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Help with Cleaning really bad water runoff in my small yard

 
Sheri Menelli
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HI Everyone,

I could really use the help of many minds to solve a huge problem in my yard.

I've decided I am going to figure out the solution and post the step by step results here.

I'm 6 miles inland from the Ocean in Carlsbad, CA. Pretty nice weather in my microclimate. Usually in the 70's during the day by my house.

I have a typical tract house in a typical subdivision which is controlled by the Home Owners Association (HOA). I'm lucky to have a bigger piece of land than most people in subdivisions. My lot behind the house is 65 x 43. The hill behind my house is about 60 x 80.

In the corner of my yard (43 feet from my back door) before the hill starts, I have run off. I have a LOT of it! We've been living with it for over 8 years now. A neighbor 3 hours down has the same problem. There was a french drain put in for the 8 houses on my side of the street 13 years ago. The city water department, a geologist, the builder, etc were all out here 8 years ago and determined that the drains in my neighbors yards on both sides were crushed which resulted in water backing up to my yard. This subdivision was dug out of the hills and they think after all these years it has changed the water table. On top of that, the water at the top of my hill (on the other side of my fence) and beyond is watered using reclaimed water. Reclaimed water is bascially sewage without the solids from what I understand from the city.

I've tried to just bury the problem but the water is so bad, salty, etc that I just get 10 feet around it of plants that aren't growing well and right by it no plants grow at all.

I've decided to dedicate myself to cleaning the water and being able to use it.

Right now because I have only dug a few feet down, I only have a little water. I only need to go 6 feet down to get as much as I want. (8 years ago we pumped it out using a 3/4 horse power engine. It ran for 2 weeks straight. It would only stop 10 min of every hour to refill. I'm sure if I dug down a few more feet, It would have gone continuously.

I'm willing to get my water tested every few weeks or month by wallacelabs.com to see my progress.

I have a soil sample from March 4th. Soluable sodium, chloride and calcium are high. Salt is so high that it is measuring at 8.45 mililimho/cm. It should be less than 3!

I'm assuming most of this salt, chloride, etc is because of the reclaimed water seeping in the water table.

I can post the soil test later. I'll also post a picture of the "pond".

If I didn't have so much salt, I think I'd know where to start but the salinity is throwing me off.

What do I do? Where should I start?

Thanks
Sheri
 
Michael Milligan
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Retaining wall? If you raise the land up and surround it with stone the the water will bypass your yard, or you can put a culvert in the raised and channel the water under you plants.


Perhaps if you posted a google earth pic of your yard, marking the slope in yellow and the flow of the water in blue people might be more help than I.
 
Michael Milligan
Posts: 55
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Retaining wall? If you raise the land up and surround it with stone the the water will bypass your yard, or you can put a culvert in the raised and channel the water under you plants.


Perhaps if you posted a google earth pic of your yard, marking the slope in yellow and the flow of the water in blue people might be more help than I.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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if there are no sewer piles or water pipes in the area..at least 100 feet..put in willow trees,they will suck up a lot of the extra water and clean it..cattails will also clean the water..that is what they use in a lot of water filtration areas..but the homeowners assoc might not allow?? possibly bamboo..but you wouild want that above retaining wall and rhizome barrier to keep it from the rest of the yard.

could dig a pond?? put in the cattails in shallow edge areas..but you'll need an overflow most likely
 
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