Alter Creek Course


  #1  
Old 07-20-23, 03:54 PM
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Alter Creek Course

Greetings All,

There is an ephemeral creek that runs through the back yard edges of the homes on my street that originates from I don't know where and runs when there's heavy rain. My home is the next to last one before it peters out most of the time. When I moved in, the creek had gotten misdirected through my back yard from yard/woods waste debris pick up on the way, so I had a berm built to put it slightly back in the woods. This fix was okay unless it rained heavy for days then it overflowed into the yard again. Then about a year ago some logs got stuck across the creek causing it to split, with the new branch running farther into the woods than the original. This split has formed a little 20' x 4" "island" of shrubs and small trees.

So what I would like to do is get rid of the island, somehow close off the lower branch and just make it so the creek flows continuously with the newer upper branch. Time I fear is not on my side to do this because I noticed today the logs are beginning to rot from the creek running over them and then the creek will create a new possibly more problematic path of least resistance though the yard again and discontinue using the upper branch all together. My question is who do I call to get rid of the island and fix the creek to stay the course on the upper branch? Thanks.
 
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Old 07-20-23, 07:45 PM
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First would be the local code office - I have a waterway in my backyard and I'm really not allowed to mess with it so I would want to make sure you don't get in trouble for making changes.
 
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Old 07-21-23, 02:52 AM
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My BiL had a creek run thru his farm. Over the yrs it moved closer to his barn so he brought in a backhoe to put it back to where it was originally. Somebody turned him in to the EPA and they made him put it back to where it had moved to. While you can get a permit to alter a waterway it isn't an easy process and often not successful.
 
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Old 07-21-23, 04:59 AM
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A lot depends on where you are located but waterways are highly regulated. The regulation sorta follows the size. It will help your case if it is an intermittent stream. If you are close to a coast you might fall under the jurisdiction of the Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) which is a whole other can of worms.

I have known people who took matters into their own hands and the fines and cost to return the waterway to it's original condition are high. I don't know of any statute of limitations so you may be liable in perpetuity.
 
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Old 07-21-23, 05:24 AM
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In this location no one really cares about where the water goes so long as it goes off of their property and does not do damage to the next guy down. And a plus to this is the stream has already made its own new course that I am hoping to take advantage of to link it back up to the original after the long dip it takes close to my yard. For the berm I got the guy who cut my yard w/ his kids to do it for $500. I need someone like that but who has the equipment to take apart that "island" and do the connecting. What person besides a land grading business would do this?
 
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Old 07-21-23, 08:00 AM
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You are correct, you need an earth moving company. Everything depends on how big and how much needs to be moved. On the low end you might find a local farmer or handyman that has a tractor possibly with a front end loader or skid steer. As the job gets bigger you move more into earth moving companies who have a wider variety and larger equipment.

For small jobs expect the price to be high. For a small job much of the cost can be transporting the equipment to and from your site. As the job get bigger economy of scale comes into play and while the cost may be higher it goes down in relation to the amount of dirt they have to move.

This is the kind of job where experience can really count. Someone experienced at making ditches, ponds and doing grading will know how to contour and slope the land to get the water to go where you want. They might also recommend bringing in large stone to line part of the bank to control it's course and minimize erosion.
 
 

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