water logged garden

21 Dec 2003
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United Kingdom
hi all
my garden is water logged about 2 inches of water. it was 8 inches a few year ago when we had that downpour so you can imagine the drainage problem i have. my garden is lowest about a foot lower than our neighbours both sides. i decided to dig a soakaway, i got 3 foot down and noticed water seeping through the soil and clay. i came upon a land drain, small sections of clay pipe about 14 inches long by 3 inch this was bringing water from my neighbours to my property, the hole i dug out filled with water took about 2 hours, it was going nowhere. i pumped out the water and rodded the drain towards other neighbours because there is an inspection drain in his garden, is this where the land drain water goes to? i could only get about 10 foot of the rods in, i even tried pumping the water through the drain to his garden, but it just came back into my garden so it looks like a blockage on his side. so how do i go about fixing this problem? and being as it is a shared drain is he liable because the blockage is on his side of the garden? or do i keep quiet and carry on with my soak away. ive hit 2 feet of clay upto now, how deep can this clay go.
by the way his garden is really well looked after so i cant see him letting anyone digging his lawn up, or does have to by law.
i could raise my lawn with 8 inches of top soil, 20 ton, if i did this would i still get the soggy garden.
sorry for going on, but im at my wits end with this.
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Speak to your neighbour who seems to care about his garden mention that the flooding could extend to his land if the drain is not cleared then rod back from his man hole to find the problem so it could be a win win situation.
thanks for reply OLD
haven't had time to talk to him yet, bin at work and hes away for a few days. but i do know that the land drain which is only a 3 inch wide clay pipe is nowhere near his drain. this pipe is flush in his rockery and has been blocked off.
is this allowed. it could be an old farm drain but is still working.
You may like to consider dealing with your 'own' ground water by digging a sump and fitting a dirty water pump to discharge into your rainwater drainage system which is usually seperate from the main sewer drain they have float switches so are automatic.Soak aways do not work very well in clay especially with a high water table so this could be combined with the sump giving two ways to remove water adjusting the pump height to give the level required
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ok , had a word with neighbour, he was very good about it actually, couldn't find any cemented drain on his end. could be pond but he said its a couple of feet deep. if i could just find the end then prob solved.
this drain though is 1 foot into the clay barrier, is there a reason for this?
did think about your idea of a pump, good idea. im just wondering wether to pea gravel the hole and then top soil it also run some land drain to this, i know its 4 inches from the top soil when it fills with water,but it goes no higher. what do you think?
thank you
Ok i have decided to dig another soakaway up top end of garden. 5 x 3 deep this filled up 18 inches of water after 3 days, but upto now it hasnt filled up no more. Im going to fill this hole with 20mm pea shingle, this soakaway is near a lot of conifers so hopefuklly this will soak most of the water.Im going to run the channels from the centre of the garden upto this and put in drainage pipes and pea shingle. The other soakaway which is full of water, im just going to fill that with pea shingle, ive got 8 inches of soil above the water not 4 as i stade in my last post, so i run a couple of channels to this, most probably do me no good, but im going to put 12 inches of top soil on it. It may make a difference i dont know, because this will bring my garden to the same level as my neighbours, on both sides.

But before i go any further could some one give me some info?
Before i put the 12 inches of tops oil on the garden, would it be better if i put 3 inches of pea shingle down first so that i get barrier between the wet soil and the new soil, or would that not work?
'You may like to consider dealing with your 'own' ground water' was my way of hinting that if it was me i would block the old field drain coming from your neighbour
What you are proposing involves many tons of soil etc all the best with it and just put soil on soil and not a lot of point digging a soak away below the water table.
One final thought the water table seems high have you checked for any leaking pipes not forgetting the above or perhaps a spring which would require a manhole and pump, talk to other neighbours to determine there water table level.
Checked with neighbours, the side where water is coming from, there garden is higher than mine but towards the middle its about the same level and they have problem with surface water there. We live in semi- detached houses so 2 drains to a house, cant see any leaks.
Its just a pity i cant get water to flow 3 foot higher to my grid without using anything mechanical, that would be half the problem solved.
by the way the hole i dug was 5ftx3ft wide 48 inches deep, would 18 inch high water table still be in the high category, the clay barrier is 2ft down.
Just found out school field north of us , this is across a property then a road is getting fitted new drains, as houses in that area were flooding up to floor boards, could be something to do with it, but my problem is coming from the east so to speak and we are situated on lower land.
Id better stop now lol
thanks again, hopefully good news, when garden is finished.

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