Building drainage issues

My building's area has seen particularly heavy rains last 2 days, and some water ingressed the building drom the side (not through the roof).
The reason is that water level outside was too high.
There is a storm sewer in the back yard of the building.
Am I correct in thinking that the proper way to address this is to hire someone to dig a drainage ditch along the property, draining into that storm sewer, or into sumps inside the building (to be pumped into the same storm sewer).
If so, what kind of companies should I look up in Yellow pages, what is that kind of business called?
Thanks
i
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On Nov 9, 8:10 pm, Ignoramus19683 <ignoramus19...@NOSPAM. 19683.invalid> wrote:

DId the storm sewer overflow, is it lower than the back yard, a little more information clearly stated would allow a much better answer.
Your municipality may have rules on what you can do to change drainage. Where we live, you cannot increase the total amount of runoff from your property, nor can you increase the rate of the runoff, even if the total amount of water is unchanged. This is to protact those downstream, down from where the sewer lines resurface from flooding.
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This is a commercial building on a slab.
The storm sewer did not seem to overflow, but the water was kind of high in it.
I will check with my municipality, they seem to be super nice to me so far.
i
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Ignoramus19683 wrote:

Municipalities have differing and very counter-intuitive regulations regarding French drains, particularly in the way that the water finds it's way into the storm drain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_drain
Neighbors on both sides of me have drains that are configured so that water must magically levitate against gravity in order to flow. Neither of those systems appear to work, strangely.
Our drain is arranged so that the lowest point in the system is the 'connection' to the storm drain system and the highest point is furthest from the storm drain. It works really well, with no pumping required.
--Winston

Start with plumbers. First, sit down, away from sharp objects.
--Winston <-- Trade for a ditch witch and go for it, Iggy!
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Ignoramus19683 wrote:

Well the easier way would be to spray the bottom edge of the building with something like Drylok waterproofing. Buy it in a nice color and two tone the building with a 2' strip all the way around.
--
Steve W.

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If he has water pooling up around the building because of grading, trying to keep it out of the building by waterproofing is almost always a failing proposition. A 2' strip all the way around isn't likely to work, as the water will just wind up finding a way in from under the slab through cracks, etc..
The correct way is to analyze the grading and to get it to slope AWAY from the building. That is the first choice. In some cases it may not be possible to do around the whole perimeter due to obstacles that are in the way. In that case, a gravity drain system of some kind or a system that leads to a sump pump basin outside the building is an alternative.
As others have pointed out, the municipality may have restrictions on whether it's legal to discharge water into the storm sewer. Another choice might just be to route it near the storm sewer, discharging it on the ground on the property, if that's possible.
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Ig... our factory was built 4' below road level in an area correctly termed "Florida Flatwoods"; land on which the mean water table is less than 12" below the surface.
Every time it rained more than a couple of inches, the whole ten acres became a mud bog, and that's been going on for 40 years.
So, I talked my principals into hiring a hydrologist to come shoot the levels, review the maps and county drains, and tell us if there was anything that could be done with the run-off.
All they needed to fix the problems was a mini-GradeAll, $4000, and a week. Now we have property that hasn't even _puddled_ since! It was the best spent 'expert work' we ever had done.
LLoyd
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On 2011-11-10, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

This is awesome! So, you would say I should search phone book for "hydrologist"? Or "drain engineer" or something? I would like the same thing as you -- proper drainage -- except that my case is easier. There is a ready storm drain and even some kind of a pond across the road from me.
i
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Start with excavation companies, and make it clear you're looking for a property drainage expert. Many of them will have the proper laser levels and swale-digging experience to do the job.
You probably don't even need "ditches", per se. A gentle swale - perhaps even mild enough for your forklift to traverse - may be all it will take.
LLoyd
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On Nov 10, 7:59 am, Ignoramus30836 <ignoramus30...@NOSPAM. 30836.invalid> wrote:

