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Old 03-19-2010, 10:55 PM   #1
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Manure runoff in my yard


I just purchased a home this month (after nearly 10 months of delays) and upon cleaning up branches today in the yard, I found a mess of very liquidity cow manure at the very back of the yard which borders a barbed wire fence and a cow pasture owned by the guy living next door.

Near as I can figure, it came from rain/snow runoff. It's in a low spot, allowing it to puddle up.

Back in November or December, I had a survey and septic inspection done (same person did both) and he stated that he saw no surface water/leaking. I'm pretty sure he would have mentioned a big mess of poop (even if it's from cows) in the yard if it had been there. The mess is located somewhat near the drain field area of my septic system, not near the tank, filter bed, or lift station pump. Thankfully it's about 75 feet away from my well. No one has lived in the house for over a year and the toilets have been used only a handful of times in that time.

Has anyone ever had to deal with manure runoff from a pasture next to their home property? Should I just go ask the guy to remove the manure? Then if he refuses/denies it's from his property, get the state health dept involved? The properties in question aren't within any city limits so it would have to be a state health dept issue I think.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:05 PM   #2
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Build a raised garden...the plants will grow like crazy

How long has the Cow pasture been there VS the house ?



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Old 03-19-2010, 11:09 PM   #3
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Where are you located? Many states have STRICT rules about farm runoff. Of course, you may not be in the USA...
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Build a raised garden...the plants will grow like crazy

How long has the Cow pasture been there VS the house ?
The pasture has been there as long as the house pretty much. The house dates back to 1910 but was added onto and totally remodeled/updated in 1998. The problem with blocking the area is that I need to allow rain runoff from my property otherwise I'd just put some retaining wall bricks there.

But also, how should I deal with the removal of the manure quagmire that is already there?


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Where are you located? Many states have STRICT rules about farm runoff. Of course, you may not be in the USA...
Arkansas.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:19 PM   #5
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So correct me if I'm wrong, the poop is in your yard?

If so you probably don't have recourse for him dumping it there in the past. And you most likely cannot get him to remove it.

But you can get the local law enforcement to help you keep him from dumping on your property in the future.

I'm a fan of being overly nice to the neighbors because of the potential for disaster (like dumping poop in your yard). I'd take a pan of brownies over (get it?) and talk to the farmer - ask nicely if he knows of the best way to get rid of it. Bet he tells you to dump it on your neighbors property .

Seriously, be nice and find out what he recommends for disposing of it. He may have some helpful suggestions and you may get a new friend in the deal.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:42 PM   #6
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I'm getting the impression the manure was not placed there but is simply washed down poo from somewhere else, hence the

Quote:
very liquidity cow manure
so I think there is more the question of: can the OP demand the farmer take action to prevent the poo pool from developing.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
So correct me if I'm wrong, the poop is in your yard?

If so you probably don't have recourse for him dumping it there in the past. And you most likely cannot get him to remove it.

But you can get the local law enforcement to help you keep him from dumping on your property in the future.

I'm a fan of being overly nice to the neighbors because of the potential for disaster (like dumping poop in your yard). I'd take a pan of brownies over (get it?) and talk to the farmer - ask nicely if he knows of the best way to get rid of it. Bet he tells you to dump it on your neighbors property .

Seriously, be nice and find out what he recommends for disposing of it. He may have some helpful suggestions and you may get a new friend in the deal.
The seller I bought the house from is also a friend of mine. She told me that guy is a bit wacky. He tried to get her to sell him a portion of the land that contains part of the septic system... which would render the house without a full septic system!

Besides this manure issue, he also keeps mowing down the cannas that are needed to grow in my rock bed filter which aid in the filtering of the septic system waste water. They are in "front" of his house but on my property. The property line is diagonal in front of his house. Don't ask me why the land got divided up that way but it did somehow.

He regularly uses one of my two driveways which also connects to his driveway and allows access to the pasture area behind my and his house. but as far as I know, there are no legal easements so from a legal standpoint, I could place a fence cutting off the connection between his driveway and mine. But at this point, I don't care if he uses that extra driveway of mine so long as he doesn't block it or keep causing me havoc as far as the cannas on the rock bed filter or the manure flowing into my yard.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubey View Post
He regularly uses one of my two driveways which also connects to his driveway and allows access to the pasture area behind my and his house. but as far as I know, there are no legal easements so from a legal standpoint, I could place a fence cutting off the connection between his driveway and mine. But at this point, I don't care if he uses that extra driveway of mine so long as he doesn't block it or keep causing me havoc as far as the cannas on the rock bed filter or the manure flowing into my yard.
I would suggest to prevent an eventual claim of a prescriptive easement, you either stop the use or formally give him permission to use the drive. Permissive use prevents a claim of a prescriptive easement.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:58 PM   #9
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Nap is right. It's easier/cheaper to give a revocable permission rather than divide is physically.

