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Old 10-03-2008, 07:20 AM   #1
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Help with serious flooding problem


I'm very glad to have found this forum and hope someone here can help me with a serious flloding problem. A few months ago, I bought a house on a double lot, and just recently bought another small adjoining lot that connects to mine. Being new to that neighborhood, I didn't realize there was such a bad flooding problem on this new lot until this past Monday when we had a very heavy rain. I notice that rain water was flowing from Forest Ave., which runs parallel to my block (Woodside), through Lot 12 (the new one I just bought), and emptied into storm drains on my block and creates very deep puddling. The lot became totally submerged in water. According to my neighbors, who have been living on my block for years, the town knows about the serious flooding problems on Forest Ave., but does nothing about it. The person I bought the lot from doesn't live in town, and said she were unaware of this problem. She is willing to help with the cost of correcting it, which is a big help to me.

It was my plan to put a parking pad of some sort on this lot, but I don't think that would be possible until I can fix this flooding problem. Since the town doesn't seem to want to do anything, I want to know what, if anything, I can do on my own to prevent this water from flooding over my lot by diverting it or draining it somehow. I've been reading about trench drains, creating dry wells, and grading in this forum. Would one of those options work for my problem, and how expensive would that be? While everyone else in my neighborhood complains about the flooding, I want to actually do something about it, but I'm just not sure what.

Thank you for any help you can offer to help fix this situation, and I'm sure my whole block would thank you too! LOL

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Old 10-03-2008, 07:48 AM   #2
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Help with serious flooding problem


If your lot is getting standing floodwater, you're going to have trouble controlling it. If it is just runoff from higher elevations and you can determine where it is entering the property, you can often divert or direct it with berms and swales. It would probably take a considerable amount of grading either way.

Dry wells are an option, but if the lot is becoming totally submerged, the drywell would have to be the size of a house to contain it.

My suggestion would be to locate a storm water engineer in your area, and pay them to consult on the problem before you likely spend tens of thousands of dollars trying to correct it.

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Old 10-03-2008, 07:50 AM   #3
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Help with serious flooding problem


Also remember that this is an empty lot right now....Meaning it is all pervious surface. If you add a parking lot on it, you add its area in impervious surface, which will exacerbate the drainage problems.

Better parking options would be gravel or pervious concrete (allows water to drain through).
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:43 AM   #4
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Yes, you will have to do major regrading there, and that might mean raising the level of your parking pad by several feet which will then divert water to lower spots elsewhere.

I mean, installing a dry well is worthwhile if the flooding affects your house, but not for something like a parking pad. The best practice is always to get the water away from you as far as humanly possible.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:57 AM   #5
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Help with serious flooding problem


If all of you neighbors are experiencing this same problem, form a neighborhood committee and complain as a group. It is easier for your town to dismiss one homeowner at a time than to a larger group.

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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
My suggestion would be to locate a storm water engineer in your area, and pay them to consult on the problem before you likely spend tens of thousands of dollars trying to correct it.
If the town does not act, have your group hire the engineer and let him develop a plan for the area. You do not want to correct your problem and create a bigger one for your neighbor or vice versa.

Pool your resources (no pun intended).
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:13 AM   #6
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Thank you all for your advice. As you suggest, I will try to find an engineer who can help me decide which is best way to correct this. As far as getting my neighbors to help out with the costs, I will ask them, but I don't think they would be willing to do that. The flooding effects mostly me becaue it's my lot that the water flows through, and they probably won't want to spend the money. The water does pool up in front of their houses, but it usually drains into to storm drains shortly after the rain stops. As I said, it seems these people have been dealing with this flood problem for years and have chosen to just accept and complain about it. Since complaining about it doesn't really help much, I would rather do something about it. Instead of just complaining about it, they should have done what one poster here suggested year ago, but they didn't, so it looks like it falls upon me to take care of this issue. One neighbor did suggest sending a petition to the town to get them to do something, which is worth a try. I just don't hold out much hope that anything will come of it.

