The symptom, clearly, was above
ground. But it appears that the problem and solution to yard
flooding in part of the Pleasant Acres subdivision lies below.
At a Monday night meeting, Daniel
Lavelle told a small group of subdivision residents and
Thurmont's board of commissioners that rainwater won't seep
into the earth in some yards because the ground already is
soaked. The president of Lavelle & Associates Inc., a local
engineering, planning and surveying firm, said he made that
assessment without having to do an as-built topographical map
of Pleasant Acres.
Instead, Mr. Lavelle said he visited
the subdivision after a recent storm and found yards in one
part of the development to be dry. However, downhill from
those lots he found six yards that remained extremely wet.
After talking with a homeowner who
said his sump pump ran constantly for days after rains, Mr.
Lavelle concluded that the water table was so high that the
ground could absorb only a bit of the water.
"It's absolutely super-saturated in
this area," he said, referring to an area on a map of the
subdivision that included lots owned by the residents who most
actively sought resolution.
Ron Morris, a manager for Dan Ryan
Homes, which is marketing and building the subdivision, said
he's never seen the groundwater water table this high. He also
noted that all previous conversation had focused on an
The solution proposed would give water
someplace else to go.
A perforated pipe, surrounded by stone
and wrapped with material to keep it from clogging, will be
buried 18 inches deep or more along the common boundaries of
the six lots. When groundwater rises to pipe level or
rainwater seeps down to the pipe, it will flow inside and be
carried to the store drainpipe. That way, the affected yards
will be drier and better able to absorb rains.
The project might cost $5,000, Mr.
Morris said, and Dan Ryan Homes will foot the
bill. No fences around homes will have
to be moved, but he said it likely will be spring before the
work can be done.
The pipe shouldn't require
post-installation maintenance, according to Mr. Morris. But
Mayor Martin Burns said the town likely will want written
agreements with homeowners stating that the town is not liable
for maintaining the pipe.
Earl Robinson, one of the most vocal
residents, said his concern now was getting the job done in a
"I'm hearing a lot of good things," he
said. "I want to make sure we don't lose focus or lose sight."
Mr. Burns said information about the
project's progress can be passed along during regular board
meetings in an effort to avoid more special meetings.
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