Monday, August 18, 2008

A soggy mess

Hello Neighbor. You. Yes, you. The one who lives next door to me. I know that we've met. I've seen you two or three times in the, what, 5 years that you've lived here? I am happy to see that you are making a few improvements around the house. Are you planning to sell? Or maybe remarry? Really, I've seen more activity at your house in the last month than I've seen since your wife moved out. I'm not sure that I'll miss you. I am not sure you were ever home enough to miss. Now that we have the pleasantries out of the way, let me tell you something:

You and your landscape crew need to stay out of my yard. And stop touching that hose. Yes, I know that it is dripping water down into your yard. It is supposed to do that. And I see that the extra water is causing a soggy patch in your yard. Believe it or not (and I'm guessing, not), the problem is not our hose. Let me explain.

You see, when our builder (who I hear has gone out of business) designed our yards nearly 10 years ago with the huge hill down the back, they designed a way for the water to drain safely among the yards without washing our backyards (and eventually, our houses) down the big hill. There are nice storm water collection spouts every three houses, and the water is supposed to drain from our yard, through yours, and down to your other neighbor's (notice the large concrete drain in their yard? It's not decorative).

About the hose: This year we have had a lot more rain than any summer I can remember. And for once, our yard did not drain. We even have a sump pump in our basement, to help expel water, but our builder (the one who went out of business) ran the spout from the sump pump about 3 inches out from the side of our house. So the water filters in from the back yard, and is pumped up and out a pipe, where it runs right back to the same spot in the back yard. We couldn't mow for nearly a month because the mower sank into the mire. Sorry about the weeds.

Yes, I'm getting to the hose. Don't touch it! The end you don't see is attached, not to the water spigot, but to the sump pump. Now, instead of running that darned pump 24/7 to cycle water back and forth across a lone corner of our yard, it is actually being cycled back into the waterway, which drains into your yard. By design, remember.

I'm sorry to see that your yard now has the soggy spot. At least you don't have a sump pump. Be aware that every time you (or your lawn service) moves that hose to the edge of the big hill you are doing two things: 1) Tresspassing and 2) Potentially causing a soil erosion problem with that big hill. We do NOT want the water to rush down the hill, or it will take our yards with it. And honestly, I don't want to get any closer to our back yard/down the hill neighbors. I am sure they are nice people, but I prefer some space.

We will soon have to find someone to dig us some trenches, lay some drainage pipe (which my husband calls "tile"...but I keep picturing a bathroom floor not a perforated pipe), and get our whole mess moved underground.

Guess what? It will still drain into your yard. Sorry. It is designed to do that. And really, though we can totally empathize with your plight, we're not going to change the plan. We will not be creating any problems for your house that do not already exist due to the design of the landscaping, and to the settling of the dirt in the yards. I suggest you re-grade your yard a bit to help it drain to your neighbor's yard.

Feel free to pass along this message to your other neighbor and explain about the waterway design. Maybe it will help them cool off once they notice the swamp their yard has become. It has certainly helped me.

1 comment:

Kathy G said...

You know, don't you, that even if your neighbor read this post he wouldn't think you were talking about him? That kind never does.

Our neighborhood is having a similar problem in the common ground due to poor design of the drainage basis by the builder (who is no longer around). No easy answer...