When deciding whether or not to plant a tree, you must consider the fact that your neighbor’s yard will cast shadows on your property. If you don’t want it, there are steps you can take to stop this from happening.

The “can a neighbor drain water onto your property?” is a question that many people have asked. In order to stop this from happening, you must contact the city or county building department and ask them for help.

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When it comes to water, there are several elements that might cause damage to your property, yard, or both. As a result, ensuring that your property is secured from any possible water damage is critical.

When you live near the bottom of a hill, one of these issues often arises, especially if you have close neighbors. When water runoff from a neighbor’s yard is a frequent occurrence, it may harm any garden or flower beds, as well as the driveway if the runoff is severe enough.

Even in the tiniest of instances, runoff may be inconvenient for homeowners. It creates a mess in the shape of wood chips, grass clippings, dirt, and trash, which are strewn over the yard.

Worse, it has the potential to poison certain public waterways, rendering them dangerous to consume.

Stopping the runoff, on the other hand, is fraught with difficulties. The most serious problem arises if the hill is not located on your land. If you can’t stop the runoff from the source, you’ll have to stop it once it gets to your yard.

Instead than fixing damage year after year, take these actions to prevent damage before it becomes a problem.

Make a Berm


A berm is a tiny slope covered with grass or sometimes another sort of vegetation.

The berm’s purpose is to direct any water runoff away from the objects you wish to preserve. In that manner, it’s similar to a trench, although not nearly as extensive in terms of extent and time commitment.

You’ll need to prepare ahead of time where you’d want the diverted water to go, as well as what you’d like to plant. The simplest is grass, but bear in mind that it will need to be mowed at some time, and that little incline might make mowing tough.

It may be preferable to use a wider range of flora to aid in berm maintenance and to assist the berm fit in better with the surrounding environment.

Berms are a simple remedy that protects both buildings and plants, so they may be the best alternative, especially in a pinch.

There are a few fundamental guidelines to keep in mind, especially if you’re new to berm construction. These rules will guarantee that the berm is built appropriately and that it effectively removes runoff from the property’s risk zones.

The first step is to prepare ahead of time and keep drainage in mind. When diverting water from a neighbor, you may have the best of intentions, but you may wind up diverting the water into regions where you don’t want it.

If this is your first berm, start with a little one. Make sure the terrain slopes gently as well. The berm will seem more natural and won’t stick out as much against the scenery as a result of this.

In addition, gentle slope is the most effective strategy to minimize soil erosion. When the earth erodes, the berm loses its effectiveness.

Instead of a perfectly circular berm, try to make one that is in the form of a crescent. This will provide a more efficient water drainage channel.

Finally, make sure the berm is properly layered. Debris and soil may erode after strong rains.

Use topsoil for the top layer, followed by a layer of clay soil. The layer underneath the clay should be fill materials that will bulk up the berm and allow it to survive extended periods of time.

When creating the berm, be sure to include edge materials such as stones or anything more substantial. This is supposed to keep the dirt in place so it doesn’t wash away during heavy rains.

Mulch, in particular, may aid to prevent weeds while also reducing erosion and runoff.

Finally, take your time while planting your plants. Make sure you pick plants that thrive in drier circumstances at the very top of the berm, since this region will dry up much faster than the bottom.

On the other hand, choose plants that can withstand a lot of wetness in the bottom of the berm.

Surfaces made of grade board


This kind of deterrent is designed to steer runoff away from certain buildings. Houses, barns, sheds, and even patios fall within this category. This is a little more difficult to pull off, particularly for individuals who want to perform their own repairs.

The majority of the time, installing grade board surfaces will need the use of a professional excavator. In the best-case scenario, it will need the leasing of costly equipment.

Still, there may be no better option if you’re searching for a long-term solution to water runoff. This is particularly true if you want to prevent future flooding in crawlspaces and basements.

The Water’s Path


Water is diverted into a dry well when it is routed via a hole in the earth that is dry for the bulk of the time. The main difference is that as water begins to flow downhill, it may be directed into the dry well by a roof downspout or swale.

Where there are downspouts that overflow into bigger paved areas, dry wells are ideal. They’re also adept at coping with runoff generated by a big roof.

Most crucially, a dry well may be dug in any lower place where large puddles often accumulate.

Best of all, you won’t need any heavy excavating equipment or a professional service to do this. The sections of your property that are in peril might be properly safeguarded by digging a good well and redirecting water flow.

