FORENSIC ENGINEERING

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) states that the primary purpose of the forensic engineering profession is to “develop practices and procedures to reduce the number of failures” (ASCE 2021).

Chalk Mountain provides forensic engineering and expert testimony pertaining to a variety of topics as stated below:

    • Review of Documents and Site
    • Scientific Analysis
    • Documentation of Findings
    • Expert Witness in legal proceedings
    • Civil Construction Failure
    • Detention Pond Failures
    • Diversion of Storm Waters
    • Other Engineering Failures

DRAINAGE ISSUES

Drainage law generally follows property law concepts that emphasize the rights of landowners. Landowners have certain rights and obligations pertaining to storm water runoff.

Drainage is natural occurrence due to storm water runoff.  The amount of drainage is dependent upon a number of factors including the amount of rainfall in any given storm, the natural topography of land prior to development, the post-development topography (defined as any changes to the land upstream and on occasionally, downstream of a property including re-contouring of topography, additional impervious cover including concrete paving and roofs.

Land development activities can result in increased runoff due to an increase in storm water runoff as well as a diversion of storm waters which, by its very definition is commonly a violation of state and potentially, local regulations.

Liability for any resulting damages may and should lie with those responsible for increasing or diverting storm water runoff.

Storm water regulations have been implemented at the state and local levels in an attempt to control and limit the potential for land development activities causing damage to the property of others.

Water Code Section 11.086
Overflow Caused by Diversion of Water

(a) No person may divert or impound the natural flow of surface waters in this state, or permit a diversion or impounding by him to continue, in a manner that damages the property of another by the overflow of the water diverted or impounded.

(b) A person whose property is injured by an overflow of water caused by an unlawful diversion or impounding has remedies at law and in equity and may recover damages occasioned by the overflow.

(c) The prohibition of Subsection (a) of this section does not in any way affect the construction and maintenance of levees and other improvements to control floods, overflows, and freshets in rivers, creeks, and streams or the construction of canals for conveying water for irrigation or other purposes authorized by this code. However, this subsection does not authorize any person to construct a canal, lateral canal, or ditch that obstructs a river, creek, bayou, gully, slough, ditch, or other well-defined natural drainage.

(d) Where gullies or sloughs have cut away or intersected the banks of a river or creek to allow floodwaters from the river or creek to overflow the land nearby, the owner of the flooded land may fill the mouth of the gullies or sloughs up to the height of the adjoining banks of the river or creek without liability to other property owners.

Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2207, ch. 870, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.


Section 11.086 — Overflow Caused by Diversion of Water, https://statutes.­capitol.­texas.­gov/Docs/WA/htm/WA.­11.­htm#11.­086 (accessed Oct. 7, 2023).