Impervious Surfaces

Can I prevent my yard from flooding?

Melting snow and heavy rains may leave some lawns covered with standing water. This occurs when water is unable able to seep into the ground and collects on nearest low sections of land. Property owners who wonder why their yard suddenly is prone to flooding after handling runoff well for many years will likely discover that the flooding began after they expanded paved surfaces. In neighborhoods where several property owners enlarge their impervious surfaces, water retention on land surfaces can be exacerbated. To prevent flooding, minimize impervious surfaces. Paving a driveway, building a garage or enlarging a building's footprint covers the ground with a surface that water cannot flow through, so it must flow elsewhere. Once the ground is saturated the water pools up on the surface. 

Zoning change may affect Lake Mitchell property owners

On February 7, 2007 the Wexford Board of County Commissioners approved an amendment to the Lake Mitchell Overlay which stipulates that no more than 33% of one’s property on Lake Mitchell may be covered by an impervious surface. “Impervious Surface” means surface material incapable of being penetrated by water and includes the foundation lines of buildings, paved parking and drives, bricks, pavers, patio blocks or other surfaces which does not allow water to penetrate.

Prior to new construction, reconstruction, remodeling or other construction activity including paved parking, drives, sidewalks or any impervious surface, the lot owner is required to a obtain a grading and drainage permit showing that drainage as a result of construction activity, is not directed toward or directly into Lake Mitchell or onto adjacent properties. Rain gutters, directing runoff into French drains, collection crocks, reverse crowns for paved driveways, or other acceptable methods of controlling run-off from the building site shall be used. The most effective method of control to be determined by the Wexford County Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Officer. Permits may be obtained through the Wexford County Building Department, 401 N. Lake Street in Cadillac.