Saturated Ground Causing Major Problems With No Drainage

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by michaelmeyers31, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. michaelmeyers31

    michaelmeyers31 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Need help on a customers yard. They live at the bottom of a small hill with houses atop the hill. The yards are 1/2 acre lots in a small neighborhood. The problem is the water is drifting downward and possibly causing saturated ground in their lot. They have lived here since 1977 and seems to be getting worse. They had to move their septic tanks to the front yard because their toilets would not flush during hard rains. The front yard now seems to be the worse. The grass is slowly thinning out and dying. the front yard stays saturated with very little saturation in the back yard which faces the uphill. They have neighbors on both sides of their house. There is a shallow gulley between the yards but that has since become even more shallower. Should I start by digging a deeper gulley for better drainage which leads to the ditch or is it possible there may be a leak in their spetic tanks or all together another issue? Thanks for any assistance.
  2. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,113

    I would run some underground drainage pipe in the bad areas and move the water away from the lot...easy work and good money too
  3. michaelmeyers31

    michaelmeyers31 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Thanks for your help. Sounds like good advice. This is a big account and I would hate to mess this one up. May look into subcontracting out. Thanks again.
  4. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Smart move when your not sure. Get three estimates and look at there references. Believe me even when you contract it out you are responsible for everything, make sure you get a good cut on the money too.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,362

    You might want to be careful when dealing with a situation where it might be some septic tank overflow included with this ground water. In our area they want you to keep you "sxxx" on your property. I am in urban area where everybody is an enviro expert.
  6. bobcat9957

    bobcat9957 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Is there some kind of drain in the yard that could be plugged? If there was a french drain or curtain/surface drain that went into the gulley. Is one of the neighboring houses new or just had work done that would change the drainage?
  7. michaelmeyers31

    michaelmeyers31 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I am not aware of any. I am pretty sure they have an underground leak. They mentioned a spring but I am sure that it is not. The water flows to a ditch that flows down through the neighbors. But they have lived here for 30 years and just starting to notice a problem. I think they had the septic lines moved to the front of their house several years back, 5-10 years ago. I think the lines may have sprung a leak some where. The back is not a problem just the front. Does not smell but I dont think that is much of an indicator. What do you think of the underground spring theory? Thanks guys for your input.

    FATWEASEL LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 326

    Is this a low pressure system? Any trees near their system, crape myrtles, weeping willows? Any chance you may have broken some of the lines in the leaching field?

    Most grass I've ever seen around a low pressure system is tall thick and dark green but can stay pretty wet, especially after a rain. Don't usually see it thin out.
  9. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Could be bad poop. do they eat allot of spicy food??
  10. michaelmeyers31

    michaelmeyers31 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    They do have a large tree in the front that was planted about 8 years ago and it has grown quickly. I think the saturated soil is drowning the grass due to no oxygen. And usually that means the grass is doomed and will never grow properly. I think I can remedy the saturation however I need to remedy the source first and that seems to be the problem. I do not know where to search for the source without digging up the whole yard. COuld start out simple but as you know the customer wants you to know exactly the problem and wants it fixed the first time.

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