Landscape/Drainage Ideas

mgalbraMay 11, 2011

My sideyard sits below my neighbors backyard, so when it rains heavily (12" in the past few weeks) I tend to receive alot of runoff. The water then hits my driveway and settles in my backyard. I have put in a rain garden in my backyard where the water tends to settle, but it can only handle so much. I have some ideas to try and limit the amount of water getting to my backyard:

1. Would it be useful to create a dry creek bed with landscaping, or am I just making an easier route for water to get to the driveway and take off?

2. Put in a couple of catch basins. The sideyard also sits below the street level, so I would end up gravity draining water to the backyard unless I used some type of pump system.

3. Build another rain garden.

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I'm not sure what we're seeing in the two very similar photos. Whose house? What part of the yard? Is that a street in the background or another driveway? How does the rain get to your backyard from the driveway (lots of weird driveway locations in my area -- some circle the house, etc.)?

Could you post a simple diagram of where the important things are -- property lines, driveway, house, street, etc. -- then indicate with arrows where the water flows downhill? For example, see the (not so simple) diagram in this thread:

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 9:11AM
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It's not often we get a poster here from my home state, Arkansas. We have indeed had a lot of rain lately. On the basis of your post there is little I can recommend except ...

Do Not Do A French Drain!

missingtheobvious is right on point. To give you any meaningful advice we need detailed horizontal and vertical data on your property. If you received a survey when you bought the house, that is an excellent place to start. Depending on what county you are located in, there may be useful info available online.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 10:55AM
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Here is my site layout. The previous pictures were taken from the driveway looking back up the slope towards the side of our neighbors house.

The yard looks rough right now because the water washed alot of my topsoil away.

Thanks for any ideas.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 2:46PM
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Site Plan

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 2:51PM
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    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 2:55PM
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Arkansas is a state that recognizes the Civil Law of Drainage. You may not lawfully block the natural flow of water from your neighbor onto your lot. Likewise your downstream neighbor may not block the flow from your lot. Look for any recent changes your neighbor may have made that obstructs the flow from your lot.

The most critical elevations that will dictate what solutions are available to you are 1 the lowest elevation along the perimeter of the back property line, 2 the house foundation and finish floor height, and the elevation of the high side of your lot if you want to pipe some of the water.

During big rains, the rain garden area will overflow and exit your property at some point. You need to identify where that is.

Your sketch looks great, can I assume it is a scaled drawing?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 3:30PM
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