Dry well

Old drywell.

A dry well is an underground structure that disposes of unwanted water, most commonly stormwater runoff, by dissipating it into the ground, where it merges with the local groundwater. Often called a soakaway in the UK.

A dry well is a passive structure. Water flows through it under the influence of gravity. A dry well receives water from one or more entry pipes or channels at its top. A dry well discharges the same water through a number of small exit openings distributed over a larger surface area, the side(s) and bottom of the dry well. When a dry well is above the water table, most of its internal volume will contain air. Such a dry well can accept an initial inrush of water very quickly, until the air is displaced. After that, the dry well can only accept water as fast as it can dissipate water. Some dry wells deliberately incorporate a large storage capacity, so that they can accept a large amount of water very quickly and then dissipate it gradually over time, a method that is compatible with the intermittent nature of rainfall. A dry well maintains the connection between its inflow and outflow openings by resisting collapse and resisting clogging.

Simple dry wells consist of a pit filled with gravel, riprap, rubble, or other debris. Such pits resist collapse, but do not have much storage capacity because their interior volume is mostly filled by stone. A more advanced dry well defines a large interior storage volume by a reinforced concrete cylinder with perforated sides and bottom. These dry wells are usually buried completely, so that they do not take up any land area. The dry wells for a parking lot's storm drains are usually buried below the same parking lot.

A French drain can resemble a dry well that is not covered. A covered dry well that disposes of sewage is called a cesspool, while an open pit that receives storm water and dissipates it into the ground is called a recharge basin or infiltration basin.

See also

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • dry well — n. Building a covered pit filled with gravel or loose stone, into which drainage from roofs, areaways, etc. is piped to seep into the surrounding soil …   English World dictionary

  • dry well — noun 1. : dry hole 2 2. : a hole excavated in porous ground and usually covered and filled with loose gravel or rubble or walled (as with stone, brick, or cinder blocks) to receive water (as drainage from a roof) and allow it to percolate away *… …   Useful english dictionary

  • dry well — 1. a drainage pit lined with loose stonework for the leaching of liquid wastes. 2. See absorbing well. [1760 70] * * * …   Universalium

  • dry well — noun Date: circa 1942 a hole in the ground filled with gravel or rubble to receive drainage water and allow it to percolate away …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Dry Well Creek — is a creek in Harney County, Oregon, United States in the Harney Basin of Eastern Oregon.[1] It is located at an elevation of 5000 feet,[1] and is one of a series of streams that eventually drains into Malheur Lake, a Great Basin lake that has no …   Wikipedia

  • dry — adj 1 Dry, arid mean devoid of moisture. Dry may suggest freedom from noticeable moisture either as a characteristic or as a desirable state {a dry climate} {1dry clothing} {dry land} {dry provisions} …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • dry — dryable, adj. dryly, adv. dryness, n. /druy/, adj., drier, driest, v., dried, drying, n., pl. drys, dries. adj …   Universalium

  • dry — [[t]draɪ[/t]] adj. dri•er, dri•est, 1) free from moisture or excess moisture; not moist; not wet 2) having or characterized by little or no rain: the dry season[/ex] 3) characterized by absence, deficiency, or failure of natural or ordinary… …   From formal English to slang

  • dry hole — noun 1. : a hole drilled (as through rock in a quarry) without using water 2. : a well that does not yield oil or gas in commercial quantities called also dry well, duster * * * any well drilled for oil or gas that does not yield enough to be… …   Useful english dictionary

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