The first photo below shows a recently built home directly adjacent to our garden, sited approximately 15 feet from our property line. The developers of this subdivision made no effort whatsoever to comply with stormwater management guidelines; all the water that comes off the large roof flows directly downhill into our garden.
Making the situation worse, daily irrigation on the new lawn brings constant inflow. And any future use of herbicides on this lawn would likely result in the loss of food crops, as the 2,4-d and/or other toxins leach into our soil.
After evaluating the flooding caused by stormwater runoff last fall and this spring, I tried to solve the problem by digging a trench on my side of the fence (photo below); unfortunately the effort is only partially effective. The huge amount of water coming from the neighbor’s roof in even just a moderate, sustained rain would require a much more extensive drainage system, involving deep excavation onto another neighbor’s property. And a thunderstorm or heavy rain causes complete flooding of the perennial crops (raspberries, blueberries) in that section of the garden.
Although our city’s planning, zoning and subdivision approval processes pay lip service to stormwater management, there is obviously no effort to insure compliance. The developer and builder certainly had their way here.
If you are building a new home, please take care to keep your stormwater runoff under control.
If a structure is being built in your vicinity, check out local stormwater management ordinances and try to insure that the project is in compliance. This was my serious mistake…and I really should know better.