This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
715, is perhaps contra.
71. Young v. Bankier Distillery Co., (1893) App. Cas. 691; Hunter v. Taylor Coal Co., 16 Ky. Rep. 190; Beach v. Sterling Iron & Zinc Co., 54 N. J. Eq. 33 Atl. 286; Strobel v. Kerr Salt Co., 164 N. Y. 303, 51 L. R. A. 687, 79 Am. St. Rep. 643, 58 N. E. 142; Straight v. Hover, 79 Ohio St. 263, 22 L. R. A. (N. S.) 276, 87 N. E. 174; H. B. Bowling Coal Co. v. Ruff ner, 117 Tenn. 180, 9 L. R. A. N. S. 923, 10 Ann. Cas. 581, 100 S. W. 116; Arminius Chemical Co. v. Landrum, 113 Va. 7, 38 L. R. A. (N. S.) 272, Ann. Cas. 1913D, 1075,
[Sec. 339 states of fact closely analogous to that which existed in the case in which the doctrine was first asserted, involving deposits of coal which were otherwise incapable of utilization.71a
The right of a riparian owner to insist that an upper proprietor shall not unreasonably pollute the water of the stream is independent of whether the former suffers actual damage by reason of the pollution. He is in any case entitled to nominal damages by reason of the interference with his right to have the water flow past his land in its natural condition.72
- (e) Obstruction of flow. A riparian owner, in order to make the reasonable use of the water allowed by law, may, as against a lower proprietor, erect a dam, and thereby detain the water long enough for its profitable enjoyment, provided the detention is necessary and for a proper purpose, and is not unreasonable in point of duration.73 Such a detention of the water is or73 S. E. 459; Day v. Louisville Coal & Coke Co., 60 W. Va. 27, 10 L. R. A. N. S. 167, 53 S. E. 776.
71a. See editorial note, 65 University of Penna. Law Rev. 310.
72. Crossley v. Lightowier, L. R. 2 Ch. 478; Pennington v. Brin-sop Hall Coal Co., 5 Ch. D. 769; Jones v. Llanrwyst Urban Council (1911) 1 Ch. 393; Hodges v. Pine Product Co., 135 Ga. 134, 33 L. R. A. (N. S.) 74, 21 Ann. Cas. 1052, 68 S. E. 1107; Glad-felter v. Walker, 40 Md. 1; Parker v. American Wooden Co., 195 Mass. 591, 602, 10 L. R. A. (N. P.) 584, 81 N. E. 468; Mann v. Willey, 51 N. Y. App. Div. 169, 64 N. Y. Supp. 589; Townsend v. Bell, 62 Hun. 306, 17 N. Y. Supp. 210.
73. North Alabama Coal, Iron
& R. Co., v. Jones, 156 Ala. 360, 47 So. 144; Gehlen v. Knorr, 101 Iowa, 700, 36 L. R. A. 697, 63 Am. St. Rep. 416, 70 N. W. 757; Oakland Woolen Co. v. Union Gas etc. Co., 101 Me. 198, 65 Atl. 915; Pitts v. Lancaster Mills, 13 Metc (Mass.) 156; Gould v. Boston Duck Co., 13 Gray (Mass.) 443; Clinton v. Myers, 46 N. Y. 511,
7 Am. Rep. 373; Hoy v. Sterrett, 2 Watts (Pa.) 327; Whaler v. Ahl, 29 Pa. St. 98; Mason v. Ap-alache Mills, 81 S. C. 554, 62 S. E. 399; Canfield v. Andrew, 54 Vt. 1, 41 Am. Rep. 828; Tacoma Eastern R. Co. v. Smithgall, 58 Wash. 445, 108 Pac. 1091 Davis v. Harrisonburg, 116 Va. 864, 83 S. E. 401; Still v. Palouse Irrigation & Power Co., 64 Wash. 606, 117 Pac. 466; Timm v. Bear dinarily for the purpose of the transmission of power for industrial purposes. In determining what is a reasonable use of the water for the purpose of furnishing power, as against lower mill owners on the same stream, the nature of the stream and of the several mill privileges, its adaptability to different modes of use, the wants of the community, the custom and usage of people in the neighborhood and elsewhere in regard to the management of business, the hours of labor and the use of the water of such streams, are all, it has been said, proper matters for consideration.74
In case of the unreasonable detention of the water, the lower proprietor has a right of action without reference to whether he suffers actual damage as a result of the detention.75
Watercourses are the means provided by nature for the drainage of the country through which they pass, and an owner of land has the right to have the water from his land, and from the land further up the stream, carried off by the watercourse without any interference by others. Consequently a riparian proprietor, or other person, cannot, by the erection of a dam or embankment on the stream, or other obstruction thereof, cause such an accumulation of water as to submerge, in part or wholly, land belonging to another,76 or as to interfere
