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Old 05-29-2013, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 3,636,687 times
Reputation: 1495

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Is there any way to bring in fill dirt to build a berm between your property and theirs?
The berm I imagine is what's causing the problem in the first place. If you are suggesting mimicking what the downstream neighbor did to you, ultimately you are passing the problem off to someone else (and frankly Karma is not something to mess with).

The thing about engineering (which keeps me in business though I dont do domestic work anymore) is that every lot and every situation is way more complex than one answer. It really depends on your exact lot layout and how the topography works in relation to your house whether one solution will work or not. You could berm water on your property to send it between your house and the lot line to another part which could get collected by the public storm drainage... then again I have seen lot situations where this won't work because there is no outfall from one side of the lot to the other.

Sketch it out, send it to me (or post it on this thread) and I'll tell you what your options are. Without the sketch, you could pick a solution which might cause a worse condition for you.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:16 PM
 
2,669 posts, read 4,514,127 times
Reputation: 2117
Sayeh, I can't top tysonsengineer's generous offer. But I can give you some possible referrals, in response to your request. Neither of these is cheap. But here goes. When we had water problems caused by neighbors' drainage and the bad slope of our own lot:

1) Weiler's Landscaping installed a French drain and took other steps outside that helped.

2) MER/Morrison installed (and later extended) an interior sump pump system that has worked well. Neighbors had good luck with Desert Dry.

This was after we tried the landscaping suggestions (e.g., make sure the soil near the house is higher than the soil farther away) that several made (which didn't solve the problem).
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:35 PM
 
2,612 posts, read 4,748,372 times
Reputation: 3943
Quote:
Originally Posted by vauser View Post
Our neighbor's sump pump and a # of other down spouts are pointing in the direction of our house, and given the way the land is graded, pretty much all of their water flows into our yard resulting in it being perennially soggy. Both of us moved into our homes quite recently and have made no changes to the grades or the downspouts, so it is a builder issue. However, we are unable to prove it or convince them to fix it. Given this, what are our options?

Even if we are willing to (out of no choice) spend money and extend the downspouts (connected to the sump pump and the other ones draining water from the roof) so it flows outside of our yard, we have no control over our neighbor's downspouts. Given that all of their water, pretty much, is flowing into our yard, their yard is dry so they don't have a problem, so to speak, and hence, wouldn't be willing to do anything let alone spend their own money to fixing a problem their neighbor has (even though the source of the issue is their house).

I recently learnt that I could get the county involved but have no clue where to start (we live in Loudoun county). I know folks in this forum are almost always more knowledgeable in just about everything. So, I've come here looking for advice. Thanks much!
I live in Fairfax not Loudoun, but our rules are probably similar. Here, if they did nothing to deliberately point their water at your house (and you said they didn't), then there is nothing you can do legally. Also, I disagree that the problem is their house. Their house is not creating water and pumping it into your yard. That water is coming downhill to their house from somewhere else. Why is it their responsibility and not the neighbor uphill from them, or uphill from that one and so on?

We were in your neighbor's position not long ago. Water was running downhill from above and into our yard, flooding our yard and house and then running into the neighbor's yard and flooding his. The neighbor blamed us. We chose not to have bad relations with the neighbor uphill from us and just dealt with the whole thing in our yard to make everyone happy. We installed a large catch basin at the point where the water entered our yard, and then created a french drain that ran from there out to the street (that's legal where we are - might not be where you are). The drain is filled on top with gravel (NOT dirt). We re-graded a bit so the water doesn't enter our home and flow around it along the drain instead. Then we built a small retaining wall along the border with the neighbor's home to keep the water from flowing over to there. It's worked very well. It cost us about 3K. I would suggest you invest in a similar system and just leave the neighbor be.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 3,636,687 times
Reputation: 1495
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie5v View Post
I live in Fairfax not Loudoun, but our rules are probably similar. Here, if they did nothing to deliberately point their water at your house (and you said they didn't), then there is nothing you can do legally. Also, I disagree that the problem is their house. Their house is not creating water and pumping it into your yard. That water is coming downhill to their house from somewhere else. Why is it their responsibility and not the neighbor uphill from them, or uphill from that one and so on?

