I Need Help!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by pilotcoplawnboy, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. pilotcoplawnboy

    pilotcoplawnboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Here's the problem. In my back yard where my next door neighbors yard and mine comes together, there is always standing water after it rains. There is about a 8" slope from the center of my yard to the property line of his. It drops off more the closer you get to the property line, therefore leaving water there constantly. I also have a privacy wooden fence that goes down the property line leaving half of the water on my side and half on his. What should I do? Here are some pictures.
  2. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    What is that brown? Mulch,dirt? Hard to tell. You can build it up some and install a french drain.
  3. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    The brwon looks like it might be pine needles washed out of beds?

    I'm assuming that's where the water sits, too.

    I'm also assuming that where I can see the corner of the fence is the end of your backyard (and the area where the water is, is closer to your house).

    What you have to first do is get a copy of the drainage plan for your house/subdivision. You likely got a copy of that, for at least your lot and a few adjacent to yours, in a closing packet when got got the house, or in whatever paperwork the previous owner gave you (if there was a previous owner). Look for tiny arrowheads on each lot line around your house, with some measurement at each corner, like '831.35', or '294.01'. Once you have this, you'll be able to tell which way the lot should be graded.

    With that, either bring in fill or excavate, grade and reseed to get to the right elevation. If you can't, because where your lot meets up with others your lot is higher (trapping the water in your yard), then you could create a drain field and run it out to the lowest point in your yard. Or you could hire a surveyor to see if everyone else's yard was graded improperly, then contact your city if they were, and tell them you want to force everyone regrade their yards (don't expect to have many friends if you pursue this option).
  4. pilotcoplawnboy

    pilotcoplawnboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Thanks. The brown stuff is pineneedls that I put over the mudd spots where my dog kept walking in. The good part is that the yard does slope back making it easier for me to keep the water away from my house. I think I prefer the idea of filling it in with dirt and just reseeding it.
  5. Kirk

    Kirk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I don't know how bad it is...the pics don't look that good that's for sure. What we did in Germany in situations like that was...taking a Hay Fork and made tons of deep holes in the lawn, and filled these with Sand.....Sand soaks up water pretty good, and the grass growes right over it .But like I said, I don't know how much water we are talking here.
  6. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    I am assuming that the water collects under the privacy fence. If not ignore the rest. I think I am on the same page as Stonehenge.

    I would excavate down b/w the fence posts and put in some stone to create a dry well. Depending on how much water you are trying to get rid of will determine how deep to go. You could even put in some french drain and slope it to run the water off to the back of the property. If you wanted to cover the stone, use landscape fabric , add topsoil and plantings and you have a nice bed along the fence. Second benefit is not having to trim the fence and posts.

    The problem I see with regrading is that you will need to become higher than the neighbor then grade off. This may move the problem to the other side. If you are going to grade-up the entire yard, that could mean a need for some significant dirt.
  7. Kirk

    Kirk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Taking another look at your problem,,,
    It seems that the wicking on your post shows you have around 1 to 2 inches of water standing on your neighbors lot line most likely only in the spring and very rarely is deeper than the grass in your yard. Seeing also your fence looks around, I would say less than 4 years old, there shouldn't be to much water damage, however this standing water will definitely decrease the life of the posts significantly. There isn't much you can do these days to pass this loss onto your neighbor. Perhaps you and your neighbor could go in on installing drain tile to the cities sewage drain. Permits will be required for this. Most likely permits are required for anything you do, taking a look at your yard size. This sometimes works but not all neighbors are willing to help pick up any expenses.

    I recommend you take this problem up with a couple reputable excavation companies in your area. They should know your city code and have dealt with these types of problems before. Landscape companies are good to ask, but there are many who don’t know the city code as well as they should. Have them take a look at your property and give you your options. I would definitely talk to around 3 different companies to get more ideas. Everyone goes about solving these issues their own way. I can assure you that backfilling is not going to solve your problem unless your neighbor is going to allow you to backfill their property too. You might want to be careful backfilling, if you do have neighbors behind your property (assuming this is where you plan on redirecting run off) you could be up for a lawsuit. Permits may also be required just to backfill your property. Better check with your town, the fines are pretty bad.

    Did you have a problem with standing water before the fence was installed?

    Maybe I'm over estimating how much water you actually have. This water could simply be caused by packed ground not letting the water pass through. Solution is as simple as taking a tiller to turn over the ground on both sides about 4' to 5' wide of the fence add about 6" of fresh soil and reseed.

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