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Help with rushing water question

 
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Hello All and help.  I think I have found my land  here in middle TN.  Since I have NOT come to the PDC in May yet, I have questions I need to ask in order to know whether to make an offer on the land I am considering.  Need to make the offer tomorrow.  Hot buyers market here.  

The land is level  2.25 acres.  Great  house on it.  two out buildings that meet my criteria.  active well.  city water.  an amazing fast moving creek on the side of the property.  Good open south facing for everything that I have dreamed of.

Missing are trees except on the perimeter, but I think over the years it will be ok.

Here is the issue:  across the way in this very rural spot is a hill  and you can see that the water runs hard off of it and a house over on the hill has  a steep drive.  You can see that the TN rains run down their driveway at amazing speeds - all the evidence is there - ruts, gravel moved.  The land where I am looking is wet to soggy.  I have a spot for a pond and can see the line where the water is coming from two spots on the hills across from the property.

There is NO evidence of the house, and two outbuildings with solid concrete floors being hurt by the water - house is 1971, all brick.  

The weather is not getting better and when it rains here in TN, it is like God's last rain.  Can I mitigate this issue from my learning and design at PDC.

Yes I am scared.  It is just me.  I have no training, yet, in dealing with water.  

Thanks.  Hopefully I have given you enough information.  Natalie  
 
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A home in place since the 70's without signs of water damage sounds pretty promising.  
I know when I lived in TN, since the land was full of clay water didn't perk well, so movement of rain water was an issue - but it was for everyone.
Pretty easy to make an offer with some sort of "subject to home inspection" to protect yourself.  
 
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I agree with Chris on the no signs of water being great. I live in North Georgia so can really sympathize with you on the red clay. The whole purpose of swales is to pacify water. Even in a worst case scenario you can always make something like a Tesla one way valve shape in the ground to slow the water some before it hits the swale. I used two opposite each other and offset just prior to the main swale in an area that had run off with a 1/4 mile straight head on concrete when the swale kept blowing out due to the water's impact. One or two division points would really be all you would need to use the rushing water to slow itself down - just be sure to place them where small amounts of water splashing out of the swale doesn't negatively effect things around it (shouldn't be too hard   ).  I unfortunately don't have pics of it and have since switched it to a homemade water ram pump that lets me slow it, move it and collect it all in one operation. Just remember the problem is often the solution. Best of luck!
 
master pollinator
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Is it possible to post a satellite image so we can see the features?

 
Natalie Manor
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Thank you for your thoughts.  I have thought of a swale, but think the amount of frontage on the front yard to the road and the hill across would get washed away also as there is a gouge in the front yard where it runs hard.  I am going back tomorrow to get pictures so I will post.  Thank you for the thoughts.  Not sure if an emotion can be terrifiedadly excited, but that is how I feel.  
 
gardener
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as I live in mid tennessee also I know all too well what you're talking about when it comes to the rains. I've lived in the region for 40 years, and it used to not be like this in the 80's or really the 90's even. Now it seems every time it rains, it's gonna be 1 to 2 inches in an hour or so. I recently built a couple small berms with 20 yards of soil around my garden to redirect flowing surface water to prevent it from washing out the mulch I have in between my raised beds. I also planted blueberry bushes and raspberry canes in said berms and so far they seem to be liking the environment. What I can recommend is you ask the seller of the land to provide a perc (percolation) test of the grounds. They do these type of tests before installing septic systems. It will show how much water the soil can absorb and how fast it drains. If the house already has a septic system, they may not pay for the test.

You cited that you see evidence of washout on a hill, and it may just be the grade of the land on the hill causing the ruts as our lovely tennessee torrential downpours are more than the land can absorb in the given amount of time the rain falls. I am not an engineer, but I took a good look at the lay of my land with an analytic eye and figured the berm idea I had would suffice, and it has worked well for me. I had thought about digging trenches to guide the water to where I want it to go, but food crops don't grow well in trenches, so I went for berms. (they're about 18 inches tall and almost 3 feet wide and about 40 feet long). There's almost always a solution to a problem. Hope this helps!
 
Natalie Manor
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Long hard decision, but decided not to buy the property.  To many issues.  Thanks for the comments and support.  Natalie
 
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