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Thread: Land Alterations Flood Neighbor Property

  1. #1
    Principle Engineer Cragyon's Avatar
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    Land Alterations Flood Neighbor Property

    Land Alterations Flood Neighbor Property

    Below are sets if images of a property I'm aware of that has experienced flooding as a result of a land alterations. The land was a vacant lot then purchased and divided by one of the current owners. The land was then cleared of debris and sand/rock trucked in and a new topology created. It is clear that the new elevation of the alterations are notably higher then the adjoining properties including the property being flooded.

    Recently a new driveway access was created with sand and rock that has prevented water from draining into a nearby street drainage culvert. At some time in the very near past there was drainage ditch that collected the water runoff and directed the water into the drainage culvert preventing water from pooling on the property in question and others in the surrounding area.

    The images you see are the results of a typical rain day at the location. Clearly a water management plan was not formulated prior to the land alterations.

    In general the land alterations have resulted in this property becoming a water shed storage area. The owners have been contacted and the flooded property owner is awaiting their response.

    Comments?








    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Cragyon; 03-17-2022 at 08:35 AM.

  2. #2
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    I've seen this before, we just re-worked a developer property that did not follow the code and disappeared when asked to rework the grade. That'll damage the foundation if not dealt with quickly.

    This is in New Jersey?

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    Def a code violation though it does look like sand a rock which has some permeability to water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 88-GT View Post
    I've seen this before, we just re-worked a developer property that did not follow the code and disappeared when asked to rework the grade. That'll damage the foundation if not dealt with quickly.

    This is in New Jersey?
    That's in the south - look at the palm trees in the third image.

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    The land developer did not adhere to local drainage or zoning laws. I hope the house owner is pursuing this through the local jurisdiction though they should first contact the developer and alert them to the damage. The developer is responsible for damage to the house and foundation so I would think they would ack in good faith.

  6. #6
    Principle Engineer Cragyon's Avatar
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    The rumor is that the owner met with the road property owner and an agreement was made to scrap the access road down to the original grade and allow the water to drain as it has forever.

    The guy getting flooded and the road owner are exploring ways to get the water across that roadway and into a drainage pipe to accomodate each others needs.

    I think the owner (an engineer BTW) wants to solve the problem and move on vs a legal action - which is last resort.

  7. #7
    Principle Engineer Cragyon's Avatar
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    Here's an overview of water runoff and drainage from adjoining property.

    Nature of Water Disputes


    Water that comes into a home can cause a significant amount of damage, resulting in ceilings and floors collapsing and possibly the development of mold which can be expensive and difficult to eradicate. Additionally, the structure of a home can be compromised due to flooding, an overflow of water or a buildup of water. When a neighbor’s water leads to damage, serious disputes may arise.
    Surface Water

    In water disputes, it is often necessary to first determine the source of the water. Generally, neighbors are not held legally responsible for damage to a property that is caused by the natural runoff that occurs when rain or other precipitation meets the earth.
    Diversion of Water

    However, if the runoff is caused by alterations of a neighbor’s yard that causes more water to run down the land onto the neighbor’s property, legal recourse may be available. Some states have laws that prohibit individuals and businesses from diverting or impounding the natural flow of surface waters that damages another’s property due to overflow caused by the diverted water.
    Reasonable Use Rule

    Some states use the reasonableness approach to determine whether or not to hold a neighbor responsible for damage caused by water. States that follow this rule generally require an individual to prove that the neighbor took some type of affirmative action that caused a neighbor to sustain water damage, this alteration to the land was unreasonable and this action changed the natural flow of water onto the property. The fact finder may evaluate a number of different factors in order to determine whether the alteration was reasonable or not, including the relative importance of the alteration, whether the damage from the diverted water was reasonably foreseeable at the time the neighbor made the alteration and the difference between the value of the damage to the neighbor’s property than to the increased value of the diverted neighbor’s property.
    Common Enemy Rule

    Another rule that may apply in these situations is the common enemy rule, which requires each landowner to protect his or her own land from surface water. If this step is observed in the state, the landowner can generally take steps that they want to help themselves, such as building drainage ditches. If a neighbor’s diversion leads to more water, the landowner is supposed to take steps to protect his or her own land. Some states follow this rule but have adjusted it to not be as harsh to damaged properties and allows for questions regarding negligence.
    Natural Flow Rule

    The opposite of the common enemy rule is the Natural Flow Rule. This rule imposes liability on a landowner who changes his or her land in a manner that alters the natural flow of water onto the surface and across the land. States that follow this rule may have adjusted it. The adjusted rule may permit modifications to a person’s land so long as the modification is reasonable. However, there may be a higher duty imposed on landowners to take additional measures to protect his or her own land caused by damage and increased water.
    Potential Remedies

    Neighbors who have been adversely affected by a neighbor’s negligence may be able to pursue compensation for the damages that they have suffered. Potential damages include the cost to repair or replace property that is damaged, the cost of temporary lodging while the repairs are being made, medical bills related to the water damage and punitive damages. These damages can often be significant.