We were in your neighbor's position not long ago. Water was running downhill from above and into our yard, flooding our yard and house and then running into the neighbor's yard and flooding his. The neighbor blamed us. We chose not to have bad relations with the neighbor uphill from us and just dealt with the whole thing in our yard to make everyone happy. We installed a large catch basin at the point where the water entered our yard, and then created a french drain that ran from there out to the street (that's legal where we are - might not be where you are). The drain is filled on top with gravel (NOT dirt). We re-graded a bit so the water doesn't enter our home and flow around it along the drain instead. Then we built a small retaining wall along the border with the neighbor's home to keep the water from flowing over to there. It's worked very well. It cost us about 3K. I would suggest you invest in a similar system and just leave the neighbor be.
Read your convenants and look at the plats for your subdivision. Often either a storm drainage easement is located in concentrated drainage paths, or the convenants specifically say that actions on one lot can not cause impounding of water on another lot. Now, depending on the age of the subdivision, that language may not exist. People didnt realize the legal problems of storm drainage for a long long time, until some of the less desirable (aka in flood plains, large watersheds etc) started being developed. That generally started in the 90s, but in the 2000s storm drainage policies were far more stringent and black and white.

It is illegal, to disrupt a natural drainage pathway without permit in the state of Virginia, and damages incurred due to your actions CAN be held against you. That is a DCR policy.

Now, whether or not you get away with it is similar to building a fence or pool without permit. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. But I promise you, there is a legal recourse for making modifications to a natural drainage pathway which causes damages to an adjacent property; and if this has happened to you, you should really seek legal representation if you have the proof to show there was a change to lot grading or utilities that caused it on your neighbors property.

Last edited by tysonsengineer; 05-30-2013 at 06:48 PM..
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:08 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,469 times
Reputation: 10
Default Can you suggest someone in Prince William co to review the same scenario?

Can you suggest someone in Prince William County to look at a "soggy" situation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
First things first.

Look up your subdivision site plan at the county and or plat. If you see an SD easement (storm drain) going through your yard then there is really nothing you can do. It is a flow route, and you would actually be in trouble if you were to regrade that conveyance path.

If there is no SD easement on the plans and plats, then next thing you need to look into is the subdivision plans and the two properties lot grading plans. Compare the grading of the subdivision plan with the lot grading plan. If the elevations differ significantly then the builder (assuming they are still around) may have messed something up. Depending on the timing of when they messed it up, they might be on the hook to fix it for you.

For instance, if you bought your home, then the builder tweaked some grading on the next door property which caused detrimental water conveyance to your lot, then the builder has changed the conditions of the lot that you purchased and essentially encumbered your property with a storm drainage path and easement.

If there were no changes to the plans between lot grading and subdivision, then the only thing left would be if your neighbor did some yard work which caused a change in the grading and drainage path. If that is the case there is precedence to go to the County and note that the path for drainage on your neighbors lot has been altered from the approved plat and is causing a drainage issue on your property by conveying to a new outflow location.

If none of the above are the case, I am sorry to tell you that you bought a soggy situation. There are some things you can do to fix it, but they are dependent on the configuration and elevations of your house compared to the low spot compared to the closest relief point.

Trench drains can help, but you need to make sure you can find outfall for the underdrain/pipe. Otherwise, if you are just putting in a gravel pit for a french drain, you run the risk that you might be in non-percolating soil, and not really solving the problem. This wont be noticeable until the first big storm comes and all of a sudden you have a pool in your backyard.

I can help you take a look at it if you want, send me a PM if you have more details.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 3,636,687 times
Reputation: 1495
Quote:
Originally Posted by micheleweir View Post
Can you suggest someone in Prince William County to look at a "soggy" situation?
Bowman (my old employer) has a lot grading department in their Manassas office. Thats not the most cost effective necessarily, but they will cover everything from the existing conditions/plat pulling to permitting for whatever changes you need.

