I am going to be installing a French drain in my yard to relieve the standing water in my yard. The majority of the yard slopes towards the house and after heavy rain there is water the pools around the area at the bottom of the deck/near the bulkhead.

If I have the exit of the drain placed on the side of the property (as shown in the image) where it slopes away from the house is there any danger of issues for my neighbor's property that starts at the bottom of that slope? Otherwise I'll terminate it all the way down by the street.

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  • Anyway of fixing the ground slope so any water drains/flows away from the house? Neighbour probably will not like having to deal with rain falling on their land plus extra from yours.
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 19:13
  • Potentially, but it's a significant project as most of the yard slopes inward. Does it make a difference that their fence/start of their property is roughly 30+ ft. away?
    – mindlis
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 20:18
  • Yards that slope towards houses, are always recommended to fix the slope, so it is away from the house. You do not want water next/near to your foundation. Some places have regulations against draining your water to the neighbours. Usually it just makes life easier not to do it.
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


If I were your neighbor, I would not allow you to drain on to my property.

But you can always talk and explain your plan.

Rather then digging long trenches sloped from house to the street:

Dig a 3 foot deep and 2 feet wide hole in the lowest area, and fill partially with rocks so the pump sits on it, and does not get clogged with all the dirt.

Insert a swap pump with automatic on/off switch.

Run regular garden hose from it to street.

When not used, you can roll up the garden hose.

  • Re: "not allow you to drain on to my property" -- depending on where you live, you might not have that power. Some jurisdictions apply the common enemy rule: whatever you do to repel that enemy is okay, and if the resulting flow is onto your neighbor's land, that's their problem. Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 13:20
  • But the common enemy doctrine may not apply in this case where the homeowner is concentrating and channeling runoff onto his neighbor's property.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Jul 23, 2022 at 21:17
  • And OP's jurisdiction may follow the "natural flow rule", which says, simplistically, that a landowner may not make changes to his or her land in a way that changes the natural flow of surface water across the land.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Jul 23, 2022 at 21:22
  • IANAL, but in NC I think it is reasonable use. Is it a reasonable use of the property for a homeowner to drain water from one location to another? If so, that's ok.
    – RetiredATC
    Commented Jul 24, 2022 at 1:22

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