I thought I had asked this but I guess not...
There is a small stream passing by my house about 30' away. My house is
elevated and the lawn slopes away nicely so its not a total problem.
However, its very slow flowing as it gets to the back of my house. It
becomess basically a swamp. I would like to pipe this starting at the
rear of my house, and all the way to the end of my 3/4 acre lot (it
flows rearward). Maybe 60 yards, that way I can dry this swampish area
out somewhat and reduce my mosquito problems.
Also I wouldn't mind building up burms on either side so as to keep the
stream flowing in a small contained area. It could be very pretty if
done nicely I think. This area however is full of trees and other
growth so it could be tough.
Likely you're dealing with wetland habitat, and will be able to do
nothing at your whim to alter it. What can be done, how and why vary
widely by state and local jurisdiction. Even the definition of wetland
Before you grab the shovel, you might call town hall.
Feasible? Definitely. It's done all the time when governments build new
Legal? That's an interesting question, considering that you've provided no
information about where you live. You'll need local professionals to assist
you with that question. But, in general:
Depends on the laws in your particular area. Obviously, you'll need a
building permit, and when you call your local municipality to ask about the
permit, they'll probably tell you that you need to have an environmental
assessment done by whatever agency of your state handles that sort of thing.
They'll hook you up with the appropriate agency. The goal will be to
understand parts of the stream that you are not aware of, and to make sure
you don't adversely affect larger bodies of water along the stream.
The assessment is nothing to be concerned about. A friend of mine did
something similar here in NY. A guy from the DEC (Department of
Environmental Conservation) stopped by, warned him of the hazards of
screwing it up, and then gave him some terrific ideas he'd never thought of.
Certainly it can be done. Legal is another issue. Most areas are going
to have some sort of regulations. In my area it would be difficult to get
permission, but not impossible or expensive, I understand it just takes a
while or if it violates the code, there is no way to get a permit.
I had a similar situation at my last house. I was told that since the
"stream" was run-off from the road and all of the ditches of the houses on
my block, I could get the county to come in and take care of it (at the
county's cost). I never really talked with anyone from the county, but a
friend in another neighborhood had the county come in and basically put a
"rock ditch" through his backyard. I decided just to leave mine the way it
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