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drainage problem?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by mikeklein, Oct 5, 2002.

  1. mikeklein

    mikeklein LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I gave a bid on a doing a trenching job to fix a natural drainage problem,this guys side yard is like a swamp,His house is on a hill,the water is coming from the yard next to his(on top of the hill) and making a swamp out of his side yard,he does not have a basement(slab home).the ground right next to his slab is so wet,it came up to my mid calf!We took a bobcat 763 and nearly buried it(took a F350 to pull it out).To add to the problem,it is all clay and rock,so it is a soupy gray mess.I dont know what to tell this guy,I asked a friend about it,he said an engineer needs to look at it,and possibly use a back hoe to dig up his whole side yard.I think this is a little over my head.I only bid $600.So I told the guy I was probably going to refer him to someone else,and not charge him anything for the work we did do.Was this the right thing to do?It was my mistake to misjudge the job.
  2. MJStrain

    MJStrain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 156

    I'd say bailing out was your only alternative. Might keep in mind that if this is new construction he can go back to his contractor to have the problem taken care of. And if it is not new construction but the neighbor has done something to alter the drainage flow your guy can also go back on him to recover his costs. Something must have changed somewhere if this is not new construction since I don't see someone putting up with a swamp for a side yard for a long period of time....just a thought.
  3. ipm

    ipm LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 264

    He is correct if it is a new establishment. The developer is liable and or builder/ inspectors etc. etc. Usually what happens is the homeowners assoc. will sign off taking full responsibility, and the builder/developer will be free and clear. If it is a grading issue try breach of contract. That is what happens where I am from. You say you know where it is coming from but what is it coming from. i am sure you are out time and money. i hate to see that. A unforseen and hidden cost clause helps for things of that nature. Let me know what happens.
  4. tailoredlook

    tailoredlook LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    dig a big hole add some concrete forms throw in a filter and tell him you just installed a pool.
  5. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    We recently completed a drainage job that sounds somewhat similar. Only the house was built in the '60's or '70's and had an established landscape with tight, limited access.

    The house is built into a hill side and received water from the neighbor. It's not the slow trickle that was problematic, rather the torants that ran after a large rain fall. It came down the slope on the back side of the house into an area at grade with the slab foundation.

    We excavated a trench (solid clay with rock) with a small rubber track excavator. We tied drainage pipe into the storm drain on the house. We laid about 100' of pipe - and about 14 tons of #57 wash gravel. The biggest problem was that the storm drain for the house was barely 6" below grade where we needed to tie in. Worse yet - the storm drain ran under the foundation of the slab rather than on the outside of the foundation. Needless to say we couldn't get much pitch on the pipe - it was nearly level at some points. So we essentially created a swail, filled it with gravel and a pipe to move the water from the large torrants. She wanted to landscape the area - but she won't be able to get much to grow on the north side of the house. Most likely will return with river rock/stone and cover the soil.

    Bottom line - it took us about 50 man hours to do the job. We did not have the haul soil - tight quarters, so we used a dingo to haul soil to a pile in the back of the property and used it to bring the gravel in. Not a bad job... just a bad position for the customer to be in with the house.
  6. mikeklein

    mikeklein LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    The last I heard they had an engineer coming out next week to look at it.I have learned my lesson about mis-judging jobs.

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