Bellingham Part 1: Drainage Solutions Improve Access to Condos

A residential condominium complex in Bellingham suffered water damage due to poor exterior waterproofing materials and poor drainage infrastructure. The condo owner hired MacKay Landscape Services to install drainage improvements and renovate the landscaping, while the complex was fully-occupied with tenants.

before bellingham residential condo drainage landscape improvement muddy lawn mackay landscape services


< Condition of the property before work begun. Lack of proper drainage is evident in the mud surrounding the condos.

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> Day one excavation: lowering  the subgrade enough so as to not interfere with any existing utilities.


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< Equipment ready to remove 8 inches of hard pan non-organic clay.

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> After removing the 8″ of poor soil, we scarrified the subgrade, tilling it down another 6″ to break up the clay throughout the job site. Scarrification loosens the soil, allows for better percolation and provides a healthier  planting medium for the new lawn.


Examples of sections of drainage being installed.

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> Exposed solid white pipe on far R channels rainwater from catch basin at top, which collects runoff from hardscape. Near R pipe is perforated and gets a geotextile filter sock (see L photo) to sift out sediment.

< Perforated pipe encased in filter fabric with drainage medium (aka “gravel burrow”) below. This pipe channels all water that enters the infiltration trench.


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> Water flowing from upper right and lower right pipes, channeled left to manhole (covered by plywood in photo). Bentonite dams have been added at couplings, trapping drainfield water upstream then channeling it to solid pipe emptying into manhole on the left. In total we installed 13 bentonite dams, also known as “capillary breaks.”


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< Donut-shaped sections of manhole cover were removed because primary drainfield level was lower than the top of the manhole cover. Once the sections were removed, a solid outflow pipe was installed through a notch cut in the manhole.manhole vault mortar pipe install drainage improvement bellingham condo mackay landscape services

 > After pipe was set, donut sections of the manhole were mortared and set back into place. All total we installed 686 ft of drainage pipe across this entire jobsite.


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Rain or shine, MacKay Landscape Services keeps a clean job site. bellingham residential condo job site clean rain shine drainage improvement mackay landscape servicesThis was especially important in Bellingham because the condos were fully occupied with tenants coming and going during the entire duration of our work.

See Bellingham: Part 2 post for after pictures of this drainage and landscaping project.

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