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Neighbor put in a massive drain pipe to dump water in our yard

last month

Our immediate neighbor built a patio, hot tub & fireplace and to do all of this, they had to regrade their backyard. Before any of this, their yard & our yard were at the same level, but now their yard sits 1.5 feet above ours. So clearly they made their yard more useful which is fine. After building everything, they realized that drainage will be an issue so their contractor installed this massive drain pipe(attached picture) and it is pointing to our fence. We have the county storm drain easement inside our backyard near that area. I think their idea was for all the excess water to drain into the county easement, but it is not. What is happening is the water is being concentrated to our yard and standing there, as a result of which we not only have erosion, but our fence posts are now coming loose.

We complained to the HOA and they have sent the neighbor a covenants violation. We called the county, they sent the environmental solutions analyst and she said the following:

" After reviewing the pictures and walking the site, it appears the water is ponding around the inlet and sheet flows past it. Unfortunately, it appears when your neighbor installed the drainage pipe the grades changed slightly, and concentrated the flow of water where most of it seems to be bypassing the inlet. In my opinion, the neighbors back lot where the natural drainage swale was (now an HDPE pipe culvert is) can be returned to plan condition or a diversion can be installed to direct the water to the inlet (acting as a funnel). A diversion berm would not be a high cost solution and with all parties (both owners and the HOA) could be very effective. I have included teaming up with the HOA because the diversion would most likely be in the common area behind the fences.

I am happy to meet all parties on site to discuss if that would help.

Let me know if you have any additional questions."

We also hired a drainage & erosion company and their report also states that the neighbor is dumping water into our yard and our issues are a result of their exterior modification.

Now the HOA & county say all damages to our property is a civil matter and the HOA won't tell us what is going on in terms of the neighbor remediating the issue. They keep saying we're following the enforcement guidelines. I checked the enforcement guideline and it says first homeowner gets a 30 day notice, then a 15 day notice, and after that the HOA can file for injunctive relief at which time their legal counsel gets involved.

We also consulted with a VA State bar attorney, and were told it is best for the HOA to file for injunctive relief than us hire an attorney coz this is most like a 4-6k fix. Basically the neighbor has to attach that pipe to the county storm drain easement but they have refused to respond to our many attempts of contacting them.

What are our options here? How can we get the neighbor to do the right thing and stop causing damage to our property by dumping all the rain water to our yard?

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