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Environmental Services
Steps to minimize drainage problems

Help Minimize Drainage Problems

There are several things you can do to help prevent or minimize drainage problems.  These precautions keep the area open for proper drainage and also protect water quality.   Before and after a heavy rain, please remember to:
  • Check the gutters on your house and drainage ditches around your property. Blockages can cause runoff to pond in your yard, or cause damage to your house.
  • Rake or remove leaves, branches, roadside litter, weeds or any material that can block drains. Note: if you rake leaves from your yard before they can blow away, this will help prevent leaves from blocking the storm drains. Leaves are a primary cause of storm drain problems.
  • Check the inlets of street storm drains to be sure they are free from any materials such as leaves, tires, toys, automobile parts, branches, sale signs, etc.
  • Check the path of water flow during a storm and remove any debris. This will help prevent materials from flowing into storm drains.
  • Report any unauthorized access or pumping of illegal substances such as used motor oil into drainage systems.
  • Call this office at 703-792-7070 about assistance for problems beyond your control. We will review the situation and offer an appropriate course of action.
  • If you are proposing any improvements on your property, please consider the drainage impacts to neighboring properties. The installation of raised driveways, fences and landscape beds can cause block the natural flow of runoff, resulting in areas of standing water. If you extend your downspouts, consider the outlet points and the impact it may have on your neighbor's property. 
  • Property owners in easements are responsible for routine ground maintenance such as grass mowing and trash or debris removal.  You should prevent grass clippings or leaves from washing into the system.  
  • The County should be notified of any defects in or around the drainage system such as broken concrete, holes in the ground over pipes or around structures, and severe erosion.  Keep the area easily accessible in case repairs or maintenance is required.
  • Keep the area free of litter. 
  • Do not place sheds or other structures over drainage easements without first getting permission from Public Works.
  • Be sure not to pour used motor oil, pet wastes or other debris into the system.


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