Monday, July 04, 2011

Diverting a Neighbor's Runoff Away From the House

During heavy downpours like yesterday's, water from my neighbor's driveway used to head straight for my house. This flow of water from one property into another is a common source of tension between neighbors.

Rather than complain, I dumped some extra dirt under some bushes on that side of my yard, forming a berm that redirects the neighbor's water towards the front of my lot. The water flows into a raingarden under the dogwood tree, where a buried, perforated pipe carries any unabsorbed water out to the sidewalk.

It's subtle, but you may be able to see the water flowing across the sidewalk into the row of hostas.

The goals here are 1) divert water away from my foundation, to reduce humidity in the basement, 2) capture some runoff in a raingarden so it has time to infiltrate into the ground to feed the trees, 3) use the city stormwater system in the street as an escape valve for any extra water the raingarden can't hold.

The only drawback is that, if you want to have the satisfaction of seeing that the system works, you have to go out in the rain, which, after the lightning and thunder has passed over, may not feel like a drawback at all.

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