Re: wet backyard
I would recommend regrading the yard so that it naturally slopes to the sides, then collect the water there in a drain line that runs to the street or other municipal storm run-off collection point. It is illegal to redirect water from your property to surrounding properties.
IMHO, French drains and dry wells are not suited to landscape drainage, it is better to regrade to get natural drainage. You can regrade by either moving the dirt you have or by bringing in new top soil.
I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!