French drain

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Diagram of a French drain


Perhaps after Henry French of Concord, MA


French drain (plural French drains)

  1. A shallow trench, sometimes lined with tile or containing a perforated pipe, backfilled with gravel and then covered over, used to collect and channel runoff water.
  2. A gravel-filled corridor with a perforated pipe running through it that runs against the foundation footings of a building, used to collect ground water and drain it away from the building's interior.




French, Henry F., Farm Drainage: The Principles, Processes, and Effects of Draining Land with Stones, Wood, Plows, and Open Ditches and Especially with Tiles, Including Tables of Rain-Fall, Evaporation, Filtration, Excavation, Capacity of Pipes; Cost and Number to the Acre of Tiles, Etc, Etc., New York, A.O. Moore & Co., 1859.

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