I am wondering how other communities deal with preserving stormwater overland flow paths (mostly in residential subdivisions, but elsewhere as well).
What we have experienced is developers determine stormwater overland flow paths in advance and show them on the Preliminary and Final plats. However, once the home is built, property owners then place berms, gardens, backyard play equipment, landscaping, etc into these paths, changing the way water crosses the property to intermittent streams. Then, when the rain finally does come, everyone is left scratchin' their heads and pointing fingers, wondering why water is pooling in their back yards or, even worse, causing the very serious issues you see in the attached photos.
To help insure that overland flow paths are protected, we have suggested that concrete drainage swales/flooms be installed in overland flow path areas. Citing expense and general "ugliness" of these swales, others have suggested concrete posts that clearly denote and may help prevent intrusion of landscaping, etc into these flow paths. Still others have said the city needs to be other there making sure the paths flow uninhibited in perpituity(an impossible task, of course, as we have much less control over what takes place after the buiding occupancy permit is issued---What's to stop a property owner who's just purchased the lot from the original owner from unknowingly installing a landscape berm 10 years later?)
My inquiry is what has your community done to help insure that these paths are maintained? Any suggested approaches that you have found to be effective? I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this as we are striving to find ways to not let these incidents happen again.