Neighbor's water in yard
All of our neighbors have done things to make the water situation in our backyard worse (cutting down trees, putting up decks and sheds), but the people behind our house have been the worst and their land slopes down to our yard (in the photo, they're behind the white fence). Over the years, the house has tripled in size (increasing the surface area of the roof and reducing the area of their backyard); they built an enormous deck; and last year, they covered the rest of the yard with pavers, and their leaders drain onto the pavers. So far this year, after a rain storm or melting snow our yard has flooded 3 times -- one of those times, our "lake" was 7 inches deep. Some of the water in my yard would naturally drain into the yard of my side neighbor, since there is a brook a few houses past his house, but he thought we were partly to blame for his water problem, so he built a berm along the property line. My family has been in this house for 54 years, and we've never seen it like this. I believe that our backyard can handle the water from our own yard, as it did for so many decades, but this is too much now.
I called the building inspector and he won't do anything. He says that the back neighbor's deck and pavers aren't considered impervious surfaces. Off the record, he told me that we could build some kind of berm along the back neighbor's fence, even though the water might then flow over or around the side neighbor's berm and into his yard. He also thought I might be able to bury a big bucket in my yard with a skimmer pump in it and a hose running toward the street (though I'm not sure how to keep the electric cord dry and we don't have an outlet outdoors). What do you think of these solutions? We have many big trees in the yard, so digging up the yard would not be great. Also, in this NJ suburb, the houses to both sides are only about 10 feet away. I'm getting so desperate that I was reading about how they sandbagged the river in Fargo, ND. Thx.