Other than that, I sadly don't know many individual engineers in PWC anymore. You can try Hish & Company which is located in Fairfax but does a lot of work in PWC. You can DM me and I can send you either's phone number.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:59 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 2,173,327 times
Reputation: 6125
Quote:
Originally Posted by vauser View Post
Our neighbor's sump pump and a # of other down spouts are pointing in the direction of our house, and given the way the land is graded, pretty much all of their water flows into our yard resulting in it being perennially soggy. Both of us moved into our homes quite recently and have made no changes to the grades or the downspouts, so it is a builder issue. However, we are unable to prove it or convince them to fix it. Given this, what are our options?

Even if we are willing to (out of no choice) spend money and extend the downspouts (connected to the sump pump and the other ones draining water from the roof) so it flows outside of our yard, we have no control over our neighbor's downspouts. Given that all of their water, pretty much, is flowing into our yard, their yard is dry so they don't have a problem, so to speak, and hence, wouldn't be willing to do anything let alone spend their own money to fixing a problem their neighbor has (even though the source of the issue is their house).

I recently learnt that I could get the county involved but have no clue where to start (we live in Loudoun county). I know folks in this forum are almost always more knowledgeable in just about everything. So, I've come here looking for advice. Thanks much!

You have my sympathies, believe me. I had the exact same problem and the next door neighbor is a total jerk and he wouldn't even admit there was a problem he was causing. He's an idiot, and I wish they would move. I talked with my attorney about it, and we were getting ready to have a letter from my attorney sent and decided to talk to him one last time. I didn't mention anything about the attorney to him, but I said I would like to talk to you when I saw him in his backyard one day. I explained it's a problem and he tried to blame it on the rain and that he has the same problem. I explained that it was the sump pump discharging on the property and told him I have an underground drainage system in my yard and he it installed when I bought the house to get rid of the water. I then kept quiet, because of his ego I wanted him to come to the conclusion that he would tied his sump discharged into my existing system and that way the water would be gone. By the way, his own yard was suffering from this because he was lazy and clueless what to do about it. So after he realized his "his own brilliant" idea would work he said he would take care of it. To my surprise the next day I noticed the work had already been done, he had a guy come out and ran his sump pump pipe underground to connect to my underground system. I can't tell you I was totally shocked he would agree to do anything and even more shocked he had the thing done and right away.

The result is, this entirely fixed the problem.

His property is higher, and his downspouts are going to drain down but that has not been the issue. I don't believe the downspouts are your biggest issue, it's that sump pump, because it discharges water all the time even if it's not raining. I would attack the sump pump problem first and don't worry at all about the downspouts.

Find a place for the water to be discharged and then work towards getting the neighbor to connect to it. Water can be discharged to a number of places, check what is allowed in your area, but what's important to remember is that water is always going to run downhill so don't just divert your water to someone else's lawn because it doesn't solve the problem. There are many underground discharge solutions to use even if you don't have a creek near-by.

If after all this the neighbor refuses to do anything about it, contact a real estate attorney. Have the attorney send him a letter explaining the issues that need to be resolved and that they need to have the problem corrected to your satisfaction by a certain date, or there will be legal action. Have your attorney explain that them taking action to get this fixed now will save them more money than having to go to court and loosing their case, and explain the reasons why they will lose the case.

Hope this helps!!!
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:14 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,102 times
Reputation: 10
how to fix flooding around my outside wooden garage in backyard
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:26 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,102 times
Reputation: 10
Default flooding floor

should i dig down around outside of garage and put gravel then connect a weeping tile around the whole garage and drain it out to a french drain the garage floods not the back yard the reslpoe ground to flow away from garage
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:31 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,102 times
Reputation: 10
Default flooded garage

how do i fix my flooded wooden garage every year when the snow melts and goes under the wooden walls and over the cement pad wrecking the 2x4s getting wet the frame around the outside walls i have to put everything on wooden skids so the wont get wet then come spring it turn to ice inside garage
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