Storm water, Gutter lines

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by shortgrass01, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. shortgrass01

    shortgrass01 LawnSite Member
    from SC
    Messages: 160

    I have a customer that has new Gutters installed on her home. She asked me if I would run the lines away from the home. I said Sure. so I got to checking around to see if it was ok to run the gutter water to the curb as I have seen done so many times. I ran across this New water act and Counties wanting to charge a fee for this. If fact it sounds as if they are going to impose a fee to every owner to keep the water clean.

    if this is so, wasn't this the job of the engineers of the state to assure this to begin with? why do we have to pay for there goof up.

    anyways, I never dug a drainage line for a residential home..I'm mostly weed lawn and mowing. she is a real nice customer and I try to see if I can before passing the job off to someone else. Its just two down spouts, but it going to be a lot of water in the two. I may run it to the back part of the property. Should I let someone else do this... due to regulation? I called the city engineers and they said I had to write a letter explaining my intentions? humm write a letter?? geezz

    South Carolina
  2. Stevegotcrabgrass

    Stevegotcrabgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    I have no Idea what you are talking about. I would plumb it out to the little pop up heads in the lawn. PVC pipe, and the pop up...???????? Am I missing something?
  3. clean_cut

    clean_cut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,327

    You mean directing the rain from the gutter's on the roof of the house into a pipe that will then go into to the street and storm drain?

    Hey I though SC was lackadaisical on their laws, with no license plates required on trailers, and no lights either??? ;)
  4. shortgrass01

    shortgrass01 LawnSite Member
    from SC
    Messages: 160

    yeah, after checking to make sure I didn't bust any ordnances. I found out the Clean water act passed a couple years ago. This is giving power to the states to charge a fee for water run off. Most people will see a 20-30 fee on there property taxes.

    Talk about a rip off, dig into this subject and you will see why business is being sucked dry.

    $25 x 150,000,000(Property Owners) =3,750,000,000 to fix a problem that was signed off by the state engeers.

    All I started wanting to do was run some underground water lines from the Gutters on the house. ( Storm water ) to the curb so it would flow into the street. Still havent found out if this is ok. I was ask to write a letter for the request.. pfft.
  5. clean_cut

    clean_cut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,327

    Tell us how it turns out, doesn't sound like much fun :(
  6. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    If my memory serves me, all city manicipalities have property ordinances. The city owns easement footage and these zones cannot be tampered with without a permit or some type of regulatory fee. Some LCO's have performed drainage reliefs before such permit laws were implemented and the majority grandfathered into the business beforehand.
    I worked for a couple utility companies in the past and had to deal with other issues of easement problems. My old house was within 12 feet of a busy street thoroughfare and was always having trouble with drainage and runoff problems. I know this has nothing to do with gutter french draining but it is dealing with easement issues. I could not construct a retainer wall to keep the water from flooding my shop building. I brought this up with the city planning committee and the city corp of engineers. I was told that the home and shop building was grandfathered in after building before the street was widened, so if I wanted to do any type of preventative measures, I would have to purchase a permit and follow all rules of code. In all essense, the shop would have had to be torn down and moved back 12 feet off the easement, my chainlink fence would have to be moved back also. So, I hope you can understand that the most sweet of customers either know these guidelines or they are trying to get you to do something illegal. Case and point: A customer calls me to do an estimate in a culdesac area of her back lawn. There is a creek that runs around the back fenced in lawn. Each time it rains, the water backflows onto her back lawn and overflows her patio and sliding back door. The thing to do would be to bring in soil, take down the fence, build a retainer wall to prevent water from backfilling, resod and replace the fence with metal poles,etc.
    The customer wanted a bid to do this work, yet they didn't understand that after me contacting the engineering department, they had already been out to survey the trouble. Something the customer didn't tell me. The storm drain creek is actually the problem of FEMA, whom owns these misc. creeks that are outside of the city parameters.
    The short story is that I would have to have FEMA reconstruct this waterway and all of the work because of easement tampering. No LCO or construction company could come in and rectify the problem as the site is natural and has to be replaced just the same as before. How in the hell can you bring in machinery, which has to be small type stuff to not harm the natrual integrity of the site.???? Of course, I didn't get to bid this and sub contract it out because of EPA, PC&E, and FEMA regulations. They didn't want to alter the lay of the land, construct french draining from only two downspouts to the creek and add a concrete reinforced wall and fence. Their only comment was, the customer should have known what they could face in the event of storm water and that insurance will cover any damage to home in the event of a catastrophy.
    Sometimes it is better to let dead dogs lie!!!!!!
  7. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    If you're running lines over an easement, the the line in the sand has been crossed, right? Can the pop up heads be placed in the lawn somewhere short of the as not to run over the easement??
  8. shortgrass01

    shortgrass01 LawnSite Member
    from SC
    Messages: 160

    Wow, I glad I stopped to think. Such a simple thing can get you butt chew out. Sad really, Now I going to have to tell the customer it going to cost more. Nothing like 5 different people telling you how to dig a ditch. I may go through the motions to see just how much Bs this involves. I have some time before I will have to hand it off to someone else.
    You really have to be on your toes when it comes do customers I agree, This is perhaps one of my best customers, and it always me that says "Sure!" Not thinking that it may not as simple as it might be on a Golf Course.

    Thanks for the replies, Id was going to post up a pic and show ya what I was planning, but it kind of pointless seeing as I have to get code and restrictions.
  9. shortgrass01

    shortgrass01 LawnSite Member
    from SC
    Messages: 160

    Think Green, I hear ya Brother. Gotta Stay Smart.. thats for sure. The less mistakes you make; the better it is for you in the long run! x10
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Not sure if this has been mentioned but it bothers me how rarely I do see it,
    seems like I'm the only one who has ever posted this warning here...

    How come?
    You guys just dig holes like ladeeda, doesn't that run you into problems?

    Before you dig...
    It's not just for your safety, it's the law.


    Don't be a fool, NEVER dig without doing this.
    Do NOT take the homeowner's word that there are no lines here or there.
    Do NOT leave it up to the homeowner, don't even mention it to them, just do it and right away.

    Let them come out and mark all the utility lines such as power, water, cable, gas, telephone, etc.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010

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