That "some kind of pond" across the road from you might not be yours -- it could be for the property across the road...
Without more information that is a useless bit of conjecture...
Does your property have its own detention pond ON your property ? Such ponds are NOT connected to any drainage or sewers and handle parking lot run off from drains and the rainwater leaders (drains) from large roofs...
~~ Evan
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snip--- Does your property have its own detention pond ON your property ? Such ponds are NOT connected to any drainage or sewers and handle parking lot run off from drains and the rainwater leaders (drains) from large roofs...
~~ Evan
I had two such ponds dug on our property when I began construction (shop and house).
They have proven to be one of the best decisions I made. They handle all the runoff with ease, and there's more than enough of it here in Western Washington. I heartily endorse the idea.
Harold
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I had a similar problem here, behind our back warehouse. I hired a local excavator to come in and strip all the gravel off the yard and pile it up, re-grade the yard including the ditch-line behind our property and the next two neighbors; so there was a consistent slope all the way to the next culvert (the neighbors were happy, since I paid for it). Then they replaced all the gravel, graded that out, and re-compacted it with a big power roller. The grading covered about 1/2 acre and cost $1800 altogether.
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Umm... Bob, water infiltrates a building at the joint between the foundation and the slab... Especially in commercial buildings...
Immediately the only reasonable thing the building owner/occupant can do to prevent further water getting into the building is to put down a barrier and cover it with sandbags...
Any other sort of site modifications generally have to be approved by the authority having jurisdiction and could take anywhere from weeks to months to be designed and approved...
~~ Evan
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Nonsense. The only thing is sandbags? Could be LOTS of things, from possibly re-routing water that is exiting from the roof, to installing a simple drain that takes water away from a low spot. If they own the building they have lots of choices. If they don't, I'm not betting on the owner being happy with the tennant putting down sandbags outside in a lame attempt to keep water out.

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wrote:

water can and does come up thru basement or slab. at any joint, around utility entrances thru flor etc etc.
water takes the easiest path
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bob haller wrote:
(...)

Yup. That's why you provide a peripheral drain that creates an 'easiest path' away from your building for that below-grade water flow.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_drain
BTDT .. and now I'm nice and dry, even after the worst downpours.
--Winston
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wrote:

Umm, no, they don't...
Rerouting water flow and storm run off on a property is an environmental concern in which the local authority having jurisdiction and the state department of environmental protection have input into...
You can't just start digging and installing drains -- you must assess the amount of water you are dealing with and create a properly sized water detention area on your site to deal with the volume of water which is causing the problem... The design/hearing/approvals process on an issue like that takes MONTHS minimum...
The only IMMEDIATE measure the building owner can take is to put out sandbags...
The authority having jurisdiction must determine where any excess water above and beyond the design capacity of the approved on-site detention facilities is to be discharged, lest the property owner decide that on their own and cause someone else flooding problems based on an un-permitted and un-approved water control solution...
You can't just dig up around the perimeter of the building, install drainage tiles and filter fabric/stone and pipe it to daylight downhill somewhere... It is a lot more complicated than that...
~~ Evan
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On 11/11/2011 4:14 PM, Evan wrote:

rules. They have forced ALL cities over a certain size to do this, even here in the desert where the average precipitation for a year is about 8".
Paul
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I do not think that anyone would care, or notice, if I hire a landscaper with a Bobcat and clean up my property a little bit, without paying high priced environmental consultancies.
And yes, I did talk to the village office.
i
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You claiming to know the rules and practices in all parts of the country? Again, you're assuming worse case, and throwing out FUD, which seems to be your main contribution here.
The solution could be as simple as the grading being incorrect along 15 ft on one side of the building. It might just need to be raised 6 inches near the building and re-graded to flow away onto the lawn. Or install a 10 ft drain line that takes water from a gutter downspout and brings it out to a lower spot on the lawn. You telling us that either of those requires an EPA permit and months to do? Those are done all the time here in NJ, one of the most regulated places in the country, by everyone from building owners themselves, to landscapers, without any permits.
As for your sandbags, that's pretty much BS. The water is still going to pool up and likely make it into the building. Plus it should look really great.

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