Re-routing downspouts & runoffs ...any advice?

One of the first jobs I plan to do when we move in to our first home in July is to re-route the gutter downspouts and run-offs.

Currently, the downspouts run into the ground at the foundation (!), and my inspector told me that in a 50 year old house such as mine, the original system built under there to carry the water away has probably broken down, or is breaking down bit by bit and I should get it out of there before problems develop.

So here’s my plan:

First I am going to move one of the downspouts location. Right now it’s by the driveway, right next to the side door. Since I am bringing the run off out of the ground, I can’t leave it where it is or rain will flood the major walkway by the door, and that’ll freeze to make a nice sheet of ice in the winter.

So, I want to take that downspout completely off, and adjust the pitch of the gutter itself to the rear of the house. There, I will install a new downspout to the back yard.

Now, back here I have plans for the future (deck, patio), so I don’t want the run-off to be above ground, where people will have to step over it. So back underground we go.

The plan is to dig a 10 - 12 inch deep trench on a pitch sloping away from the house, and install a length of pvc pipe (connected to the downspout at one end) that will carry the rain water as far away from the house as possible.

My questions are:

How far away should I run the pipe?

When I finally do drain it at the end, is there anything I should do to make it last for years? I was thinking of ending the pipeline into a ‘bowl’ type area filled with small stones to prevent mud from settling over the opening of the pipe in the future and causing the ruin off to back up. Not sure if that’ll work though.

Is there any advantage if I split the run-off to two different exits?

Is there any point in trying to use the run-off water? (Other than a well system). Should I point it at the flower garden as means of watering the plants, or will that just kill them?

I’m also a little concerened about what will happen to the area of earth around where I finally do let the water out. I don’t want a re-occuring marsh land after a particularily heavy rainfall. (For the record, I am in southern Ontario. We have a pretty heavy wet season in the spring, and the mean precipitation for June, July and August is roughly 75 mm).