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usmcstormvet 08-21-2008 07:20 AM

Drainage Problem?
3 Attachment(s)
See attached pics. This ONLY occurs, ironically, when I'm not home (My wife likes to take photos to prove it to me). The wife is adamant that this is a problem, whereas, I see it as normal run-off during heavy rains. The attached, crazy enough, is from a heavy t-storm last week (AUG 08) with about an inch of hail.

The photo's are shot looking out my back patio door and to the right is the right side of my house. Rain washes from the street in front, through my neighbors property, into mine at/before/after my smoke house, and finally down my property. I'll assume some of it makes it to a pond in my adjacent neighbors yard behind my house about 200 meters away.

Shortly after the storms, the "river" effect is gone, no puddles remain and the ground is moist as during steady rains. We reside in rural country with no curbs or public drainage.

I have no water leakage in my basement and honestly think its a blessing to have rain soaking into the ground to keep my well full.

So does anyone think this is an issue or just normal run-off?

ciera 08-21-2008 08:18 AM

Yeah, I'd call that a pretty big problem. That is a ridiculous amount of water. Is this entirely run off from the street? Do they not have any storm drains for this to run into?

If this is street runoff, I'd call the city/county/whoever owns the road and see if there is supposed to be a system for water runoff.

How much land do you have there? I'm asking because if you've got a lot of space, you can probably just direct the water away from your home to another part of the property. I'd actually make a dry streambed to direct the water to a more appropriate location away from your house and any structures.

usmcstormvet 08-21-2008 08:52 AM

Like I said in my original post:


Originally Posted by usmcstormvet (Post 150506)
We reside in rural country with no curbs or public drainage.

In the country, no public sewer or drainage. Only happens during heavy rains. No effect on house, no standing puddles after the fact.

I have an acre. The pic is my right property limit - basically where the far right stream is rolling along.

ciera 08-21-2008 09:01 AM

Whoops, sorry about missing that.

Whether or not it's actually a problem probably depends on the geography of your land then. If you have the money to do so, a dry streambed could contain it better and would still allow the water to soak into the ground.

usmcstormvet 08-21-2008 09:11 AM

Ok, then how to do that to contain the water that comes on my property so as to not get into legal issues of "directing" it downstream or otherwise?

I'd like to keep grass where grass. I aslo do not want a "culvert" between me and my neighbor to the right. I see that as creating a stream which would channel the water through my property to the land behind me.

Brik 08-21-2008 09:38 AM

It seems, based on your descriptions and pictures, to maybe only negatively affecting your smoke house. I would inspect the smokehouse foundation for issues and consider raising it up a bit if water comes in. Other than that if this is a temporary thing and keeps out of your basement and stays away from your house and doesn't damage the lawn then I wouldn't worry about it.

Don't let your kids, if you have any, play in it for safety sake.

usmcstormvet 08-21-2008 10:19 AM

1 Attachment(s)
For comparison, see pic from 2 years ago in the spring. The chestnut tree has since been cut down and the garden on the side of the smoke house has taken on a life of it's own.

The only negative effect I've seen from the runoff is the bush is being uprooted due to the water flow. You can see the difference from the pic attached to the recent ones during the storm.

I have plans to refurbish the smoke house. I only use it to store small amounts of firewood during the winter to keep out of the weather - plus it's a heck of a lot closer than my wood pile on the other side of the property. Very much worth it during those cold winter nights! :eek:

Thanks for the replies!

downunder 08-21-2008 08:39 PM

Just my 1 1/2 cents worth:

Looks like you have a couple of acres all total where you are getting the runoff from, not mention what is coming from the street and the fact that you have a pretty good grade there. Yes that is a lot, but what is "a lot?"


normal run-off during heavy rains
Looks about right if you had say, an inch in an hour. FYI- I work for a city parks dept in GA and lots of our ballfields look like that after a hard summer thunderstorm. No problem. They drain off in about thirty minutes. Washes some of our walking tracks. Problem unless you consider it job security. Just depends on how you look at it I suppose.

What would it take to be problem? You say no problem with the house. Only erosion is around one bush that you mentioned and photo doesn't show any thing in particular. Puts water back into the ground water table.

Don't know about you, but too many bigger things in my world to worry about.

Bondo 08-22-2008 04:01 PM


Maybe it's Just Me,.... But I'd Sell the place,+ Move.....

Living in a Dry Riverbed doesn't sound like a secure future to Me.....

If that's Just a normal heavy rain,...
What's goning to happen in a Real Torrential Downpour,..??..??

downunder 08-22-2008 05:00 PM


I see it as normal run-off

during heavy rains

heavy t-storm last week (AUG 08) with about an inch of hail

If that's Just a normal heavy rain,...
What's goning to happen in a Real Torrential Downpour,..??..??
I'm thinking that the run-off is normal; the rains are heavy.
Heavy t-storm with inch of hail would equal 1-2 inches of rain in a matter of minutes, at least in some that I have been caught in.
So wouldn't that be a "Real Torrential Downpour?"

As a certified Erosion and Sedimentation Control specialist as well as a Georgia Certified Landscape Professional, I would call the water flow in the photos as "sheeting", which is two grades less severe than "stream and channel", which one would expect to find in a "dry riverbed." There is also vegetation in place that helps slow down the water flow and allows rain to replentish the water table. Exactly what it should do. Don't see any gulleys or rills.

Still don't see a problem.

usmcstormvet 08-22-2008 06:39 PM

This is fertile farm land in north-central Maryland.

Water has to go somewhere upon downpours. I just happen to sit in a low area, loose definition of a draw.

I like like downunder's assessment as a specialist.

I'd have figured out a problem if it was effecting moisture in my basement - never a problem - and I would then need to re-grade to move the water away from my house. As said previously, the water runs off or settles soon after the rain.

On a side note, I'd just like to make the wife tell me I'm right and there is no problem with the way the rain water drains from my property.

Thanks guys! :thumbup:

downunder 08-23-2008 11:12 AM


On a side note, I'd just like to make the wife tell me I'm right and there is no problem with the way the rain water drains from my property.
You're on you own there bud. Got all I can handle with mine!

KHouse75 08-23-2008 04:19 PM

Looks very familiar. My property is pertty low. I'm pretty much in the center of a bowl. When it would rain very heavily, I would get the same runoff. As soon as the rain would stop, all the water would be gone.

I diverted much of the water by digging a 1.5' deep by 3' wide dry riverbed around my property. When it rains, the water follows in the dry riverbed and amost never flows through the yard. I put in a nice bridge as well for looks along with an outdoor kitchen area.

It wasn't a problem for me. I just thought it would be cool to have a dry riverbed 362 days of the year with a nice bridge leading to a gazebo and grilling area. The dry riverbed just serves an added benefit as a culvert for those 3 heavy rain storms we get per year.

usmcstormvet 08-23-2008 10:10 PM

downunder - tell me about it. She brought it up again this evening wanting me to build a berm on that side of the property to keep what comes from my neighbors yard into mine from getting in.

khouse - would love to see some pics if you would. might be something I can incorporate into this side of my property.

Thanks all!

KHouse75 08-23-2008 10:48 PM

Here's the best I can do now. It's too dark out. We haven't received any downpours or much rain for that matter here this year so everything is dried up and dormant.

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