Chances Are 100%

Above:  at the west side of our property, rain from uphill comes through that drainpipe. 

As of this moment, NOAA is predicting a 100% chance of rain overnight Thursday into Friday morning.  I like those odds.  Today I made sure the culvert at the back of the property is in good shape to handle the rain. 

In the above photo, the area on the other side of the fence in front of the drain pipe had about 2' of Eucalyptus and other litter, and 3" of loose soil.  All of that had to be cleaned up.  I filled a 32 gallon barrel with the stuff.  There are still some leaves, but I could not reach them through the fence. 


Turning around and looking east/downhill, you can see the culvert and the neighbor's Aloe arborescens growing through the fence. 
 Blooming jade plant beyond the Aloe flowers. 
 Now about halfway down the culvert looking uphill.  There is quite a slope.  The erosion from rain events was very bad, hence our construction of a concrete channel.  One storm we lost 3' of soil.

We had a bad wind storm recently and there was a whole lot of litter from the neighbor's Eucalyptus and trash palms.  I raked it all out two weekends ago, and my blow-guy blew out the remainder last Friday.  The pipe coming through the fence dumps the neighbor's washing machine water onto our property.  Yes, this is a problem. 
 Still looking west/uphill, a little farther down...
 Another different clump of neighbor's Aloe oozing through the fence. 
 And now the basin at the bottom of the culvert.  This was filled with about 2' of washing machine black water, mud and sprouted weeds--trash palms, vinca major, Eucalyptus, stinging nettle, etc, etc blocking the drains.  I cleared what I could from my side, then luckily the neighbor's mow-blow crew came for their weekly visit and cleared out the rest for me.  Great guys! 
This was not the most fun kind of gardening.  Making something clean and functional isn't as glamorous or creative as making something stylish, trendy, or beautiful, but it was nearly as satisfying.  

Now, rain, please commence.  NOAA, please be right. 

Comments

  1. How disgusting to have your neighbor's water from the washing drain onto your property. Is that legal? I wouldn't have imagined that you would have such drainage problems being on a slope as your are. I hope it does rain so your work on the drain is not in vain. These days, I won't believe the forecast until I actually see the rain

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    1. Looking around for California law on it, I think they need to keep it on their property instead of dumping in on ours, but there are some extenuating circumstances...I go to NOAA now for weather since the local news has become expert in weather exaggeration in search of ratings. NOAA seems pretty sure, but yeah, I don't get my hopes up.

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  2. I would think the neighbor's aloe flowering through the fence is a plus, but washing machine water? I'd have been tempted to pack the pipe with those leaves you cleared up, but you're probably a much nicer person than I am. Isn't this a building code violation where you live?

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    1. There's some incapacity involved, it's touchy. :( I think so about code violation, I'm going to check further because it has become a greater problem with the odor and a puddle of black water now constantly sitting down at the bottom of the culvert. Black water in the sense of toxic rather than color. The puddle sits there now and grey water becomes black water because former owners of the house down slope took better care to keep the drain there clear than the current ones. It's all cleared out for now.

      Despite our wonderful climate, a lot of people in California never venture outside except to get into their cars and don't notice what is going on in their yards. Ain't that crazy?

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  3. I'm stuck on your reply to Diana "Despite our wonderful climate, a lot of people in California never venture outside..." YES!!! OMG YES!!! When we've visited Family at Christmas they are all inside with the curtains closed! I am the one who ventures outdoors to soak up their sun while making Christmas calls back home to my family. It's insanity!...as is that washing machine water thing. So is the culvert at the bottom back on the same neighbor's side that the offending water comes from?

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    1. Baffles me too. It's usually more beautiful here in winter than in summer IMO.

      3 adjacent neighbors: one uphill (west), one downhill (east), one in the back (north). The culvert runs lengthwise between us and (north). (North) produces the washing machine water. The culvert starts at (west) and the drain basin belongs to (east). When it rains, water runs down from (west)'s drain pipe and from the neighbors above (west), downhill via our culvert to (east)'s drain basin and subsequently to the drainage easements below (east). Beyond that to a county catch basin, thence to a county water treatment plant, thence to replenish our aquifer or sent to the Pacific.

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  4. A few years into our residency here, when we removed the giant Yucca elephantipes at the bottom of the back slope, we discovered that our washing machine drains into that area, which perhaps explains how that Yucca grew so huge. Fortunately, we were already using a biodegradeable laundry product. It was never mentioned in the home inspection or any of the prior owner's declarations and, were the Yucca not removed, I'm not sure we'd ever have known it was there. One neighbor up the street had the neighbor's septic tank on her property! That didn't get resolved until the property changed hands - the flipper who bought the errant property got a surprise!

    My fingers are crossed that we get a really good soaking this week.

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    1. I keep checking the NOAA radar and forecast--the forecast has been bouncing back and forth between overnight "showers" and overnight "heavy rain"--right now as the front approaches it's still "heavy rain"! Hope continues.

      Funny about the flipper and the septic tank. I would think your former Yucca would be perfectly happy with grey water, what a tough plant that is. I pumped our washing machine water to the back hedge last summer, but didn't bother this summer. The "biocompatible" laundry detergent wasn't so good at getting the clothes clean. I think the grey water did help that hedge, just not the clothes. I gave the hedge nearly all the rainwater from the last rain event a couple weeks ago, and there are new leaves emerging.

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  5. So hoping you are getting (got?) that promised rain. As for that gray water outflow...well, you're a better person than I would be under the same circumstances, incapacity at work or none. Especially since you are the ones that installed the culvert!

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    1. NOAA says soon, soon, with chances at 100% for tonight. I was out in the garden this morning--it does smell like rain.

      We got the culvert done at considerable expense right as the drought arrived. Bad timing. Still, on a rare rainy night I am not awake worrying about losing 3' of soil. Peace of mind is a lovely thing.

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  6. After all that, I really hope you got your rain. You've totally earned it!

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    1. Not sure we can earn rain, but we did get some--actually a lot, at least an inch. Wheeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!! Early Christmas!

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