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Old 07-13-2008, 07:24 PM   #1
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Catch Basin


Hi, I would like to know if there are any laws for catch basins. I would like to know if it is required by law to have a catch basin within x amount of feet of another one on a residential block. I live in a town just outside NYC and my house gets flooded all the time. There is no catch basin within almost 3500 feet (maybe More) and all the water from the streets runs off to the catch basin next to my house. The catch basin get overloaded to often and nobody cares. Also there is a building that is on the other side of my house with parking lots and they don't have one basin, all the water runs to the basins that get overloaded from the streets and also from this building. If I were to build a building with parking lots do I have to put in a drainage system or can everything be built pitch to run off to the street.


Thanks. I hope this makes sense

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Old 07-13-2008, 09:36 PM   #2
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Catch Basin


I'm assuming you're talking about city or county-installed storm sewer inlets. The storm sewer is designed to handle the water on the roadway, which is what lands on the road and what adjoining land drains onto the road or the ditches on either side of the road. Stormwater engineers do calculations (if designed correctly) based on 100 year rainfall (sometimes 500 year) or other design criteria, which determines the size of the sewers and the size and number of inlets. Sounds like someone did a poor job designing your system.

Your house shouldn't be flooding, even if the storm sewer backs up a little. Do you have proper grade away from your house, which is 6" drop in the first 10' per the International Code? Do you have an operating sump pump? If either of these criteria aren't met, you've got a weaker case in my opinion.

You might have some recourse against the city or developer if you can show that their system is causing the problem. I would suggest video and photographs. You should draft a letter to the authority responsible for installation and upkeep of the storm sewers, requesting a meeting at your property to review the problem, and send it certified mail. I would suggest having an attorney and an engineer present if you can swing it.

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Old 07-13-2008, 09:38 PM   #3
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To answer your question about design options, there are a multitude of ways to handle stormwater. They include conventional drains, swales, retention areas, pervious pavement, vegetative barriers, etc. On a conventional storm sewer curb drain system, the number of inlets is determined by calculations and site-specific conditions. An engineer should always be part of the design.
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