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Old 05-14-2007, 06:05 PM   #1
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Building a drainage ditch


I'm a new homeowner. The house is wonderful, however the yard had been neglected considerably.
I have finally gotten rid of the noxious vines, the lawn itself is improving but...

My neighbor's gutter ends flow straight into my yard and form puddles that stay wet for days after a rain. Needless to say, my neighbor isn't too interested in making any water-flow improvements on his property. The street is on a bit of a slope, his house being slightly higher, so the water gets a lot of help flowing into my yard. Also, at the year of my property, the water tends to collect because the drainage ditch is overgrown and restricted from flowing into the city-provided concrete ditch at the year of all our houses. T

I want to install myself a small drainage ditch from the front of the property (where their first gutter is located) along the south property line and around the corner to eventually drain into the city drainage ditch.

Problem is, I have no clue where to start. How deep/wide does the ditch need to be? How to I make sure it's dug in a slant to ensure water flow? Does it need to be filled with rock?

I would really appreciate some advice.

Thanks.

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Old 05-15-2007, 09:50 AM   #2
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Building a drainage ditch


Sounds like a good excuse to rent a small excavator for a weekend! :p

The size will depend on how much water it needs to handle. The pitch needs to be about 1/4" per foot, I think.

I'd line it with gravel, landscape fabric, and grapefruit sized rock,
to prevent it from washing out, being muddy, or overgrowing with weeds.

Now the pros can come along and correct any or all of the above. :D

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Old 05-15-2007, 12:35 PM   #3
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Building a drainage ditch


Isnt there a thread on here somewhere that states its illegal for someone to knowingly direct drain water onto someone elses property? I'd look into the root cause before I started digging up my own yard due to someone elses waste water.
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Old 05-15-2007, 02:17 PM   #4
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Building a drainage ditch


I thought the rule that someone posted was that you can't discharge onto someone elses property, but if your downspouts end 1 foot from the property line that's ok.

He states his neighbors property is uphill of his, so I doubt there's much his neighbor can be blamed for. It's not like he can prevent water from flowing downhill.
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Old 05-15-2007, 02:29 PM   #5
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Building a drainage ditch


Thanks for the advice. And I'm not a man; in cases such as this, it might be more convenient! Anyway, I'm learning as I go. The neighbor's spouts end at least 4 feet from my property line, so there's no issue there. I don't mind taking care of it, I just wasn't sure how to even get started. One more question though, because my degree was in liberal arts and not math and/or physics: how do I determine a 1/4-inch pitch per foot????
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Old 05-15-2007, 02:44 PM   #6
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Building a drainage ditch


Not being a man won't matter. It just means you'll ask for advice and make a plan, then carefully execute it, instead of just renting the biggest digger your truck can tow, tearing up your yard, and figuring out the details "later".

Anyways, you can mark out that slope by putting two stakes along the side of your proposed ditch, one at either end. Tie mason's string tightly between the stakes, using a level to get the string level. Then measure the length between the stakes (in feet) and divide it by four, and label that inches. Say the stakes are 40 feet apart. That gives you 10 inches. Move your string down 10 inches on the stake you want the water to drain towards. That's your 1/4" per foot slope. Then if your string is 3' above the finished grade of your ditch, just use a 3' long stick to act as your measure of how deep to dig.

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Originally Posted by get outside View Post
Thanks for the advice. And I'm not a man; in cases such as this, it might be more convenient! Anyway, I'm learning as I go. The neighbor's spouts end at least 4 feet from my property line, so there's no issue there. I don't mind taking care of it, I just wasn't sure how to even get started. One more question though, because my degree was in liberal arts and not math and/or physics: how do I determine a 1/4-inch pitch per foot????

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