If you live on a hill side, it water and drainage issues can cause a lot of problems. Because Mother Nature has her own plan when it comes to weather, preparing for the average yearly rain and snow can get you into trouble when planning a hillside drainage system. Controlling water and erosion on hillside can be performed completely naturally. However, you have to apply the materials properly and with a specific plan in mind.
One of the first orders of controlling water on a hillside property, is to create and over accentuated swale. What you are essentially trying to create is a trough to direct the water around your house. This trough is typically held up by a wall that has another trough on the backside of it between the wall and the house. This allows the massive on-slot of water that screams down the hill during heavy rains, or winter melts to be slowed and diverted around the house. Any water that falls next to the house is also diverted around the house.
Once the water is diverted around the house, rock beds can be used to slow the path of the water down and dissipate it along the hillside or divert the water into one specific area. The rock beds are made of 2 to 6 inch natural rock that sits in machine cut swales. It makes no different if the rocks are jagged or smooth in terms of what will work better to control the water.
For slopes of more than 60 degrees, terracing the hillside with natural rock walls will diminish the initial pitch of the hill and create natural drainage that will lessen the hydrostatic pressure of the hill and allow the water to flow down the terraced hillside without taking a lot of soil with it. The terraces should have a slight pitch to them for positive drainage. Natural stone can sit on portions of the terraces to create outdoor living space that your guests can enjoy.
Prairie grasses are great for controlling water, but also hold a great deal of soil. These grasses can grow on extremely steep hillsides, stabilizing them and preventing erosion and run off. One of the greatest aspects of prairie grass is that once it is mature, it does not need to be maintained and will act as a beautiful, natural aspect to your landscape.
All of the above features that will naturally prevent water issues with a hillside home are great ways to use natural materials while creating a beautiful nature-scape for everyone to enjoy. The implementation of these types of drainage and erosion system are no more expensive than running hundreds of feet of drain tile and other fancy drainage systems that only last for 10 years. This type of design will last forever.