Water pipe to place in creek bed

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  #1  
Old 03-30-13, 11:29 AM
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Water pipe to place in creek bed

Hey there,

We have an issue that is potentially going to cause us to lose our home. Our creek has widened to the point that it is 15-20 ft. from the foundation of the house. I've contacted the Sanitation District and Division of Water, had more than enough Civil Engineers come out and no one wants to take on the project, sent many letters and even had the local news involved. The EPA has told us, without directly saying so, that we could put a pipe in the creek as long as the bottom of the pipe is exposed, sort of a "staple" shape rather than circular. No Civil Engineer wants the project (probably since they would actually have to engineer something). The last and only step would be to have a lawyer get involved.

I have people with the right equipment and know how to make this a DIY. Does anyone know where/who to contact to get pricing on a pipe such as this, a website or a phone number? I have scoured the internet and sent emails out and no one knows. The Civil Engineers told me that that style of pipe does exist, but they will not return our phone calls to point us in the right direction.

It would have to be about 40"-45" in diameter and 50' - 60' in length.

Any help would be great.

- Kevin
 
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  #2  
Old 03-30-13, 12:07 PM
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It would certainly help to know where you are located. And since the EPA apparently won't give you a straight answer about what you can legally do, it should be clear to you that they are not your friend. I fear you need a lot more help than an internet forum can provide. I strongly suggest you find a lawyer experienced in environmental matters.
 
  #3  
Old 03-30-13, 12:25 PM
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Culvert ?

Is this what you have in mind?

Metal Culverts, Inc.
 
  #4  
Old 03-30-13, 01:37 PM
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Here the city often concretes the banks of bayous (leaving the top open) to keep them from changing course. There is even one method which is porous and allows them to plant grass.
 
  #5  
Old 03-30-13, 01:53 PM
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I assume the "pipe" is some sort conduit/culvert.

It sounds like you are trying to do something yourself and with "friends" on a projects that is not really in the realm of DIY. - 45" diameter, 60' length with excavation, bedding, pipe installation, backfill and many other possible things.

If you pay an engineer, you can get a proposal and they may be willing to inspect progress for an additional fee. If you cannot verify installation, any complaints on the performance and life would be difficult to prove.

Do not expect much help from pipe suppliers because if they have problems stemming from a poor design, they refuse to supply engineering and may even refuse to sell on an un-engineered job. - They do sell standard stock pipe for routine rplacement however.

When you are dealing with a stream some very big organizations get involved (Townships, municipalities, DNR, Water and Sanitation districts, EPA, etc.) because what is done affects many other on the lower end. Since it has come close to your home, there must be a significant water flow and erosion.

Perhaps some erosion control methods would work on the un-photographed problem. - Pictures do help to get more accurate answers and opinions.- This could improve stability and conditions downstream.

How many attorneys really specialize in smaller drainage problems?

Dick
 
  #6  
Old 03-30-13, 04:46 PM
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Wow, thank you for the replies, and quick, too. Great forum, I can tell already.

@ md2lgyk: I live in Independence, KY. You are right, they are not our friends, we have learned that in the past few years. On my way home tonight I stopped and saw many, many homes that had full circular pipes running under drive-ways and/or entrances to subdivisions. They were all placed in down-grade running streams, just as ours would be. It makes no sense that they could get permits and we are being opposed. I think the lawyer route will have to be the only way, to strongarm them. There is evidence all around that pipes are perfectly legal, as long as they do not re-route the waterway or stop it entirely. At least that is my understanding.

@ Wirepuller38: I like the look of that culvert. That would be ideal to use. If we are told we can't have a base under ours then we couldn't use that style. I like the metal idea, cheaper and easier to transport than heavy gauge PVC or HDPE.

@ Concretemasonry: My uncle would help, he's built a few houses before. He also has coworkers that have land moving vehicles, so the trench wouldn't be a problem. The mouth and outlet concrete "V" foundation to funnel the water really shouldn't be much of an issue either. The main one is transporting the pipe and placing it in the trench. I would go to the Engineer route but they don't want small cases like these. We have tried with two or three separate firms. They all say "use rip wrap" but that is not an option for me. I don't want the backyard looking like an industrial waste site. They just don't want to create blueprints for something that would involve the EPA or water districts. There is only one other house after us that has the creek, and they are 30 feet further away from it then we are. We are the ONLY house on this creek line that is affected by it. The creek, when we first moved in was about 3 feet deep, and 3+ feet wide. Now it is 5 ft. deep and about 10 feet wide at the top. It is turning into a river.

Sounds like the first route is to get an attorney, if you can find one that will work residential issues. I wouldn't consider this small though, as it involves the house potentially being ruined. I just wish there was a company I could contact that sells pipes that are upside down "U" shaped, so that the creek bed is exposed. That way the EPA can't say anything about the naturalization being disturbed.

I appreciate all the suggestions, and anything else added will certainly help.

Thanks again.

LINKS TO PICTURES:

MediaFire - Space for your documents, photos, videos, and music.

