Lawn runoff issues

blakeas(6 OH)April 8, 2014

Live right outside Cleveland, OH. I am having a problem with water runoff coming into my lawn from my neighbor. I am flanked by neighbors in my backyard on the left, right and back. My problem is the neighbor to the right. my backyard gently slopes away from my house and my neighbor's yard on the right's lawn gently slopes to my lawn. I have a 2 to 3 foot secition of trees, shrubs and groundcover that is in between the 2 lawns. However, the water is coming right through it. On the backside of my lawn I have a 2 to 3 foot wide of trees, shrubs, and groundcover that separate me and my backside neighbor. That is is built up enough where water does does go over it into my lawn. However, what that does is the water coming from my neighbor to the right stays in my yard and I have a small pond during a hard rain. What are my options that I should pursue?

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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I doubt you will get answers. This sounds like attorneys should step in. Or, you pay a ton of money to some drainage expert.



    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 7:21PM
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blakeas(6 OH)

Wow - I am actually pretty cordial with my neighbor and I wanted to do something to stop it myself. Do I do a drainage ditch to a dry creek bed? I guess I should take some pictures? would that help?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 7:24PM
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Yes, pictures will probably help. With drainage, one must know about the lay of land OUTSIDE of the problem area. We need to know where water flows and where it can go after it pesters you. It's very difficult (or impossible) to understand this from a short verbal description. It would be better to submit pictures that show a wide view of the area. And that show how the land lays. (This is a starting point.) It may not be that bleak.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 8:05PM
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blakeas(6 OH)

OK - Got pictures to share.

The 1st is an overall picture of the backyard area I am having a problem with. to the right of the swing set it pools there:

this below is a closeup of the area.

The 3rd is a little to the right looking straight down my property line so you can see the sloping from my neighbor to my lawn.

Please let me know if these suffice?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 8:35AM
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amanda_m(z7 MD)

Is there any way you could install a rain garden where you are getting the "pond" and turn it into a feature? If you do a Google search for "rain garden" there is a lot of information out there.

For some reason, I can't see your pictures, so maybe this isn't appropriate for the area, but if it was, it would be a better solution than getting into a wrangle with the neighbor and the law.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 10:34AM
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The thing to find is how water can get out of the area. In pic 3 it looks like there might be a slight swale near the property line and that it might go toward the front of your's and next neighbor's front. Is all the planting (in pic 1 & 2) raised so that it blocks water from leaving ponding area and entering the swale I think I see? (Unfortunately, subtle grade does not show well in photos so you must declare / explain what grade is doing.) If there is a swale, is it blocked somewhere between pictures and where it would empty out (near front of property)?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 12:20PM
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blakeas(6 OH)

I am surrounded by neighbors - Left, right and back. My Lot is 200 ft long. so the front yard is a LONG way away.

the plantings in the middle are raised just a little but water still gets over them that whole way from the middle near my patio all the way to the back end of the property. And yes, it doesn't go back the other way to the neighbors side and plus his yard slopes towards mine.

Should I just dig a trench on my side of the slightly raised plantings and have a French drain go to a dry creek bed in the back portion of my property? Near my swing set?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 1:58PM
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Sorry ... do not have a clearer understanding. Still don't know if there is a swale or other path for water to get out. Don't know overall lay of land. Maybe you could diagram the basics ...? Cannot make a recommendation without understanding basics.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 10:23PM
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blakeas(6 OH)

Sorry, don't have a diagram yet. my lot is 200 foot long. My front yard is about 150 feet away from where my issue is in the backyard so I don't think it is feasible getting a path to my front yard so it could drain to the street. Secondly, I am surrounded by neighbors in my back yard on the left, right and back. So I could direct water to one the neighbors yards but that would not be very nice. Once the water come from my neighbor over my plantings in the middle and rests in a big puddle between my swing set and the dirt to the right. I wanted to intercept the water before it started puddling and making a big pond to the right of my swing set. I was thinking of digging a ditch do a dry creek bed so the water could just go in there and then dissipate over time?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 12:25PM
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When your yard is mostly dry, take a hose out to that wet spot and turn it on. The puddle will keep getting deeper and bigger until sooner or later water will spill out of the depression and run across your yard to a property line. Mark the route it takes. Take photos of the marked path and come back here for instructions.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 1:35PM
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"so I don't think it is feasible getting a path to my front yard so it could drain to the street."

I'm NOT AT ALL saying what's feasible. I'm ASKING for accurate information so we can determine what is feasible. So far, the information is vague.

"...So I could direct water to one the neighbors yards but that would not be very nice." It's not as if you talk to water nicely, it will run any other way than downhill. We're not talking about funneling water in an unnatural way onto the downhill neighbor ... just letting it escape in a natural way from your yard. It is not your obligation to keep all water that enters your yard. Done in a "natural" way, letting it escape causes no harm. It is what everyone is doing ... and must do. If no one let water escape, all the rivers would run dry. And how nice would that be?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:07PM
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