Water Runoff Problem

astronomer25August 26, 2008

I have several problems, but I would like to address this one first. I live in North florida and got 18 inches of rain from FAY.

what can I do to my yard to mitigate runoff?

My house sits below the street level and crazy water runs down the road to the left of my driveway, down my driveway and to to the right of my driveway. My across the street neighbors removed trees in the past few years (one house removed about 20) so I get significant runoff in any rain, but it killed me during Fay. I was emptying buckets and trying to get pools of water off my garage and from in front of my house.

I have a ditch on the left side of the house when facing the house. If possible I would like the water to go into the ditch, but it is not very deep and it was full when FAY rolled through. I think I could dig the ditch deeper though.

1 neighbor has put an asphalt curb down the length of his poperty on the street which forces the water down my yard.

what kind of landscaping can I do to

1) keep water from pooling infront of my garage

2) keep water from pooling infront of my house

3) get the water into the ditch if possible

4) protect each side of my house from the river run offs.

Pick any of these four that you think you can help with and I will work one at a time.

see photo's of my property...



I would like a nicer looking yard, but funds and time is limited, and I will make mini projects and post the results.

The backyard is a whole different project.

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Here is the link. I am a new member and this is my first post.

Here is a link that might be useful: Yard Pictures

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 10:12AM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

well, unless you dig the ditch out ALL the way to where it dumps into the next largest ditch, all you will do is allow it to backup and hold more water infront of your property.

18" of rain will flood just about anything near normal grade.

about the only thing you can do is to build up your lot and make sure slope is away from the house.

also, around here they build a berm around the property in areas where river/ditch flooding is a frequent event.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 12:41PM
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cynandjon(Z 5/6)

Did you check with your local township or city to see if this runoff from other properties is allowed? In our township you cant drain water from your property onto someone elses. Even rain runoff. Depending on the codes the township or city might make the neighbors take care of their end of the problem.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 5:01PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Gutters on the house would also divert all of the water from the roof and keep it from adding to the problem.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 8:34PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

I would add gutters to direct roof water away from the foundation...

Really after 15" of rain, things look pretty good to me.

You could also install some J-drains for specific areas to direct water elsewhere... a jdrain functions just like a trench drain. They can be installed without machinery using a shovel. Realize all drainage things have a capaicity limit, most aren't design to carry that much rain that quickly....

My best friend lives in Cocoa Beach, they got 33 inches of rain in a 72 hour period. Her hubs drove over fish in the driveway. But the house stayed dry. I think that is pretty darn good...for that much rain.

Here is a link that might be useful: j-drain

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 11:23AM
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Your photos are nice, but as an aid to plan any remedial action for drainage, they are useless. What is needed is a detailed site plan with elevations. You can hire this done or do it yourself.

You said "1 neighbor has put an asphalt curb down the length of his poperty on the street which forces the water down my yard."

If I understand correctly, your neighbor has built a curb such that it blocks the water from the street that before naturally flowed across his land. The result being that the water flow has been diverted so that it now flows onto your property.

Law differs from state to state, but the most common application is the civil law doctrine of drainage. Unless you live in one of the few states that use the common enemy doctrine, your neighbor has made an unlawful obstruction to the flow of water.

A good overview can be found at:

"The lower owner must accept water which naturally comes to his land from above, ..."

In Arizona:

"A second drainage law is "The Civil Law Rule of Natural rainage". This rule states that a landowner has the burden of receiving onto his/her land the surface water naturally falling onto and freely flowing onto it from land above it. The rule further states that a landowner has the right to have the surface water falling upon his/her land and naturally flowing onto it to flow freely from it onto lower parcels as it would flow under natural conditions. The key words are "naturally flowing". Any modifications to the surface topography or the drainage ways that cause natural flow to enter or leave a property differently (different peak flow elevations, frequencies and flow locations) can create a liability and put you at risk regarding litigation."

Or from:

"A landowner has no right to obstruct the flow of surface
water. The owner of lower land obviously has no right to
build a dam, levee, or other artificial structure that will
interfere with the drainage of higher land, according to the
CIVIL LAW as it is applied in Illinois."

If you have already suffered damage as a result of the water diversion (you will need expert testimony at trial to prove this), inform your neighbor of the damage and ask to make a claim on his homeowner's insurance. You may not get any money, but it's likely that the insurance company will tell their policy holder to remove the flow blockage or they will cancel the insurance.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 2:13PM
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