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severe runoff problem

:confused:we bought our house (foreclosure) about a year ago, and love it; except the backyard. we've put a lot of sweat equity into it, and continue to, but can't remedy our back yard hell! when it was bought last Aug, the yard wasn't 'wet' and was 'playable' for our son. however, over the year, we haven't utilized the yard because it is a wet, mud mess.
this spring was the worst. so we paid $1800 for a contractor to come out and bury our gutters, attach to a perforated pvc pipe, laid on stone, 12" under ground, to drain into a 4' rock dry well at the back-low point of the yard. topped with sod, which looked good for the first week only.
$1800 and a summer of no backyard play later, the problem is status qou! we tried calling back the contractor, and he said he'd come up, but of course, a no show!
the affected area is a swamp (in a swale) about 70 feet long along our neighbors fence line. in the pictures you can see the dead sod in parallel to the pvc drain pipe. additionally, we want to remove the stone (about 8") in the back yard and have grass, as we are putting a swing set there.
recently, we've had 3 other contractors come out. one said "oh well, can't do anything"; the other said "nothing more can really be done except cut back the trees to let in more light" but we know that wont help because it's house shade, not tree shade; and the third said he'll qoute us to remove 12" off the top (clay) and replace with top soil, then regrade.
we have my son's 3rd birthday on 31 aug, and have kids coming over... instead of playing on his birthday present swingset, they'll be playing in mud!!!!!!:eek:

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