Water Management

Hello Water

The rain stopped a few hours ago but the water has made part of your home or landscape soggy, damp and dripping.

Sediment has piled up, the erosion cut is deeper, the basement is wet, the yard is a bog. Your house is tangled in Pittsburgh’s maze of pipes and gutters, built among slopes and depressions, stacked on layers of strata and infill. Storm water problems are inevitable.


Fourth River provides storm water consultations, planning and mediation work for homeowners in the Pittsburgh region.

Getting to the Source

We find the source of your water problem and discuss your options for removing or diverting the water. We can create a plan for addressing complex water problems.

Often our water tracing reveals simple repairs needed to gutters or grading. However aged infrastructure, new flow patterns, rain intensity, and landscape changes can make more significant interventions necessary. Our approach to stormwater brings years of experience together with collective land care management, and specialized techniques for the Pittsburgh region.

Our Work:

A condominium's steep back yard had suffered from deep erosion and sediment buildups for years. We created a hillside management plan for landscaping service crews, and installed our soil fencing system.

During big storms water overflowed this wall and would flood the basement garage, even after the homeowner had drains and sumps installed. We graded a slight swale into the yard to stop the wall from over-flowing and fixed the issue.

This house was downhill of a slope causing water damage and erosion. The area was excavated and a native meadow installed on the front and side yards.

These new homeowners inherited a mess of weeds in the front yard and an erosion problem. Shown here is year two of a transition to low maintenance shrubs and a soil stabilizing understory.

This downspout seemed in good working order but a wet basement corner led us to look more closely. We discovered both the roots seen here and a related out of sight leak that had been causing the basement water problems for years. A hefty drain clean and some minor regrading solved the wet basement problems.

Basement water was a nuisance for these homeowners. Tightly spaced houses and driveways significantly restrained options. We re-pointed the foundation wall and installed a draining membrane linked to footer drains.

This concrete pad was part of the reason for serious downhill erosion. The homeowner was happy to replace the concrete with a garden space. We carefully cut and removed the pad to reuse the concrete as a retaining wall.

Our consultation connected the dots between this homeowners love for gardening and areas where water could be more useful. The rainbarrel overflows into a surface drain that routes excessive patio storm water away from the house.

Request a consult

Please fill out our Message Form

or email us at yinz@www.fourthriver.coop

Our consultations take around an hour for common issues, complex or larger situations can take longer.

Consultation visits are $120 per hour


National Green Infrastructure Certified (NGICP)