This year, the rainfall is heavy here and my neighbor sits higher than me, so I naturally got a lot of water. There is a shallow 100 feet sort-of-a-swale running along the two properties by grading of the lot, ending in my front yard. It creates a 4-6 feet flooding zone in my backyard, and then distribute all waters to my front yard. However, one part of the "swale", which happens to be the part closest to my house (around 7-10 feet) seems to be a little bit lower, so water stays there for quite a long time, sometimes 24 hours, sometimes 48 hours, sometimes even 3 whole days. Since it is heavy clay here, the soil in the water path (running around 7-12 feet from my house) stays wet sometimes even a week after a heavy rain. What's more is the neighbor catches the community irrigation water and creates "artificial rainfall" to my my yard during the days it does not rain; therefore, my yard has been wet for almost every day.
A naturally remedy pops to my mind is the french drain system, catches the water entering my yard (2 spots only) and pipe them out. However, after reading and reading, it seems that's not how french drain works; it can only catch the excessive runoff water during heavy rains. In light to moderate rain, or in the case of irrigation water, the water will still stay in my yard. The only difference is it used to be on the ground; now it is 2-4 feet underground. Have I missed anything?
My questions are :
1, is the staying water too close to my house to do any damage? I have a slab foundation. The water pond is roughly 5 feet wide x 20 feet long strip, 7-15 feet away from my house, and usually 1 inch water stays after a rain.
2, Will french drain help? My concern is the soil is heavy clay, when the water seeps down to the rocks, it cannot be absorbed by the surrounding soil anyway.
3, If I put better sodding along the water path, especially around the low spot with some new dirt, will that resolve the issue without putting down the french drain?
I hope I have stated clearly about this issue, will upload some pictures later if necessary.