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Jack R.
Jack R., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6147
Experience:  OH/TX Practicing Attorney focusing on Family Law, Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant Issues.
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Regarding surface water drainage on residential property...

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Regarding surface water drainage on residential property... I understand that the acting landowner’s liability to the other landowner depends upon which doctrine the state follows. So, given that the property is in Dallas Texas, which doctrine applies: Reasonable Use Theory? Common Enemy Theory? I have a 50 foot long driveway that is within inches of a neighbor's retention wall behind which is a french drain that has in the past flooded the lower end of my driveway when it rains or they drain their pool. Over the years I have tried without success to plant grasses in the inches-wide space to absorb the nearly constant seeping, and have now resorted to digging an inches-wide channel to try to redirect this water to the street to avoid corrosive damage to my driveway. Debris collects in this channel resulting in a noxious sludge where bugs breed as flow to the street is hampered. Space limits my ability to create better drainage and these neighbors refuse to be part of the solution.


Section 11.086 of the Texas Water Code, which codifies Spanish law that the overland flow of surface water before it enters a watercourse cannot be redirected and/or increased on downstream properties or thrown back on upstream properties. This section is interpreted as a strict liability statute to be used against landowners for their development activities that alter drainage and cause damage to nearby properties.


Your neighbors actions cannot cause water to be diverted on to your property. If the water would have naturally run ther in any case there is not much you can do as far your neighbors liability.





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