Storm Water Drainage
Frequently Asked Questions
My neighbor has done some work on his lot and now I’m getting more runoff. What can I do?
Typically, these situations are civil matters between the property owners and usually do not violate city code. It is against state water laws to divert or concentrate runoff, or block runoff from draining onto your property. We advise that you meet with your neighbor and discuss the problem to work toward a mutually agreeable solution. If this is not possible, consider grading swales on your property to convey the runoff around your home. Swales are depressions similar to wide shallow ditches that will collect runoff and take it to a more desirable area, typically the street. If swales are graded, care should be taken to ensure that grass is established so that they do not immediately fill up with silt. Occasionally, area drains may be considered. However, we do not generally recommend them for surface flow situations. Area drains typically do not have the capacity to handle the volume of runoff that is threatening to flood a home, and must be frequently cleaned of leaves and debris to function properly.
I have discussed my drainage problems with my neighbor and they will not work with me. I have considered placing swales or other improvements on my property, but it is not feasible. Is the City responsible for ensuring proper drainage on my lot?
Unfortunately, the City is not responsible for ensuring proper drainage on privately owned property. We recommend that you could also consider hiring a civil engineer with expertise in storm drainage to examine alternative solutions. If it is impossible to remedy the problem by working with your neighbor, then a civil court action may be the best action. This should be a last resort to resolving drainage problems. Only if the neighbor is diverting or impounding water against its natural flow or unnaturally concentrating the flow would the neighbor be liable for damages. If water is flowing as it naturally would, then the neighbor has no liability. Property owners are responsible for maintaining drainage on their own property.
There is new construction behind my lot and I’m having drainage problems due to the construction. Is there anything the City can do to make the developer drain his development away from me?
There is a misconception that new development is not allowed to drain onto existing development. If the area drained onto the adjacent property prior to development, there is a strong possibility that it may continue to do so after development. If problems are being created during development or during building construction, please contact the Public Works Department at 817-427-6400 or the Building Inspection Department at 817-427-6300.
The new construction behind my house is causing a lot of dirt and sediment to enter my yard. Can the City force the builder to place erosion protection on his lot?
Please contact the Building Inspection Department at 817-427-6300. It is helpful if you know the name of the adjacent development. The developer of a subdivision or a commercial site is required to maintain pollution control on his property until adequate vegetation is established.
My neighbor has been draining his swimming pool onto my lot. Who can I contact to stop this?
If the pool is draining onto private property then it is a civil matter between property owners. However, it is a violation of city code to drain pool water directly into the street. If swimming pool water is reaching the street, please contact the Code Enforcement Department at 817-427-6550. It is necessary for the Code Enforcement Officer to observe the water draining into the street, so please call as soon as you notice it.
The storm drain system on my street does not appear to be functioning as well as it used to. What can the City do?
Please contact the Department of Public Works at 817-427-6400. The storm drain system may have become clogged. If there is a problem with a public storm drain system, we can inspect for blockage and remove debris if present. If the system is private, then it is the responsibility of the homeowners association or the individual homeowner to maintain the system.
Am I allowed to construct a fence crossing a drainage easement?
Fences are allowed in drainage easements in some situations. A fence permit must be obtained from the Building Inspections Department for any fence construction. Proposed fences within drainage easements will be forwarded to the Department of Public Works for evaluation. Fences are not typically allowed to be placed across a concrete flume. Fences are never allowed to across concrete channels, within natural creeks, or within the floodway.
Preventing Stormwater Pollution at Construction Sites Guide
Storm Water Management