Dealing with Drainage Complaints


With above average rainfall so far this year, many people are experiencing a greater volume of stormwater runoff than they have ever seen before. Things were especially bad when the ground was still frozen and vegetation was dormant early this year. Our office has had more drainage complaints than normal so we have been very busy. The most common urban complaints are yard flooding, sump pumps causing erosion, and streambank erosion. We can assist and help answer questions that deal with these issues, but first consider these practices that can help prevent erosion and improve drainage.

  • Is there a drainage easement located on your property? Is it properly maintained?

  • Do not mow in frequently flooded areas. Deep roots help keep soil in place.

  • Plant water loving shrubs and trees in your yard to help soak up excess water.

  • Is your property properly graded to shed water away from your home?

  • Is there a vegetated buffer (trees and shrubs) between the stream and your lawn?

  • If your complaint is with your neighbor, please talk with them first.

The severity and frequency of rainfall events has been increasing, so we need to adapt our yards to handle larger amounts of water by implementing practices that prevent erosion and help improve drainage. Many of our drainage complaints come from homeowners whose properties are very flat or located downhill and are receiving runoff from neighboring properties. For these situations, drainage systems such as French drains may help alleviate flooding, but also consider rain gardens and vegetation that will help water infiltrate into the ground. For major corrective actions, re-grading the property to convey water away from your home may need to be taken.

More more information on drainage, please visit our Drainage page.

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