Could I be subject to liability for how I handle drainage on my property?

Yes. In disposing of unwanted or excess surface water, landowners may be liable for their action or inaction that results in damage to neighboring properties. Landowners may be responsible for the following:

•Altering a watercourse or natural drainage way

•Collecting and discharging water onto their neighbors' land in quantities greater than, or in a manner different from, its natural flow, including, but not limited to:

  • Altering the natural landscape
  • Causing water to be trapped by grass clippings or other lawn waste
  • Failing to maintain designed drainage pipes and systems

•Exercising their rights in bad faith or failing to avoid unnecessary damage to others' property 

For more information on drainage requirements, check with your local government planning department.

Show All Answers

1. Who should I contact for information to fix drainage problems on my property?
2. How much will construction cost to fix these drainage problems?
3. Do you have a referral list of local geotechnical consultants that can provide assessments and cost estimates to fix the drainage problems?
4. Who is responsible for fixing the drainage problems that are not on my property, but are causing problems for me?
5. Can I get an emergency permit to fix my landslide/sloughing problems? When and how do I get an emergency permit?
6. Do you need a permit?
7. How much will the permits cost?
8. Is there a cost-share option available for the permits?
9. How long will it take to get permits?
10. Can I get plants donated to my landscape project if they are used to stabilize my yard?
11. Where can I find more information on various ways to solve my drainage/landslide problems?
12. Are there any grants, funds or tax advantages available to assist homeowners?
13. What permits are required to connect to other drainage systems?
14. What am I, as a property owner, allowed to do with cutting or removing vegetation on the slopes?
15. What should I do about retaining stormwater on my property? Which agency guidelines should I follow?
16. I’ve heard that for new developments, I have to retain stormwater onsite and cannot divert it off the property.
17. Could I be subject to liability for how I handle drainage on my property?
18. What work is being done to improve the Landslide Potential Assessment Model?
19. What is being done to prevent or reduce landslides along the corridor?