    Equitable remedies may also be available. The court can order the neighbor to stop taking whatever action that is causing the water damage. It can also order the court to take certain action that will prevent the runoff or minimize it.
    Legal Assistance

    Landowners who have been adversely affected by the actions of neighbors may be able to pursue damages that they have sustained with the help of a lawyer. A lawyer can investigate the nature of the claims about the possible cause of the damage, the extent of the damage and potential remedies. He or she may also investigate whether there are any insurance policies in place that may help minimize the damages suffered by the property owner.


    Provided by HG.org

  8. #8
    Technical Fellow Kelly_Bramble's Avatar
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    Everybody, the following is a new calculator " Rainfall Runoff Rate Formulas and Calculator ".

    This calculator estimate the runoff (required) for a given amount of rainfall on a section of land.

    Rainfall Runoff Rate Formulas and Calculator
    Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

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    Your wrote "At some time in the very near past there was drainage ditch that collected the water runoff and directed the water into the drainage culvert"

    What happened to the drainage ditch?

  10. #10
    Principle Engineer Cragyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackalge View Post
    What happened to the drainage ditch?
    The story relayed was that prior to the owner buying the house there was a county decision to de-zone that drainage collection ditch and allow adjoining owners to utilize that area as they wish. The ditch ran between the houses and appeared to be in the community master plan.

    Some home owners filled in the ditch and extended their fence lines and other's did not. He said that it was communicated to him that residence owners complained about excessive noise from the frogs, etc. occupying the ditch.

    The area is flanked by ocean and a swamp to the near north and subject to heavy rain.


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    Water - smalter, who needs to control water runoff when there's water everywhere?

    SMH.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cragyon View Post
    The story relayed was that prior to the owner buying the house there was a county decision to de-zone that drainage collection ditch and allow adjoining owners to utilize that area as they wish. The ditch ran between the houses and appeared to be in the community master plan.

    Some home owners filled in the ditch and extended their fence lines and other's did not. He said that it was communicated to him that residence owners complained about excessive noise from the frogs, etc. occupying the ditch.

    The area is flanked by ocean and a swamp to the near north and subject to heavy rain.

    Probably some corruption in that decision somewhere.. I cant believe a neighborhood community can be that dumb

  13. #13
    Principle Engineer Cragyon's Avatar
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    The owner says he's getting quotes for water drainage installs next week.

    Also said that there is a small drain grate towards the back of the parking area with a dead-head 10 gallon bucket. It's just an incident water catch and goes no where but was told that this is a total house drainage system and that he was totally responsible for the flooding.



    They live among us folks.

    bucket.png
    Bottom of bucket

    bucket-hole.png
    Access with grate removed

  14. #14
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    Wow, ten whole gallons! that should do it.

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    idiot.gif

    5 gal would have done it

  16. #16
    Technical Fellow Kelly_Bramble's Avatar
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    Grading land by moving sand, dirt or whatever in a wet environment without considering where the rainwater flows or does-not-flow is a sign that one is not dealing with experience or a professional.

    Most anybody can run skid steer or bull dozer with less than a day of practice.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cragyon View Post
    land alterations flood neighbor property

    below are sets if images of a property i'm aware of that has experienced flooding as a result of a land alterations. The land was a vacant lot then purchased and divided by one of the current owners. The land was then cleared of debris and sand/rock trucked in and a new topology created. It is clear that the new elevation of the alterations are notably higher then the adjoining properties including the property being flooded.

    Recently a new driveway access was created with sand and rock that has prevented water from draining into a nearby street drainage culvert. at some time in the very near past there was drainage ditch that collected the water runoff and directed the water into the drainage culvert preventing water from pooling on the property in question and others in the surrounding area.

    The images you see are the results of a typical rain day at the location. Clearly a water management plan was not formulated prior to the land alterations.

    In general the land alterations have resulted in this property becoming a water shed storage area. The owners have been contacted and the flooded property owner is awaiting their response.

    Comments?








    omg!

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