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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all once again. I know you’ve possibly heard about me whining about water coming in our yard from up-sloped neighbors yards. But I need to vent and again, ask your thoughts.

Briefly, our house is old, very old. Had wells and a spring next to it. In the early 80’s a housing plan was built behind us with a higher elevation.

Problem-water flows from every house behind us-some areas constant and steady into the yard. One area resembles a natural spring but others seem like water flowing underground. The water table is high because if I dig a hole it will have water sitting in it.

The water is coming from their back yards but they don’t care and they just let it saturate their yards and it cause me to try to trench it in every which direction while they are just floating in their nice pools relaxing.

The township engineer said it’s no use to try a lawsuit against the housing complex which is incorporated. He said spend your money to get landscapers to do the work.

Do you think the township should do something for not just me but for the neighbors?

Our yard is red outlined and the blue is where all water is sitting and flowing from, on their property, but they are ok with having nothing to do with “wet areas” on their property towards the border.
Plant Ecoregion Nature Map Slope
 

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Naildriver
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For background information, see:




Certainly the township should be involved, if not the EPA. We have a rain water creek running down our property and I can't even touch it with a shovel, according to Georgia EPD, so I'd get the local EPD or EPA involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Overwhelming but encouraging at least. Thanks. From older posts, the engineer said the camera test in the pipe showed the storm pipes above were ok. They told me I could view them. They said it’s natural ground water that could even be coming from even like 1/4 mile away, so it’s not really neighbors who are draining into our yard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@Spring4ward what city/county and State are you in? The legal answers to your question will likely arise from state law.
Allegheny county/PA

The township engineer and manager said there are no laws on runoff water and that the house that is downslope is responsible for dealing with water from a neighbor….unless they manipulated their land in a way that caused water runoff.
 

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retired framer
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Allegheny county/PA

The township engineer and manager said there are no laws on runoff water and that the house that is downslope is responsible for dealing with water from a neighbor….unless they manipulated their land in a way that caused water runoff.
As your house was there first I would be reading that law or rule in detail. Did all the properties slope to your yard before they were built.
Can you swear to the fact that you did not have a problem before those houses were built.
 

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Naildriver
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I agree with Neal. I don't see how any property can have a house built on it without some dirt work. And if the dirt work wasn't done well, you'll have problems.
 

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Allegheny county/PA

The township engineer and manager said there are no laws on runoff water and that the house that is downslope is responsible for dealing with water from a neighbor….unless they manipulated their land in a way that caused water runoff.
Thanks. I'm an attorney, but not in PA.

You might want to consider consulting someone in PA knowledgeable about that type of thing. It sounds like a lot of hassle. The laws of different states vary, sometimes a lot, about things like that.

I'll try to learn what I can. I'm curious, too.

Sorry to hear of your bad situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks. I'm an attorney, but not in PA.

You might want to consider consulting someone in PA knowledgeable about that type of thing. It sounds like a lot of hassle. The laws of different states vary, sometimes a lot, about things like that.

I'll try to learn what I can. I'm curious, too.

Sorry to hear of your bad situation.
That’s very nice of you
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As your house was there first I would be reading that law or rule in detail. Did all the properties slope to your yard before they were built.
Can you swear to the fact that you did not have a problem before those houses were built.
There was slope before they put them in in the early 80’s. I speak to my 79 yr old neighbor who was born next to our house a lot. He was related to the land owner who formed the neighbor houses. He said there was no water there and that he rode a pony where the one house is now that has water like a faucet running through our yard. I also remember the yard was so dry that virtually no grass would grow, but at some point it changed. I believe there are several problems related to water issues but different. I do like that calling the EPD and EPA was recommended. I really need impartiality because the engineer, as smart as he is, is working for the township.
 

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retired framer
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Thanks. I'm an attorney, but not in PA.

You might want to consider consulting someone in PA knowledgeable about that type of thing. It sounds like a lot of hassle. The laws of different states vary, sometimes a lot, about things like that.

I'll try to learn what I can. I'm curious, too.

Sorry to hear of your bad situation.
Pennsylvania follows the “common-enemy rule” with respect to stormwater runoff. Under the Rule, an “upper” landowner may discharge its stormwater on the land of a “lower” landowner. However, water artificially diverted from its natural channel across a “lower” landowner's property can be considered a trespass.Jan 27, 2020

Water Flows Downhill - Liability Flows Up - McNees Land Use Blog
https://www.mcneeslanduse.com › 2020/01 › water-flows-...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Pennsylvania follows the “common-enemy rule” with respect to stormwater runoff. Under the Rule, an “upper” landowner may discharge its stormwater on the land of a “lower” landowner. However, water artificially diverted from its natural channel across a “lower” landowner's property can be considered a trespass.Jan 27, 2020

Water Flows Downhill - Liability Flows Up - McNees Land Use Blog
https://www.mcneeslanduse.com › 2020/01 › water-flows-...
That’s the way the engineer put it as well.
 

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I would look for an attorney who is familiar with local building issues and at the very least have a consultation.
You certainly can build up your yard or provide some type of wall to retain and redirect the water.
If your home was there first and the builder disregarded the effect the improvements would have on your property I feel he's responsible.
Maybe they can't fix it for you but you may have some recourse for them to foot at least part of the bill to alleviate the issue.
I would make a few calls to local attorneys and state your problem as clearly as you can and see if any of them have solutions.
But don't offer them solutions......let them tell you.
 

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Use the FOIA act if necessary, get copies of the site plans for the development, see if there were any comments about controlling or diverting runoff.

But this is the 4th discussion you have started on the same thing. Time to hire an attorney and stop relying on anonymous internet posters.
 

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With out a doubt you live in a county were they practice not providing information.
30 minutes on the web page going around and around and around.
Found these.

Sadly these people have all the docs on their side and do not share.
I suggest you get a attorney familiar with the city and get the docs you need. Then you can decide you can sue them
this last one might be the best

My county made it easy to find all of the water run off information and how to use it. (Pima County Arizona) You are fighting an up hill battle against the government they do not admit to making mistakes, unless you hammer them.
 

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If your land has slope, then the water would run off your property to whatever is lower.
If sections of your property does not have slope, you are fighting a losing battle, regardless of what the lawyers say.
Township engineer could be right.
 
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