Landscaping & Design/Water drainage/run off

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Question
Hi,
My neighbor's yard is a bit higher than mine for maybe 20 feet until it levels off toward the back.  Some rain run off from under his privacy fence finds its way onto my yard and I channel it on back to the area where it levels off.  Incidentally, we have no conflicts about the issue.  He also channels the water on his side.  We both have a lower back yard.  

But I would like to limit the water that even makes it through/under the privacy fence to my side, so I was thinking of some kind of barrier right up against the fence on my side.  I was thinking of something like flexible metal flashing--the kind maybe l8-24" wide and I would bury it a few inches and roll it out for about that 20 feet I mentioned above.  Then I would line some concrete blocks and dirt up against it to keep it in place.

But that is a lot of trouble.  Alternatively, I was thinking of simply using the concrete blocks against the fence and dirt for the 20' length.  

So would you have any other idea or would you just go with one of mine?  

Thanks.

Answer
Hello:

I wouldnt dam water against a wooden fence and depending on how much water is dammed,you may be causing more problems on your neighbors side. Perhaps a curb and gutter set back from the fence would be more appropriate or a swale and this would look better than flashing and concrete block.

Or you may want to look into doing subsurface drainage with french drain and pipe or catch basins depending on where the disposal point is for the water.

Mark Harshman

Landscaping & Design

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Expertise

Design of landscape structures and design of planting arrangements in the landscape. I usually do not answer questions of a horticultural nature or about growing plants or gardening unless they are related to design. I will answer these questions at my discretion. I will answer maintenance questions at my discretion,usually when they are related to design. I am a landscape designer. I am not a contractor or a gardener. Although I will describe how something is built I do not provide detailed installation or construction instructions. Here are example categories of problems I can help you with: Design of residential walks,low walls,low retaining walls,fences,drainage systems,arbors,plant selection,xeriscapes (low water use landscapes),rain garden design,rain water harvesting,permeable paving,sustainable drainage. No advise on an architectural or engineering level. I DO NOT PERFORM ACTUAL DESIGN WORK THROUGH THIS SITE. I only provide suggestions and advice. For more comprehensive help check out my website at: http://www.prestoexperts.com/expert/markland

Experience

Landscape concept plan for a 30,000 square feet housing site. Involved site recon by pace measurements and photographs and a site analysis and a site analysis report and recommendations and a preliminary cost estimate. Design elements included canopy trees,shrub cover,accent flowers,trash receptacles,benches and planters. Landscape concept plan for a 7,000 square feet site for a community center. Involved site recon by tape measurements and photographs,a site analysis and the creation of 3 conceptual designs for the site. Work was done through a local professional design center. Design elements included tree garden,playground,sitting area,lawn,cooking area,lighting and concrete and brick paving. Landscape concept plan for a 3,000 square feet housing site. Involved site recon by tape measurements and photographs and a site analysis. Concluded in 3 concept designs for the site,shown at a formal presentation,a site analysis and recommendations. Work was done through a community volunteer program. Design elements included decks,a playground and fencing. Briefly as draftsman for landscape designer/gardener. Conceptual landscape design for residence. Involved site recon by tape and pace measurements and site analysis. Design included covered patio area,ground cover and flower beds. Two years experience as draftsman for transportation department in engineering firm and for engineering consultants to phone company. Duties consisted of plotting topography. Survey crew member. General assistant to surveyor. Work was done for U.S. Army and County Highway Department. No instrument work. Duties included tape measurement,holding graduated survey rod and plumb bob for sighting and clearing brush. Marketed Landscape Design Services. Brochure writing,promotional material and marketing graphics.

Education/Credentials
Course in Computer Aided Drafting. 700 hours in AutoCad 2000. 700 hours to date on AutoCad Light 2000. Certificate in Manual Drafting. 1200 hours drafting time. Course in Civil Engineering Technology. (One Semester)

Awards and Honors
From Civil Engineer: I am very impressed with your work and with the obvious thought you have put into the marketing of your venture. It was especially good to see a print of that job we discussed on the phone. I wish you much luck with the venture as I do with your plans for school. Im darn proud of you buddy. And by the way,when I get my license,maybe you will consider me for a consulting job down the road. I hope to get together with Rick sometime soon and I would really like to show him your stuff if its ok with you. From all these questions you ask I get the feeling that you are genuinely interested and have put alot of thought into the idea and process of landscape architecture and if you could possibly afford the cost I would urge you to take some classes in the areas you are most interested in. The subject is not so simple as it appears,mixing science and engineering with art and a certain amount of religion to create a comfortable and pleasing balance between man and nature. A thoughtful soul like yours can do this but it can be a lifes work getting it right.

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