I also have a funny set of property lines - my property line map sort of resembles a map of the state of Mississippi.

You can always make a big production of 'Marking' your property line for a few weeks - just to point out your respective mowing responsibilities.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:18 AM   #10
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I would suggest to prevent an eventual claim of a prescriptive easement, you either stop the use or formally give him permission to use the drive. Permissive use prevents a claim of a prescriptive easement.
Well, that's probably the quickest way to anger him is by trying to restrict it's use. Friends who have seen the driveway all assume it's his because of the wear pattern being a "U" shape that doesn't connect to my side because he uses it regularly and no one has been living in the home I just bought. I use it regularly now too so eventually it will wear down and be more like a "UU" shape.

Plus I don't care to go having to pay to put up a fence over there.

Besides that, unless I find him blocking the driveway, how can I really say anything? He's probably been using it for the past 30+ years. It's not like I can just go introduce myself, ask him to remove his manure runoff from my yard, quit mowing the cannas down on my property and quit using my driveway.

It would only escalate (some of) the problems.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubey View Post

Besides that, unless I find him blocking the driveway, how can I really say anything? He's probably been using it for the past 30+ years. It's not like I can just go introduce myself, ask him to remove his manure runoff from my yard, quit mowing the cannas down on my property and quit using my driveway.

It would only escalate (some of) the problems.
Probably. You do have to start with a relationship rather than a fight. But once you've established the former you can think about making sure you maintain your rights.

I'm a big fan of being nice to your neighbors (even if they don't earn or deserve it). It makes living nicer.....
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:30 AM   #12
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Probably. You do have to start with a relationship rather than a fight. But once you've established the former you can think about making sure you maintain your rights.

I'm a big fan of being nice to your neighbors (even if they don't earn or deserve it). It makes living nicer.....
Yeah. I am thinking I'd have to simply go over, introduce myself and politely ask him not to mow down the cannas on the rock bed filter. And try to deal with the manure myself this time. Maybe try filling in the area with top soil or rocks with some small retaining wall bricks so my topsoil won't erode away and/or allow manure to come back again. Then if it happens again, then I can bring it up.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:32 AM   #13
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You might have a nice option with a swale... Good luck.

I bribe my neighbors with fresh free-range city chickens.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubey View Post
Well, that's probably the quickest way to anger him is by trying to restrict it's use. Friends who have seen the driveway all assume it's his because of the wear pattern being a "U" shape that doesn't connect to my side because he uses it regularly and no one has been living in the home I just bought. I use it regularly now too so eventually it will wear down and be more like a "UU" shape.

Plus I don't care to go having to pay to put up a fence over there.

Besides that, unless I find him blocking the driveway, how can I really say anything? He's probably been using it for the past 30+ years. It's not like I can just go introduce myself, ask him to remove his manure runoff from my yard, quit mowing the cannas down on my property and quit using my driveway.

It would only escalate (some of) the problems.
I gave you TWO options. One would be confrontational, the other not. If you acquiesce to the use without some form of recognizing it and either formally allowing it or refusing the use, the day may come where you want him to stop and you won't be able to legally as his claim of a prescriptive easement may have ripened.


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Old 03-20-2010, 02:32 AM   #15
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You know, I am sure hoping that it *is* manure and not the septic system somehow failing. It's right in the general area where I have been told the drain fields are. A lot of clean water has been run in the past many months due to plumbing repair in the house. I am wondering if solid wastes are being pumped out through the end of one of the drain field lines and surfacing right there in that pit. it smells like cow manure but if it's old wastes in the tank (it may be overdue for pumping) that were re-moistened and pumped out, that may be the odor they have.

And yes, the septic system does have a lift station pump so it forces it into the ground/out of the drain field due to poor soil quality. I know one thing, if it needs a costly septic system repair, I may just have to let the house foreclose because there's no way I can afford a $10,000 septic system repair. That would be pitiful, having to lose the house basically before I even fully move in because of a septic problem that the state-licensed/approved septic inspector didn't see a problem. But his inspection by no means warranties it.

I am so screwed if a simple tank pumping doesn't solve it....
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