Author Topic: Can I drain water from an easement into the canal?  (Read 45 times)

Doug K

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Re: Can I drain water from an easement into the canal?
« on: March 28, 2019, 08:27:35 am »
Well the picture helps to frame thoughts and the first one is about the land beyond your own... I'll give you some things to think over

Look at your picture again... is all this right?

Concern #1
If that shallow swale extends into your neighbors yards then I would advise you NOT to add any topsoil to level it off.. you may be blocking natural flow. I think the water mainly flows to the left. That left side property looks just a little lower that the right side one, is that true? Do either of your neighbors have a similar issue with standing water or just your lot?

Concern #2
You are going to be working backwards from spot you plan to exit the drain back to the swale where your "inlet" end will be. I see two major root lines to cross over, and that will not be easy to navigate. The job will need a small backhoe, on a compact tractor to do it right. The idea is to maintain a drain angle similar to pipes in your house, insuring you don't have any place in the drains system that could collect water or ice up in the winter.

Natural it works
So let's talk about "groundwater", it's all part of the Aquifer collection process. That water naturally dissipates through the soil & rock as well as having run-off above ground. That water you see already may be making it's way back into the canal. The run-off must collect into a storm water system that flows somewhere.

I would follow the swale at both ends to see if you can see where the water goes after you yard. It could be another "recess"  somewhere that leads that water back to the canal already. If not then this water must sit there for days in heavy rain.

Most important question... Do you and your neighbors have a pond across all your yards in a heavy rain?

If it's just your lot that gets a pond then you are on the right track..  you "own" the low spot..and what you are planning will work. If your neighbors ALSO have ponds then you may not be able to fix the problem entirely by can reduce water by giving it a "path of least resistance" your drain idea. I would suggest 6" minimum diameter of plastic corrugated drain pipe,, plan on at least half the pipe getting filled with sediment over time.

Other Factors to Think About?
One thing to consider as well.. lawn chemicals... that might be something to consider as well if you are redirecting normal run-off from wherever it goes now to the new home in the Erie Canal. It's not that this sorts of thing isn't happening today in many places like yours with lawns that slope towards the canal. Its more about the fact that yours will be a "pipe" where water can be collected easily & tested. Just another thing to consider when placing an open water drain into an existing waterway or pond.

I might be in Fairport in a couple weeks to look over more ECNA work at the Oxbow Trail. If you'd like we could stop by and take a closer look and give you some further ideas. I worked on a drain issue like yours last year, the property owner had a pond in his yard and his neighbors had lakes to one side of him and an empty swale to the other. Someone had filled in the lot to cure his water issues and stopped the whole flow. We laid 80' of 6" pipe.. double width, and put a French Drain to collect the water at the high end. The project worked, no one in that neighborhood has a lake anymore, about 5 homeowners were amazed by the simple change.

I have found the BEST way to create a solution for standing water is to take a good look at it when it''s full and see where the water wants to go... and what is stopping it's path. Maybe do some more analysis, when it rains, before you create an issue you didn't plan on.

Is this spot in your yard ALWAYS wet?