The Importance of Proper Drainage in Retaining Wall Construction

Retaining walls are critical structures in every construction project since the main purpose of retaining wall services is to manage water runoff for efficient drainage during construction. A retaining wall is one of the most important structures that helps to avoid soil erosion, landslide, or any other calamities. However, similar to any construction, a retaining wall is only as good as the base on which it is built and this is why proper drainage is paramount in retaining wall construction.

Why Drainage is Important in Construction of Retaining Wall?

Water is force to be reckoned with and it will do damage to a retaining wall if it is allowed to accumulate behind the wall in large amounts. Water puts a very high amount of pressure on the wall and owing to this, micro cracks start appearing on the wall that continue to bow and ultimately lead to the collapse of the wall. Proper drainage provides an efficient means through which water is channeled away from the wall and in the process the strength of the wall is preserved.

Common Drainage Issues in Retaining Walls

As mentioned previously, here are the fast facts about the common problems of the drainage systems of retaining walls. Probably the biggest problem that is observed in retaining walls is the absence of an appropriate drainage system. Some of them include lack of adequate slope, poor quality soil, and poor backfill material.

Designing a Proper Drainage System

Proper drainage system can be defined as the process of creating a proper channel to enhance the free flow of water. The proper drain system depends on the wall structure, and usually a perforated pipe, some form of fabric that can be a geotextile one, and then a type of backfill called aggregate. Which indicates that the pipe profile should be inclined so that water can drain easily, the geotextile fabric assists in separating the sediment and debris. The backfill material makes up an aggregate that contributes to the construction of the pipe’s base as well as the drainage process.

Guidelines on Installation of Drainage System

Locating and installing appropriate drainage service contractors for a retaining wall is very crucial, therefore one should follow good practice. This covers matters such as; utilization of high quality materials, checking the slope and alignment of the system and finally checking if the system is working optimally. Likewise, cleaning the pipe and discussing the system is also necessary to resolve blockages and other related problems.


Drainage is a very important factor that should be well addressed when constructing a retaining wall. Without it, the stability of a retaining wall reduces and this can result in expensive costs to fix and make it safe for use and in situations where the retaining wall comes down. Thus, one can see the need for the proper drainage, common problems, as well as the design and construction of the correct drainage system means that homeowners and contractors have a reliable retaining wall.