Drainage Systems

Drainage Program
The Board of Supervisors, after careful assessment of the ownership and maintenance issues related to the County’s residential drainage systems, established funding in Fiscal Year 2016 to provide training and financial assistance to owners of drainage systems. The goal of the program is to promote the maintenance of privately owned drainage systems in a manner that best supports the safety and general welfare of all County residents.

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide consistent participation and evaluation criteria for the use and administration of the Neighborhood Drainage Maintenance Program.

Neighborhoods in the County have different legal authorities based on the development requirements in place at the time the neighborhood was developed (platted) and, therefore, have different eligibility conditions for participation in the program.

Drainage Owners
The owner of the property where the drainage system is located is legally responsible for its maintenance. This includes all features of the system such as ditches and pipes.
Location of the Problem Drainage Feature
Likely Owner
Within 10 feet of the pavement edge on public streets
Virginia Department of Transportation
Over 10 feet from the pavement edge on public streets in a neighborhood with mandatory homeowners' association
Homeowners' Association
Over 10 feet from the pavement edge on public streets in a neighborhood without a mandatory homeowners' association
Property Owner
Near or adjacent to the pavement edge on private streets
Private Street Owner
Within a dedicated drainage easement
Dedicated Easement Owner
Within an easement that is not dedicated to a specific owner
Property Owner
In any location not listed above
Property Owner
Login to Property Information to look up ownership of a parcel.

The Courthouse maintains the official property records including plats, subdivision plats, deeds, easements and surveys.

Getting Assistance

  • For issues related to a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) roadway, contact VDOT by calling 800-FOR-ROAD or 800-367-7623. VDOT also provides an online reporting form.
  • For issues on property owned by an HOA, contact the responsible HOA.
  • For the property owner, there are many reputable contractors available to provide assistance.

Maintaining Our Drainage Systems

We all have a part in maintaining our drainage systems. Know how your neighborhood system works, where the water goes and where problems could occur. Keep drainage easements, ditches and culverts clear of debris and yard waste; ditches are not disposal areas for leaves, grass clippings or pet wastes. These items cause problems in our waterways and reduce the ability of the system to remove storm runoff.

Additionally, keep drainage easements clear of overgrown vegetation, fences and outbuildings. Anything in the easements can slow down water flow or cause runoff to overflow areas not intended for stormwater. 
Consider others when planning property improvements; a home addition may turn into a neighbor’s drainage problem.

Before and after heavy rains, check roof gutters and clear debris and rake or remove yard debris and trash from drains and inlets.

Changing or Improving a Drainage System

Drainage systems cannot be modified in any way that blocks the flow of storm runoff, disturbs a stream buffer or violates other local, state or federal rules. The property owner is responsible for obtaining the necessary permits and approvals before beginning any work. Contact the Engineering and Resource Protection Division for information on permitting and regulations at 757-259-6670.

Other Useful Contact Information

Call 911 for assistance with any life-threatening flooding emergencies
Call 800-FOR-ROAD (VDOT) to report flooding of public roadways