Water in your basement? It may be coming from your roof.

If the runoff goes right down the downspouts onto the ground next to your house, water may seep through the basement walls.

You have a variety of ways to solve these problems. Some are simple, but only marginally effective if your problem is severe. Others, like a dry well, involve a lot of work, but never fail.

To put in a dry well, start by cutting away and saving the sod over the run of the drain, or over the well. Keep the sod damp while you work so you can use it to recover your work when you finish.

Use plastic drain pipe for the drain line. This is lighter and easier to handle than old-fashioned clay drain tiles. A 10-foot length is only about $4. Lay the pipe in a trench. Dig by hand, or rent a ditch-digger if you have severl wells to construct.

In any case, the trench should be about one foot deep of the house end, and should pitch at least one-quarter inch per foot downward as it runs to the dry well. In most cases the pitch will be greater than this due to the slop of the land and the depth of the dry well (at least 18 inches below grade).

Make the well itself out of an old 55-gallon drum. Dig a hole the circumference of a 55-gallon drum and about a foot and a half deeper than the drum is high. Cut the ends out of the drum and punch about 30 drainage holes in its sides.

Set it in the ground and connect it to the drainpipe. Then fill it with rocks and rubble. Over the top place a cover of two-inch planks and, over that, a sheet of plastic film. This will keep slit from clogging the well.

Finally, refill the trench and the area over the well with dirt. Pack it down so the earth won't settle later on, and resod. Keep the sod well watered for a week or so. In a month the damage you've done will have disappeared - along with the water in your basement.