Department responsibilities limited
City Engineer Steve Manek said the Engineering Department reviews erosion when proposed plats are presented with engineering designs for streets, not individual lots or homes. Inspections are made on streets, storm sewer and water lines after a home is constructed, he said. Plans are sent for the City Council’s approval, which allows a developer to settle the lots.
After public improvements are made, individual lot owners are in charge of erosion control without the developer, Manek said.
“The first time we know about something is when the homeowner calls in after the home is built and says, ‘Hey, we’ve got a problem,’” Manek said.
Larger swells and a diversion would be needed to solve the problem on the parcels, he added. Drains clog with leaves and grass clippings and are not meant to handle storm water run-off, Manek said.
Putting in swells, raising of fences and the grading of yards are suggestions that Manek said the city makes to homeowners with storm water run-off problems.
Gabel asked how to determine water flow if there is no water flowing. Determining a slope can be the trick of the eye, he said.
Condray asked if the city inspects properties for swells. City codes only require water to be diverted away from a foundation, Gabel said.
“It doesn’t tell you how to construct it,” Gabel said. “We’re not here to design this for you, design the landscaping. That’s what professionals are supposed to be doing.”
Condray asked if follow-up inspections are made to see if the subsequent construction of homes increases the water run-off of his own home due to slope increases.
“You’re looking at a house-by-house basis and not a cumulative affect. Is that correct?” Condray asked.
Gabel said the city’s inspections do not address if water is ponding or interacting away from the individual home that takes up a small portion of a lot.
“Our concern is for the structure,” Gabel said.
Condray said it would be good if a process could be in place to minimize the impact between structures. His house is being impacted by homes built in 2012, he said.
The process is for the developer, said Victoria Caldwell, city councilwoman.
“It seems quite odd to me to live in Oklahoma and experience the first flooding I’ve ever had and I lived in New Orleans for eight years,” Condray said. “I’m over $10,000 in this out of my own pocket.”