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  #1  
Old 06-15-2005, 06:30 PM
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Location: DFW / Collin County Texas
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Spot in Yard Always Wet - Suggestions???

We have lived in this house for just over a year and are new to TX. One corner of our yard, an area about 15 x 7, is in a low spot and therefore inherently always in some state of dampness. Under normal conditions, it would be damp or wet for several days after a rain, although without standing water (just squishy and kind of muddy when you walk in it). With the Texas heat, it could dry out, albeit very slowly. So if it rained again just a few days later, the spot never got a chance to fully dry (although it was actually "bone dry" with cracks in the soil maybe once or twice last summer).

To make matters worse, recently our next door neighbor completely changed his lawn from Bermuda grass to St. Augustine. He did this by laying sod right over the lawn. The result is that his lawn is about 3 inches higher than mine. Since my low spot is even lower now than it originally was, the wetness regularly extends beyond the 15 x 7 area. It now runs in a strip that covers nearly 1/5 of my backyard. To make matters worse, he has started a vigorous 24 x 7 watering schedule. Now the "damp" part of the yard is actually a swamp, with no hope of ever drying out unless he stops watering. At this point there is standing water and a "rotting" smell. What could be causing this smell?

When my kids go out to play on their playset, if they wander in the wrong direction they will be muddy. When I let my dog out, he pretty much needs a bath almost every time, since, if the neighbor's dog is also out, they "pace" with each other along the fence which is in the heart of the wet spot. He's usually covered in mud. It's so bad that our deck is now covered with muddy dog prints. Some days I just give the dog his water bowl and leave him outside because I just don't have the time to fully clean him yet again (don't worry - he has plenty of shade and shelter).

Any suggestions on coping with this situation? I was just at my father-in-law's house in Atlanta, and they had a similar spot in their yard that never dried out. An attractive solution they used was smooth rocks, about the size of golf balls, in a variety of colors. It worked great for them, and I suspect it would work great for my situation, but I fear that the temptation to chuck the rocks through a window would be too great for 3 and 5 year old kids. So the rock solution is pretty much ruled out.

Any other suggestions out there?

Also, any suggestions on how to approach the neighbor? Should I be asking him to tone down on the watering, or just wait to see if he wakes up once his water bill comes? Or should I build up my own lawn with more sod?

Thanks everyone.

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  #2  
Old 06-15-2005, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narwhal
french drain.
Exactly what is a French drain???
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2005, 06:59 PM
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It is a trench dug on a grade so as to allow water to run down it... in it is a pipe with holes to allow the water in... the trench is filled with gravel to allow the water to flow more easily into the pipe.
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2005, 07:12 PM
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I once knew a fellow who had a temper and he had the same problem. The runoff from the neighbor would fill up his yard.

BS he says. He has a cement contractor come in and put a full curb between his property and the neighbor's property so that there was zero runoff. Boy was the neighbor pissed. Now, the neighbor developed the lake.

Of course, you would need to be the type that didn't mind a cement curb in your backyard.
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2005, 09:09 PM
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What causes a wet spot in Dallas?

Is this an old suburb that the city later incorporated? You say it is smelly. Get a shovel and dig a hole so the water pools for a couple of days. Is it a strange color with unusual grayish blobs? If so, it could be an abandoned septic system improperly blanked-off from the city system, or do you even have community septic system? If you don't, you've discovered your tank needs pumping and you need instructions on the proper care and feeding of a septic tank. With run-off from your neighbor's yard, you could have quite a mess.
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Old 06-15-2005, 09:17 PM
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton
I once knew a fellow who had a temper and he had the same problem. The runoff from the neighbor would fill up his yard.

BS he says. He has a cement contractor come in and put a full curb between his property and the neighbor's property so that there was zero runoff. Boy was the neighbor pissed. Now, the neighbor developed the lake.

Of course, you would need to be the type that didn't mind a cement curb in your backyard.
This is tempting. My neighbors just put in a sidewalk (against neighborhood covenants, of course) leading from their driveway to their basement, so they can rent their basement out (also against covenants), and in the process routed their gutters under their sidewalk and into my yard, causing soil erosion, plus just being ugly -- dinguses. I'm conflicted about whether to start raising a stink about the renters, or just let it go unless or until the renters become a problem. But that curb idea sounds fun, I could just reroute their runoff into their backyard for them.
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Old 06-15-2005, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzene
This is tempting. My neighbors just put in a sidewalk (against neighborhood covenants, of course) leading from their driveway to their basement, so they can rent their basement out (also against covenants), and in the process routed their gutters under their sidewalk and into my yard, causing soil erosion, plus just being ugly -- dinguses. I'm conflicted about whether to start raising a stink about the renters, or just let it go unless or until the renters become a problem. But that curb idea sounds fun, I could just reroute their runoff into their backyard for them.
I don't think its legal for them to route their gutters to drain on your property...( but locals laws do vary, check with a lawyer)

If this is all against covenants I think its in everyones best interests this doesn't go on for long or they will argue its been taking place for years.
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  #8  
Old 06-15-2005, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narwhal

BS indeed, a curb wouldn't do ****, the water would run under it.
Not when the curb is done properly and extends 8-10 inches below grade.

It worked perfectly.
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  #9  
Old 06-15-2005, 11:50 PM
virginia'sDude
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I gots a spot like thayt from Bubba peeing all the time bax there instead of in our new fancy plumbin, guess its cuz thats where the outhouse used to be. I jes throes a bunch of dirt on it. He still pees on it, but now it twernt smellin so bad.
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  #10  
Old 06-17-2005, 06:20 PM
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I was thinking of putting up some treated lumber around the edges, then filling it in with dirt to raise the grade a bit, then laying sod over that. Any thoughts?

I'll see if I can take some pics and post them this weekend.

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