29 Wis. 254; Lawrence, Town of, v. American Writing Paper Co., 144 Wis. 556, 128 N. W. 440.
74. Mason v. Whitney, 193 Mass. 152, 7 L. R. A. (N. S.) 289, 118 Am. St. Rep. 488, 78 N. E. 881, per Knowlton, C. J. The question involved in this case was the right of an upper proprietor to utilize the water at night.
75. Sampson v. Hoddinott, 1 C. B. N. S. 590; North Alabama Coal Iron & R. Co. v. Jones, 156 Ala. 360. 47 So. 144; Ware v. Allen, 140 Mass. 513, 5 N. E. 629; East
Jersey Water Co. v. Bigelow, 60 N. J. L. 201, 38 Atl. 631. But San Joaquin & Kings River Canal & Irr. Co. v. Fresno Flume & Irr. Co., 158 Cal. 626, 35 L. R. A. (N. S.) 832, 112 Pac. 182 is perhaps contra.
76. McCary v. McLendon, 195 Ala. 497, 70 So. 715; Chapman v. Thames Mfg. Co., 13 Conn. 269. 33 Am. Dec. 41; Jackson, City of, v. Wilson, 146 Ga. 250, 91 S. E. 63; City of Centralia v. Wright, 156 111. 651, 41 N. E. 217; Wabash & Erie Canal v. Spears, 16 Ind.
The right of action on account of the flooding of one's land by reason of the obstruction of the flow of a stream is independent of whether such flooding causes actual damage. One has a right not to have his land flooded even though such flooding adds to its value.79-80 The fact that the obstruction is such as to cause an overflow on the upper proprietor's land only at the time of a freshet will not excuse it, if the freshet is such as may be expected to occur.81 The rule is, however, different in the case of an extraordinary flood, such as was not reasonably to be expected, this being regarded as the act of God.82
441, 79 Am. Dec. 444; Thompson v. Illinois Cent. R. Co., 177 Iowa, 328, 158 N. W. 676: Heath v. Williams, 25 Me. 209, 43 Am. Dec. 265; Groh v. South, 119 Md. 297, 86 Atl. 1036; Gould v. Boston Duck Co., 13 Gray (Mass.) 442; Skinner v. Great North. Ry. Co., 129 Minn. 113, 151 N. W. 968; McCormick v. Horan, 81 N. Y. 86: Crawford v. Rambo, 44 Ohio St. 279, 7 N. E. 429; Casebeer v. Mowry, 55 Pa. 419, 93 Am. Dec. 766; Calket v. Verner, 236 Pa. St. 285, 84 Atl. 775; McDaniel v. Greenville Carolina Power Co., 95 S. C. 268, 78 S. E. 980; Neal v. Henry, Meigs (Tenn.) 17, 33 Am. Dec. 125; Rhodes v. Whitehead, 27 Tex. 304, 84 Am. Dec. 631; Dahl-gren v. Chicago M. & P. S. Ry. Co., 85 Wash. 395, 148 Pac. 567. Except in the reasonable user of his land, according to the New Hampshire court. Bassett v. Salisbury Manfg. Co., 43 N. H. 569.