First off, I'm not even sure if this is in the right forum, so mods feel free to move it as you see fit. Ok, so I went to do an estimate for a customer today. He has a problem with a lot of water collecting in his backyard every time it rains or during the spring thaw. I have made a picture below of what the place looks like. The blue area is where water collects, the green area is a "swamp" area thats supposed to be for drainage, however it sits higher than his yard, as do all the other around it. The town engineering department has also put drainage tile in (the red line), and that doesnt do squat because the pipe is broken and the end of the pipe in the swamp area slopes up so its about 2 feet out of the ground. The town engineering department refuses to do anything about it. The guy wants his whole yard re-graded from the house back, which is fine, but we still need to give the water a place to go. the customer wants to put a french drain in pretty much right along where the property line is and have it connect to the swamp area. He has the cooperation of the neighbors who said do whatever you need to even if it means tearing up their yards. I was thinking in conjunction with re-grading the yard, dig a small ditch, maybe 2 feet wide by 2 feet deep, lines with crushed stone, and have a new french drain below it. This would run right along the property line and then into the neighbors "swamp," which I was thinking of putting a small percolation ditch in to collect water as well. The problem is, I think to put in another french drain and do it right, the one the town put in would have to come out. Obviously I can't just start digging it out, but they won't do anything about it either. I also assume I would need to get all kinds of permits and submit plans to the town to do this and possibly be required to have some kind of certification. I really would like to do the job because it would be a huge job and a lot of money, but at the same time I really don;t care to get involved with getting permits and having to draw up professional plans and whatnot because thats really out of my league.