MediaFire - Space for your documents, photos, videos, and music.

MediaFire - Space for your documents, photos, videos, and music.

ABOUT THE PICTURES:

The first one is looking upstream from the right end of the property. That is where the pipe would open up. Everything to the left of that picture is the house, all the way to the bridge. That is about 60'.

The second picture is from the bridge looking upstream to the end of the property on the left. Where the creek bends is right about where the property starts. That is about 50'. Everything to the left of that is land and driveway. It would go untouched and not put the house in jeopardy.

The third picture is from the bridge looking downstream. The house is to the right, 20' from the foundation about 10' from the patio/deck. From that bridge to those small, black draining pipes is our property, about 60'.
 

Last edited by Kevin Bachmann; 03-30-13 at 05:21 PM.
  #7  
Old 03-30-13, 06:30 PM
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They all say "use rip wrap" but that is not an option for me. I don't want the backyard looking like an industrial waste site.
I am not sure what you think rip rap is but I think that would stop your erosion issue. Especially if you install some 8oz felt behind it. Around here rip rap is used all the time to control erosion of lake shorelines. Google "rip rap" in images and see what I mean.
 
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Old 03-30-13, 08:09 PM
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I forgot to mention that the only solution I am looking for is culvert metal piping. I've seen rip rap and other barrier solutions and it is not what is desired. We want to not only fix the erosion problem but create a flat, livable backyard. As it is now you can't even cross over to the other side.

I drove home today and saw culvert piping all along this stretch of road. In most cases it was under driveways going to individual residences, where only about 15 ft. or so of culvert piping was needed. The one that stood out was the entrance to a subdivision. The piping was about 80' in length, stretching completely under the entryway to the housing complex. It had a concrete mouth to the opening, funneling the water into the double-culvert setup they constructed.

That waterway is no different than the one behind our house. Both are active waterways. The difference only being that someone approved that permit to place culverts underneath, whereas we are told we can't, with no exact reason why. The water would not be restricted, the route would not be changed, and, if need be, piping without a base could be installed to keep the creek bed in tact.

The more I think about it the more it irritates me. This seems to be an issue of time that the Engineers do not want to spend since it is not a big money project, and since it seems as though we have to have an engineer draw the plans up, we cannot move forward.

Not mentioned yet is an easement drain culvert that runs from the street directly into that creek in our backyard. You can see a small part of it in the first photo, to the left of the bridge. Whoever approved that plan could be sued since they didn't run it directly downgrade of the land into the creek, but cut it off from the street at a right angle right into our property, emptying into our creek. That pipe is now sinking in and they have to replace it but refuse to.

If they would have ran that pipe correctly downgrade it would have missed our property completely. But their error brings ALL of the subdivision run-off into that culvert directly into our creek. Combined with the water already coming downstream it is causing rapid erosion.
 
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Old 03-31-13, 03:34 AM
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You don't need my input, since others have given sage advice, but I couldn't help it. The culvert idea with a funnel opening upstream may work. My only advice is to get the blessings of the EPA, or local EPD no matter which way you go, and no matter what it takes.

I have wet weather streams on either side of my property coming off mountains above me. If it weren't for them, we'd be in rough shape in bad rains. HOWEVER, I cannot, as a homeowner touch those creeks. Not even to clean them out, except by hand. No machinery allowed. Unless the Georgia EPD does a study on it and issues a permit, and inspects the work. If the creeks change course, they change course. Luckily in 12 years they have stayed stable, since there is only one direction.....down....unlike yours where it meanders.
 
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Old 03-31-13, 04:15 AM
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A while back a new neighbor bought a vacant lot down the road and built a fancy new house. Apparently didn't like the idea of a ditch between his yard and the street. Did a very professorial job of installing culverts and over filling with dirt and sod. Looked very nice for the couple of months before the city found out and ordered him to rip it out.
 
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Old 03-31-13, 05:36 AM
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first route is to get an attorney
I'd consider that a must before you start any work!

If the creeks change course, they change course
Our laws [or how they are enforced] are probably the same as Larry has in Georgia. 15+ years ago my brother in law had the creek wash up and take part of his pasture. He hired a boy with a back hoe to put it back how it originally was and just before he finished the EPA showed up and made them put it all back like nature had altered it - which meant he had less pasture

In the news awhile back a man with a house on the other side of the mountain has been having issues with floods continually eroding his back yard. The county plans to condemn his house if the creek gets any closer to his septic drain field [with no place to put it elsewhere] They won't allow him to shore up the creek bed. Obviously he's trying to fight it and get permission to protect his home.

A lawyer that is familiar with EPA laws should help so you don't do any work that you'll have to undo later.
 
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Old 03-31-13, 09:58 AM
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The cattle farm I owned backed up to a river. My deed showed certain IPF points, IPS points until it got to the river. Deed was worded along Brush Creek "as it meanders". Over the years I would gain land and lose land, depending on what the river decided to do. Water is a wonder to watch the effects of.
 
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