How do Drainage Easements Work?

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We have been asked by a few customers about how drainage easements work so in this post we will go over everything you need to know about them.

#1 What is the function of a drainage easement?:

Drainage easements can consist of swales, underground piping, retention ponds, or any other type of infrastructure that are used to convey water from one area to another. For example, water could be captured off of the street and discharged into a drainage swale that runs through your yard.

#2 Who owns the drainage easement?

In most cases, the term drainage easement implies that you, the property owner, owns the land if it is on your plot. However, there are often certain restrictions that prevent you from building or altering anything in the drainage easement. If you are interested in altering or building in the easement in any way you will want to check with your local authority about what you can and can’t do (it’s always good to get this approval in writing).

Your local authority could be a city or county municipality that deals specifically with storm water, or even the HOA of your subdivision.

#3 Who is responsible for cleaning/ repairing drainage easements?

In most cases the homeowner will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep in a drainage easement. This might include mowing and ensuring larger vegetation remains clear of the easement. The municipality may do upkeep once a year if you’re lucky, but that will more than likely fall into the homeowners responsibility.

As far as repairs go, we have seen both sides forced to take responsibility and it is a case-by-case situation. Your best bet is to take as many pictures as possible before, during, and after if you have a drainage problem and present it to the municipality. This could be water overflowing from retention ponds or swales spilling into your yard, broken pipes, or backed up drainage structures that are not working properly.

If you have any work that needs to be done in or around a drainage easement on your property, give Excavation Contractors LLC a call today!

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