The parking pad I was going to put in will be made up of gravel, because I was told that it drains better, and is less costly than using concrete. Hopefully, with the help of the engineer, I can get this problem sraightened out.
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:47 AM   #7
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Help with serious flooding problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by MNUZZI View Post
Thank you all for your advice. As you suggest, I will try to find an engineer who can help me decide which is best way to correct this. As far as getting my neighbors to help out with the costs, I will ask them, but I don't think they would be willing to do that. The flooding effects mostly me becaue it's my lot that the water flows through, and they probably won't want to spend the money. The water does pool up in front of their houses, but it usually drains into to storm drains shortly after the rain stops. As I said, it seems these people have been dealing with this flood problem for years and have chosen to just accept and complain about it. Since complaining about it doesn't really help much, I would rather do something about it. Instead of just complaining about it, they should have done what one poster here suggested year ago, but they didn't, so it looks like it falls upon me to take care of this issue. One neighbor did suggest sending a petition to the town to get them to do something, which is worth a try. I just don't hold out much hope that anything will come of it.

The parking pad I was going to put in will be made up of gravel, because I was told that it drains better, and is less costly than using concrete. Hopefully, with the help of the engineer, I can get this problem sraightened out.
Where are you located?
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:10 PM   #8
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Help with serious flooding problem


If you are getting all of the runoff from one street and it is traveling through your lot to another street, I do not think you want to put in a gravel pad. All this will do is saturate your ground and eventually the ground will not take any more water and you're back to square 1.

You must be able to direct the water through your lot into the storm drain.
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:15 PM   #9
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Hello 47 47,

I think your suggestion is very prudent. That water definitely needs to be diverted around the lot and not through it, so that it goes into the storm drain where it belongs. Would I do that by putting in some sort of drainage ditch or pipe? What would be the best (and hopefully easiest) way to do that?
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:44 PM   #10
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Help with serious flooding problem


Where are you located? How much rain triggered this flooding? Was this average, higher than normal or 100 year rainfall? What is the distance between the streets? Does your lot abut both Forest and Woodside, or is there another property in between? What is the change of elevation between Forest / other property and the Woodside drain? For water to drain you need a pitch of 1/8" per foot minimum.

I am no engineer, just a diyer who has solved his own water problems, so take my advice at what you paid for it and if I don't know I'd tell you so.
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:57 PM   #11
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Help with serious flooding problem


Thank you again 47 47. Your advice is very valuable, and you are very kind to offer it to me. To answer your questions:

I'm located in Monmouth County, NJ near the Raritan Bay. Being so close to the water, our soil is somewhat sandy.

The landscape is flat, but the topography slopes slightly downward from Forest Ave to the Woodside Ave storm drain.

This flooding only occurs during very heavy and prolonged rain. When this happens, Forest Ave's drainage system is unable to handle the this type of rain, especially during high tides, and the water backs up on Forest and spills over Lot 12 towards the end of Woodside Ave where I live.

Lot 12 abuts Woodside is at the U of a dead end street. It does not abut Forest Ave. There is another property next to lot 12 that abuts Forest that also gets quite flooded.

I hope this information helps, and thank you again for your help.
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:33 PM   #12
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Help with serious flooding problem


You really don't know how much money the previous owner is willing to contribute. Best advice, consult with the engineer before any action and have the previous owner pay / contribute for the recommendation / correction. Do not start this project without a good solid plan, because once she pays an agreed price you are financially on your own.

IMO, your least expensive and quickest option would be a ditch / swale / berm combination along the rear of lot 12 where the water enters and direct this to another ditch / swale / berm to exit on Woodside near a storm drain. This would redirect the water and possibly not flood the entire lot.

My concerns with this choice are the sandy soil conditions and the short time before winter for the vegetation to grow to minimize erosion and the willingness of the previous owner to contribute with a correction. You really need to know if you have enough grade to hit the top of the storm sewer. If you don't, you will create a pool on Woodside.

If I were in your situation but did not have the other owner, I'd call dig safe and get to work with a grader box if there is adequete height change. I would also wait with a parking pad, until I could evaluate whether the drainage work is successful. If you want to put in an interim pad use stone.

Without seeing the lot, these are my recommendations. I'm sure others will chime in. Best of luck, Mike
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:46 PM   #13
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Mike,

Thank you again. You are correct in saying that I'm not sure how much "help" the previous owner will give me. I will call a flood engineer to see if I can get a free estimate first before I do anything, so I know what to negotiate for.

The idea you laid out sounds good to me, but I'll hold off until I hear from the engineer.

It's not urgent that I put in this parking pad right away, so I can certainly hold off on doing anything until Spring before doing anything.

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