Fence over public water drainage easment

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MLW01

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I need help and don't know where to turn.

We've been notified by the county to a fence running along our property line and going over a drainage way is too low. We are planning on raising however the constraints provided by the county seem a bit excessive. This ditch leads to a "10LF PG-2A TYPE E" relief point.

The fence has 1 post in the middle of the ditch. The county is asking that the post be removed and two posts on either side of the ditch placed so that fencing can go over the ditch. However they are requesting that the bottom of the fence be 1.5 FEET above the bottom of the ditch. 1.5 feet will make a massive gap in the backyard and dogs can easily escape. Water levels are never this high and this seems excessive.

We had also placed rock in the ditch as there was standing water and mosquitos were breeding. We felt this was a health hazard so we placed rock so the water would be standing still. Apparently all this rock needs to be removed as well.

Are these requirements normal for fencing over a drainage ditch? Does the fence really need to be 1.5 feet above the bottom of the ditch? Will the post in the middle of the ditch really cause that much water disruption? We spoke to the fence company and they have stated they've never heard anything like this before in the years they've been installing fences. I understand raising the fence which wouldn't be an issue. But removing the post and placing new ones in addition to removing gravel I feel is costing unnecessary time and money.

Any and all insight is greatly appreciated.
 

MLW01

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I have asked and waiting a response. Unfortunately, the individual that is suppose to give me this information is the same one we received the notice from with these requirements.
 

MLW01

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Do you think a fence post in the ditch fits the definition of "Will not be allowed in easements in a manner/configuration that impedes or blocks flow depth in ditch"? I feel like water can flow freely "around" the post without impeding.
 
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Have you checked your property deed? Does the easement run through your property, or just adjacent to the property?

The height above the ditch probably has something to do with the design storm for the trench and being able to have a certain amount of water running through the ditch during heavy storms. The post and stone will change the velocity of water flowing through the ditch which could cause backups/flooding upstream of your site.
 

Justine

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The 'no posts' in the center of a ditch is a common requirement in various jurisdictions. This prevents the post from obstructing flows and also provides the practical benefits of not being able to accumulate debris.

If you had to place rock in the ditch line, that seems to confirm that water is prevalent in the area.

The fence bottom being located 18" above the ditch FL is fairly common in the Midwest. If you figure that grass/vegetation can grow into the 4-6" range, the ground heaves and settles over time, debris accumulation, etc., then you are left with reasonable window/opening size for overland flows.

I can appreciate where you are coming from as well. An opening of that size probably isn't very conducive to containing pets or preventing other things from entering. I would think that you could coordinate with your local official/inspector to find some type of middle ground on a solution. You might be able to put in some type of hanging, hinged fencing that would deter a pet, but still allow water to force its way past.
 

jrodellt

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I'm assuming the fence is crossing perpendicular to the drainage ditch and that it contains runoff from multiple lots and not just your property. If this is the case it is pretty standard. I have seen this enforced more and more in my area, mainly due to backyard and basement flooding resulting from homeowners landscaping or fencing over the drainage ditch.

I'd play it safe and just use mosquito bits when you see standing water, and find an alternative to keeping your dog in the yard, you don't want any question of liability in case of flooding. You'd be surprised at the crazy things I've seen people do as well as sue over.
 

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