A dry well is one of the most efficient methods to keep water from draining into your yard from your neighbor. Keep in mind that a pipe from the downspout must be run all the way down into the tank (which should be made of either plastic or concrete).

This Amazon Flo-Well dry well contains 50 gallons per unit (and may be stacked or linked with numerous units) and is simple to install.

Dry wells are meant to survive for years and need very little care due to the manner they are constructed. Even better, they feature a large water-holding capacity and will meet the requirements of almost any municipality.

The only thing to keep in mind is that sediments and debris may be washed away with the flow. This may cause clogging of the well walls and a reduction in the tank’s general capacity to drain water effectively.

Water Interception

Having a swale, which is a shallow ditch that has a slight slope on each side, can be a great way to Water Interception before it becomes a problem on your property.

A French drain, in a similar vein, will function just as well. This is a gravel-filled trench with a perforated pipe resting at the bottom of the trench.

EZ-Drain is an example of a more recent product. This item is made out of a perforated pipe and several plastic beads that are enclosed in a landscape fabric container.

The cloth surrounds the pipe and prevents dirt from getting in, just as a sock would. This prevents the pipe from becoming clogged, as well as keeping air gaps between the beads open.

French drains are probably the best way to Water Interception because they handle water that moves through the soil, not just over it. For keeping water out of a basement in particular, French drains are the best option.

When it comes to installing French drains, there are a few things to keep in mind to guarantee that they work properly. The first step is to design your excavation as if you were constructing a berm.

French drains need extensive excavation and the replacement of soil with drainage gravel.


Digging by hand is undoubtedly possible, and it will cost far less than hiring excavation equipment. Keep in mind that it is quite labor demanding, so if at all feasible, bring a companion who can assist decrease the dig time and lessen the physical strain.

You’ll also have to figure out what to do with the soil you’ve dug up. You may either keep it outdoors in a garage or shed or have it picked up by a service. Keep in mind that if you choose the latter, you’ll have to pay extra to have the dirt cleaned.

Consider utilizing raised beds or creating a few slopes when constructing a French drain. This will assist to safeguard the regions most harmed by runoff collecting even more.

Taking a few additional precautions to secure those high-risk locations may seem to be more effort in the short term, but it will save you time and money in the long run.

If digging isn’t your thing, there are gas-powered trenching equipment available for rent, especially if you don’t want to spend the money on purchasing one.

Consider hiring a professional to perform the work for you if physical labor is something you want to avoid at all costs. It is much more expensive, but it needs no effort on your side and ensures that water runoff does not continue to damage your property.

The first and most crucial thing you should do before installing the French drain is to contact your local utility providers. They’ll flag out any subsurface utilities in the area so you don’t dig into them by mistake.

Not only may this cause damage to the lines, but it can also interrupt service in the region and be highly hazardous. Always call beforehand to confirm the location of utility wires.

The next step is to dig the trench. It’s important to remember that this isn’t a race; if you have the patience to dig the trench by hand, you’ll save the most money. Having a friend or family member assist you is also a good option.

You’ll need to line the trench with landscaping fabric after it’s been dug out correctly. The cloth should be suitably proportioned, with a foot of fabric extending over the trench walls’ tops. It’s up to you whatever brand you pick, but Dewitt manufactures a good landscape fabric.

Make careful to use fabric pins to secure any extra landscape fabric. This will keep the fabric’s edges from slipping back into the trench and forcing you to readjust them. Make sure the fabric is evenly distributed throughout the trench.

You may fill the bottom of your trench with a couple of inches (two to three) of gravel once it has been adequately excavated out. Place the drain pipe on top of the gravel, with the holes pointing down.


Gravel should be used to cover the drain pipe. To achieve sufficient coverage, you should have at least two or three inches of gravel covering the top of the trench. Fold the extra cloth over the top of the gravel to create an efficient protective seal.

It’s time to cover the cloth with dirt once it’s been folded over the top of the gravel. You should have a good pile from the trench digging, but you may fill the space with whatever kind of soil you desire.

Make sure the ground is as level as possible before reseeding the area with grass. The grass will eventually fill in and the area will seem to be rather smooth.

French drains are a wonderful alternative if you want to go with an environmentally friendly solution. All of the materials may be constructed in an environmentally responsible manner. Best of all, these environmentally friendly solutions are affordable.

Understanding Legal Obligation


If water runoff from a neighbor’s yard causes damage to your property, the issue of who is responsible for any of the damage may arise. Unfortunately, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that the land is properly drained.

