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Retaining Wall Construction & Water Control

When it comes to building a retaining wall, water control is an essential consideration. A retaining wall is a structure used to support soil and keep it from eroding or sliding away. In order for a retaining wall to be effective, it must be carefully constructed and have proper water-control measures in place. Let’s take a look at why water control is so important when designing and constructing a retaining wall and what benefits water control can offer.

What Is Water Control?

Water control is a term used to describe strategies for helping manage the movement of water around and through the wall. This includes measures such as drainage systems, plantings, and grading techniques to keep moisture away from the wall and prevent damage or shifting due to excessive groundwater pressure.

Why Water Control Matters

Water control is critical when constructing a retaining wall because it helps ensure that the wall remains stable. If water isn’t properly controlled, the soil can become saturated and shift over time, which can cause significant damage to the structure of the wall. This can lead to structural failure, as well as potential property damage if the wall collapses. Without proper water control measures in place, your retaining wall may not last as long as you could otherwise expect.

When proper water control measures are incorporated into the design and construction of a retaining wall, you will get more value for your money, both in time and materials spent on building the structure. Properly controlled water will help prevent erosion and allow for better drainage, which means that your retaining wall will last longer and require less maintenance over time. Additionally, having proper water control measures in place can also help reduce overall structural costs since you won’t have to worry about costly repairs due to erosion or other issues caused by improper drainage.

Why Is Water Control Important?

There are several different types of methods that can be used for controlling water for retaining wall projects:

– Drainage System Installation: Installing a proper drainage system around your walls helps redirect groundwater away from the structure before it has a chance to cause any damage. This includes both surface drainage channels (e.g., swales) as well as subsurface drainage pipes with catch basins located at regular intervals along their lengths.

– Plantings: Vegetation planted near your walls helps absorb excess groundwater before it reaches the retaining wall. In the meantime, plants also provide aesthetic benefits like improved curb appeal and better overall landscaping design.

– Grading Techniques: Changing the grade (or slope) of land next to your retaining walls can help keep rainwater flowing away from them instead of pooling up against them, which could lead to hydrostatic pressure build-up over time if left unchecked.


Understand Your Site Conditions

Water control is essential when building a retaining wall system if you want it to stand strong against weathering forces over time. For this reason, before beginning any construction project, it’s important to understand your site conditions. Taking time to complete a thorough site assessment will allow you to gain insight on any potential drainage issues so that they can be addressed before they become problematic. Take into consideration the surrounding terrain and its effect on water flow. Pay attention to any natural slopes or other features that might affect drainage. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions about where to locate your structure, as well as how deep your foundation should be. And finally, if you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed by this process, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance from experienced contractors—they know exactly what needs to be done in order for your project to be successful!

Incorporate Drainage Solutions Into Your Design

Once you have an understanding of your site conditions, it’s time to start thinking creatively about drainage solutions for your retaining wall project. Incorporating creative solutions into your design can go a long way toward ensuring proper drainage around your structure so that it remains stable and strong into the future. There are several different options to consider when incorporating drainage into your design. Some of these include using weep holes or drains in the base of the structure, installing filters or fabric between soil and gravel fill layers, or using geotextiles behind the back face of the wall. Each solution has its own benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to research each product thoroughly before making a decision about which is best for your particular project.

Know When To Seek Professional Assistance

Water control is complex, and there are many factors that need to be taken into account when designing and constructing a retaining wall system with proper drainage solutions in place. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by this process, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance from experienced contractors who specialize in this area of construction work. They can provide expert advice on how best to build a stable structure that will last for years without suffering from water damage or erosion problems in the future.

Retaining walls are an important feature for many homes and businesses, as they provide stability and support for soil while also helping prevent erosion and shifting ground conditions. For these reasons, it’s important that when constructing a retaining wall that proper water control measures are taken into account in order to ensure that the structure has maximum longevity and stability. Investing in good quality materials, combined with careful construction methods and appropriate attention paid to water control measures, will help ensure that your retaining wall stands up to whatever nature throws its way.


If your upcoming retaining wall project has the potential to present challenges that a dewatering solution can alleviate during construction, our friendly and seasoned sales team has the project experience to help keep you on schedule and on budget. No matter the stage of your project – repair, maintenance, or construction – the Aqua-Barrier® water-inflated cofferdam will help ensure a safe, dry worksite for your crews. For the past 26+ years, we’ve been the number one provider of cofferdam solutions worldwide, with hundreds of successful projects under our belt. Our cofferdams are offered in a wide selection of working heights and lengths to provide you with the most optimal dewatering outcome in almost any environment. So, if you’ve got an upcoming project that needs to be dry and ready to go fast, reach out to us by phone, or come see us in person at our world headquarters in Waller, Texas!


Please give us a call at 936-372-1222 or toll-free at 800-245-0199 to get started.

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