foundation issues, since fixing these problems will require a bit of excavating. You can excavate near the foundation of your home and change the slope of your yard at the same time and save a little money.
There are several ways to prevent water from puddling in your yard. The option you choose will depend primarily on your budget and the amount of work you want to do. The shape and slope of your yard may also be a factor.