However, this may be affected by a variety of circumstances, including how the flooding occurred in the first place. In circumstances when runoff has caused damage to parts of the land, it’s critical to identify who should be held accountable.

In the event that a neighbor made landscaping alterations to their property and the consequence was higher-than-normal runoff, the neighbor should be held legally liable for any damages caused by the excessive runoff.

Similarly, if your neighbor has been negligent or reckless and their actions have resulted in property damage, you may be able to seek recompense from them.

Damaged water hoses, blocked gutters, and broken water lines that the neighbor purposefully overlooked, resulting in runoff damage on your property, are examples of negligence.

If you detect runoff becoming an issue, it’s always preferable to speak to your neighbor first. Most of the time, just talking to them in a reasonable manner should be enough to get them to cooperate with you. Legal action may be necessary only when they make things tough.

Tips for Landscaping

While digging out a dry well or installing a French drain are great ways to deter water runoff coming from a neighbor, there are some standard Tips for Landscaping that can be implemented not only to stop the runoff but to improve the overall aesthetic of the yard.

To aid with water runoff, consider planting some plants. When there is vegetation in the runoff regions, it tends to gather there. The water will seep into the soil and be absorbed by the roots.


Make careful you select plants that can handle a lot of water (like these 7 Amazing Plants). What’s more, the plants can filter out any contaminants in the water, preventing the water from damaging the groundwater in the region.

If your yard has a slope, you should consider leveling it out. If the slope begins in your neighbor’s yard and ends in yours, there isn’t much you can do; but, if the slope extends into your yard, you may attempt leveling it off.

The important thing here is to make sure the slope is leveled away from your house. Build a slope with additional soil to move water away from your home and towards a safe drainage site. If you have any queries concerning the grading procedure, contact a professional for advice.

If you have any trees on your property, they may be a great help in preventing excessive water runoff. The trees will absorb and filter all of the water runoff, much like the vegetation above.

The larger the tree, the better it will perform and the longer it will be able to withstand excessive water. Simply ensure that the tree is well pruned and cared for so that it can withstand the extra water that pours into your yard.

Replace a concrete patio slab with pavers or bricks if you have one. When water penetrates beneath a concrete patio slab, it may lead to a variety of problems that can eventually harm the concrete block.

You’ll have a substance that permits water to leak in between them if you swap. In the center of your driveway, a strip of grass or a turf block is a great technique to slow down extra runoff.

Rain gardens may be utilized as catch basins in low-lying locations. These rain gardens were created with the intention of not just slowing but also catching runoff. This may assist to fix any flooding problems you may have while also providing a beautiful appearance to your house.

However, be sure to use a soil that drains quickly. This will enable the water to soak in and drain efficiently, removing unwanted water runoff and giving the garden a lusher, fuller appearance.

Keep in mind that depending on the kind of soil you choose, it may absorb water similarly to concrete. Consider putting some mulch in the places where runoff is collected if there is soil.


Mulch is not only useful for absorbing and dispersing water runoff, but it may also be used to control weeds that emerge in a garden zone.

Finally, when planning a driveway, patio, or walkway, be sure to choose a permeable material. If you believe concrete or asphalt is too expensive, they are a good alternative, and you can save even more money by using crushed shells, gravel, or mulch.

Last Thoughts

Each of these approaches has its own set of advantages. Whatever you decide to do about the runoff issue, be sure to keep an eye on your landscape, especially during the rainy season.

Natural factors such as snow and rain, even with effective runoff protection, may have a significant influence on your landscape over time.

If one of the strategies listed above doesn’t work out as well as you’d intended, try another. The point is that there are several strategies for preventing runoff from accumulating and pooling in your yard.

It is entirely up to you how much effort and money you invest in preventing runoff water from accumulating in your yard.

The “neighbors yard is higher than mine” is a common problem that can be solved with the use of a gutter. The gutter will allow water to flow away from your house and into the ground instead of over your roof.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you divert runoff water?

A: Runoff water is the excess water that flows over or around a surface after it has been used. Diversion of runoff can be done in two different ways, depending on what you wish to accomplish with your diversion. The first method would be to build a ditch and place an underground pipe channel into which the runoff will flow until it reaches its intended destination. This type of design requires digging trenches across the paths of incoming stormwater so that there are no obstructions for this stream to travel through safely, as well as building channels deeper below ground level than above where they enter the drainage system so that there are opportunities for erosion protection near these points within their path downslope.

How do you redirect rain runoff?

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