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Storm Drainage Overflow

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This is my first post, and I'm kinda a newbie to the Permie scene, after attending some great classes at the Asheville Organic growers School Spring conference, and a lot of Ideas really hit home for me.
I live in a row of Half Acre plots. The houses uphill from me have fenced in yards that end about four feet short of their property line to make way for a small stream bed that only flows during rain storms. Our house sits at the bottom of the hill and is not fenced in, the backyard is bordered by a thick forest with about a depth of 20 feet before opening up to another hill. We have had a very rainy fall and winter, that brought a couple of big floods. in the past it seems like the flatness of our yard was enough to allow the rain to sink into the ground. However the massive amounts of water we have received this year has cut a natural trench the length of our yard. It cuts between our raised bed garden and our Chicken coop.

I'm concerned about this trench eroding further into our landscape, secondly would love to turn this problem into a solution. Last week I started lining the trench with flat stones, assuming this would lessen erosion, but I would love some input from the community.

Thanks in advance.

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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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If you were to dig a ditch on contour 'perpendicular' to the 'stream' you would slowdown/stop the flow of the water as it fills the swale. Even after the swale is filled with water the stream would have lost it '60 MPH erosion force and would be have to start all over.

Lining the stream with rocks will create alot of eddies and make it reduce the speed/force of the water. So yes you are on the right track. You can also build a series of 'dams' that will allow sediments to drop out and each dam would slow down the speed of the water.
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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It seems to me that you would need to build a ditch or french drain to keep the water from going between your beds and the chicken coop. PVC pipes could be used to channel the water in a different direction. I am not sure from your pictures but it looks like the chicken coup area might get a lot of water during very heavy rain storms.
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