After some great advice from another wonderful member, I am reposting my dilemma in Outdoor Projects to hopefully get help/suggestions. Thank you for your interest.
Good Day, My husband and I just retired from the military and bought the house of our dreams in the Florida panhandle. When we bought the house we didn't realize the major issue we have with the rain water. I have looked all over the DIY site, but I couldn't find the help we are looking for.
We live out in the country and there is a sand road leading up to our house. At one point in the road there are two large silver pipes that collects rainwater from the surrounding area around our house. There is a defined water path from the pipes to our pond. There has been so much rain that the water has run numerous other paths throughout our 4 acre lawn. Our lawn is uneven, but goes from high ground to low ground into a lake. Since the land is uneven, the water has made numerous other small ponds which is causing our riding lawn mower to sink. We can't even walk down to the lake because we are sinking into the water soaked lawn. The pond is overflowing in several locations which is causing the water to disperse all over the lawn down to the lake.
We want redirect the water back into the pond then to the lake. We would love to do it by possibly making a decorative stream and waterfalls. Is this project something my husband and I can do on our own or do we need to call in the professionals? If we can do this on our own, where can I find the "How to" video?
If pictures can help visualize our issues, let me know and I can add them.
I am not familar with the soil in FL but it all boils down the same everyplace and that is adequate grade and drainage. That extends to designated drainage area's as well. From the photographs it appears that the majority of the wet portions is lower than the surrounding ground. Proper slope should allow the water to continue it's gravity fall. Drainage ditches need to be clear of vegitation that is blocking the water flow. If you do designate an area be sure to include material that will not be moved or washed out by the waterflow or become blocked by weeds and vegetation. It may be necessary to regrade the area to remove the low spots and if that is so then a professional with equipment might be the best bet. If you choose that option it is also a good time to rethink the drainage pipes and overflow of the pond. Is there enough or large enough to carry the volumn, are they sloped enough, damaged or vegetation interupting the water flow inside. Good Luck. Let us know what helped.
Aug 07, 2013, 09:13 PM
Further thoughts after reading Swschrad's and Redoverfarm's posts:
Is the lake on your property, and/or do you have rights to it? You wrote that you wanted to channel the water back into the pond and then to the lake, but that's the pond's been overflowing back onto the lawn. It just occurred to me that to drain into the lake you might have to have specific rights to do so, depending on ownership rights of the lake.
Also, if the two rainwater pipes are draining directly onto your property, it seems that that would be complicating the soil saturation. The pipes appear to be on the side of the roadway. As Swschrad suggests, I think this would be an issue to discuss with the municipal/township folks.
Also, looking at the photos again, it looks like the farthermost portion of the deck is slightly pitching downward. My observation is just an expression of concern.
Aug 08, 2013, 08:41 AM
One caveat with the pond, even if it is on your land be very careful in making any alterations to it. You can quickly run afoul of the law with respect to wetlands protection if you go making changes to the pond.
Given the standing water over your septic tank and likely the drain field I'd probably consult an engineer to get some recommendations. Standing water over your drain field means it can't function properly even if only for a day or two after a heavy rain. I assume your soil in the panhandle is largely sandy loam. That was my experience while living along the gulf coast,
Definitely check with the local and quite possibly national authorities before doing anything to the pond. The fines add up quickly and ignorance of the thousands of pages of regulations isn't an excuse that will get you anything other than large legal bills.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Sparky617,
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Aug 09, 2013, 12:39 AM
Wow! I didn't realize all the red tape. I have been searching the internet and reading over some documents and I am having trouble finding the regulations. I will take a trip down to city hall tomorrow. We live in a very small town so, it shouldn't be too hard finding the answers. Any suggestions on who or where to find the regs would be helpful.
I figured this is our land that we purchased with our hard earned money and as long as we don't do anything to it that would potentially harm anyone, it would be fine. I guess I was wrong. I'm so glad that y'all have responded. If there is anything else I am missing, please share.
As for the lake, I do know that it is not part of our property. Our property goes all the way up to the lake. We can fish and boat on it because we own the house on the lake. All the properties on the lake have an HOA. My house and the neighbor next to us are not a part of the HOA. It is very noticeable. The houses that are a part of the HOA have a well developed road that is maintained. The road up to our house and neighbors is sand (about 1/2 mile). I do know the pond has two rather large pvc pipes that come out of the back wall of the pond. It has formed a natural spring that flows straight to the lake. The land is a sandy loam.
Thank you for all the input. I will let you know how it goes at city hall.
Aug 09, 2013, 10:26 AM
1. Different cities of varying sizes have different levels of oversight, so you might start at the city manager's office and work outward from there.
Alternately, if there's a public works department, it would typically have jurisdiction over water issues. A building department might be involved with construction of any drainage system, in conjunction with public works. There might also be a code enforcement department.
2. I was curious yesterday so I did some checking and found the site for the Florida wetlands "inventory". Your city wasn't listed, but I wouldn't necessarily rely on that exclusion.
As Sparky noted, the penalties for violation can be severe. And I still keep wondering if all the water issues are related to an unuually heavy rainy season.
3. If your home is in a subdivision that was developed to include a HOA, then there would be likely a Master Deed and By-Laws for the entire sub. The Master Deed would have been recorded and would show on your title work.
A Tract Index or Register of Deeds department could also make the determination if your property is included. When you go to City Hall, take something that includes not only your street address but the legal description of your property (which is probably "metes and bounds", and the property identifier (the "Sidwell") number.
Sometimes homeowners have an option not to join the HOA if the subdivision wasn't developed subject to the master restrictions. It may be that your neighbor and the former owner of your house chose this option.
Or it may be that the homeowners themselves created the HOA.
There may be some benefit to joining the HOA if the roads are better maintained and joining would create some option for drainage that would improve your property. However, thre's a possibility that the HOA may have the authority to create a special assessment to integrate your property, and that it might be better to address the drainage issue yourself w/o the intervention of a committee.
4. Do you know anything about the 2 pipes exiting from the pond, i.e., were they installed by your former homeowner? By the city? I'm wondering if there are any issues with these pipes in terms of "forming" the spring on your property, and drainage into the lake.
Good luck with your quest. And be sure to let us know; I'm really curious as to what the city's position will be.This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,